1. The Nissan Silvia is hugely popular today in S13 to S15 form, but these cars have been around since 1968 when they were rare hand made machines. By 1975 the Sylvia was finally a mass produced car and was first called the version we all know and love.
2. The famous Mazda RX-7 has only been around since 1978, but the Mazda rotary engine first appeared right back in 1965 in the Cosmo. The Cosmo 200SX, then in 1979 it finally spawned the turbocharged was available in its various forms in Japan until 1995, including an awesome triple rotor twin turbo version. But it was never sold here.
3. The Toyota Celica has always been a great looking coupe, and was in production from 1970 right up until 2006; a massive 36 years. Toyota first entered a Celica in the World Rally Championship from 1972, and Celicas won the Driversʼ World Rally Championship four times in the 1990s.
4. Probably the known Japanese hatchback is the Honda Civic, which first appeared in 1972 as a tiny 50bhp car that weighed far less than a Lotus Elise. In 1989 the famous VTEC system made its debut in the Civic, but it took until 1997 for the legendary Type-R model to appear.
5. The Toyota Corolla has been around since 1966 and is the best selling car of all time, with one sold every 40 seconds for the last 40 years! On the whole, the Corolla has always been a pretty ordinary thing, but in complete contrast, the Corolla range includes one of the most famous Japanese cars ever built, the RWD AE86.
6. The Mitsubishi Lancer hasbeen with us since 1973, and the turbo-powered Lancers we know and love were around long before the famous Evolution models of the ’90s. The first Lancer turbo appeared in 1980 with rear- wheel drive and a single cam version of the famous 4G63 Evo engine that was used right up until the current Evo X appeared.
7. The Skyline has been around long before it was a Nissan, in fact long before it was even a Datsun! The Skyline started as a car made by Prince in 1957, a manufacturer that emerged with Datsun in the mid 60’s. The Skyline became a legendary sports car from the introduction of the GT-R model, which first appeared right back in 1969 and is still in existence now with the current Nissan R35 GT-R.
8. Subaru are famous for their use of boxer engines, and have used them since 1966 when they started with a 55bhp one litre version. The engines have grown in power over the years and there are even Porsche-style flat sixes in the range. The most remarkable of these was the flat 12 F1 unit, which was made in 1990.
9. Although the name hasn’t been around for as long as many, the Honda NSX was made for 15 years, from 1990 to 2005, without any major changes. Although minor improvements have been made throughout its life, the general body shape and drive train has stayed faithful to the original design from start to finish.
10. From the Datsun 240Z to the current Nissan 370Z, the Z-Car has been around since 1969 and is one of the longest running series ever. It also holds the record for the best selling sports car series of all time.