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At the conclusion of WWII Japan’s Nakajima Aircraft Co. was reborn as Fuji Heavy Industries, to manufacture civilian vehicles. They were responsible for the Rabbit S-1, Japan's first motor scooter. The S-1 its debut in June 1946—some months ahead of the Italian Vespa. The Rabbit was based on the American Powell Streamliner scooter, examples of which had been brought to Japan by American paratroopers during the war. 25 different Rabbit models were manufactured between 1946 and 1968.
This stylish, 2-toned, gold and cream Fuji Rabbit Superflow S601 was one of the best scooters ever built in Japan. Keeping with the Jet Age-style, the Superflow came with plenty of chrome, such as the full body trim and parcel hooks running alongside the seat. Its streamlined body panels also featured grills and air ducts, giving it a look that was fast and purposeful like a jet. For luxury, the Superflow had features the competition couldn’t match: front and rear turn signals, a fully instrumented dashboard including a gas gauge with warning light, air suspension, and electric start—thought it retained its left side kick-start. The Superflow also came with a foot-controlled headlight dimmer, a parking brake, and most notably, the “Superflow” torque converter automatic transmission, an innovative feature for a scooter of the early 1960s.
In 1957, Rabbit Motor Sales of San Francisco was the first to bring the Fuji Rabbit to the States. The largest distributor was the American Rabbit Corp. of San Diego. In Canada, they were imported by Malcolm Bricklin, who, after later moving to Philadelphia, was able to secure an exclusive contract with Fuji Heavy Industries just as they were discontinuing scooter manufacturing to concentrate on the Subaru 360 car. He would go on to form Subaru of America. The last Rabbit scooter was made on June 29, 1968. Fuji Heavy Industries formally changed its name to the Subaru Corporation in 2016.
Manufacturer: Fuji Heavy Industries
Country of Origin: Japan
Engine: 200cc, single cylinder, air-cooled, 11hp
Transmission: Torque converter automatic transmission
Top Speed: 65 mph
Years of Production: 1962-1967
Number Produced: 75,000
Original Cost: About $495.00