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1968 Fuji Rabbit

The origins of this sophisticated scooter can be traced back to the Nakajima Aircraft Co., manufacturers of a vast range of airplanes during and between both world wars.

As with all member countries of the defeated Axis forces, the peace treaties at the end of the Second World War forbade the manufacture of aircraft. Nakajima was dissolved and reformed as the Fuji Sangyo Co., whose primary objective was to provide badly needed civil transportation.

Its first product was a motor scooter, the Fuji Rabbit S-1, based on the Powell scooter used by the US Airborne troops. Its introduction in June of 1946 preceded the Vespa by some six months.
(A similar route was taken by another Japanese aircraft manufacturer- Mitsubishi- who introduced the Silver Pigeon scooter).

In 1950 Fuji Sangyo was divided into 12 companies, and in 1953 Fuji Heavy Industries was formed out of some of these. The company produced a range of scooters, buses, and the Cabin microcar.

In the USA, Rabbit Motor Sales of San Francisco were the first to bring in the Rabbit in 1957. The largest distributor was the American Rabbit Corp. of San Diego. In Canada, they were brought in by Malcolm Bricklin, who declined to bring in the new Subaru 360 when it was introduced by Fuji, as he had his own plans for car production.

The last scooter was made on June 29, 1968.

A huge range of types was made: S-1, S-12, S-2, ES, S-22, S-31, S-23, S-24, S-25, S-41, S-47, S-48, S-52, S-53, S-55, S-61, S-71, T-75, S-72, S-101, S-82, S-201, S-601, S-102, S-301, S-402, S-202A, S- 302T, S-211.

The museum example is a type S-301 from the last year of production, of 125cc displacement and sold originally in Europe.

Manufacturer: Fuji Heavy Industries, Tokyo Japan

Model: S-301

Motor: Fuji Body: Steel
Years Built: 1968 No. Cylinders: 1 Chassis: Tube
No. Produced:137,488 Displacement: 125 cc Susp. Front: Earles Fork
No. Surviving: Horsepower: 8 Suspension Rear: Swing
Length: 2 120 mm Gearbox: 4 spd Steering:
Width: 750 mm Starter: Kick Brakes: Cable
Weight: 140 kg Electrics: 12v 2 Wheels: 4.00 x 8
Interior: 2 Seats Ignition: coil Top Speed:

© 2002