By Steve Laser
Students at the Nissan Automobile Technical College in Japan learn all about car maintenance and repair, engineering, body shop, and motorsports. They can also put their skills to work by building customized show cars. Three of their latest creations are heading to the Tokyo Auto Salon this month.
While the Nissan Cube went out of production in Japan about four years ago, it remains a popular canvas for customization. NATC students at the Kyoto campus decided to give the Cube a vintage look by merging styling elements from the iconic Nissan Bluebird.
Fourth-year students in the Mechanic & Customize Course spent six months crafting the customized Cube that they nicknamed “Seto.” The concept is described as a bridge between the past and present, and a cute “Pike Car” (paying homage to the retro-inspired Be-1, Figaro, Pao, and S-Cargo from the ‘80s).
The students used a combo of welding and body putty to artfully blend the Bluebird’s front fascia onto the Cube. Modern enhancements include new LED headlights and a roof storage box. Finishing touches include Bluebird taillights, front fender script, and light navy paint.
Another team of fourth-year students at the Kyoto Campus created the Elgrand “Glassier.” This customized show car, based on Nissan’s Elgrand minivan, gets a fresh appearance with the adoption of the X-Trail SUV’s front fascia.
Other mods include increased ground clearance, and a rooftop tent for camping. Customized paint presents an ethereal green exterior, said to evoke the light of early dawn, with orange spoiler trim, side mirrors, and other details, influenced by the morning rays of the sun.
The “Adonis” Skyline show car is the project of third-year NATC Mechanic & Car Body Master Course students at the Aichi campus. With a 2.5-month build time, the team widened the body by five centimeters, aligned body panels to avoid distortion, created and applied Adonis white exterior paint, and updated the interior’s dashboard panel surfaces.
NATC has five campuses across Japan, including Tochigi, Yokohama, Aichi, Kyoto, and Ehime.
Tokyo Auto Salon is scheduled for Jan. 12-14, 2024, at Makuhari Messe International Convention Complex in Chiba
Note: Display vehicles are subject to change without notice
News source and photos courtesy of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
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