A while ago, I was intrigued by a friend’s use of the term ‘kvlt’ in both conversation and in the form of text on online forums. Further research revealed the answer to be simple; ‘kvlt’ was a cooler version of ‘cult’ – a more cult way of saying cult, if you will. Apart from the spelling, the principal difference between the two terms is that ‘kvlt’ is both pronounced and read as ‘k-v-l-t’, not ‘cult’– confused yet? Never mind. The reason I’m blathering on about the subject is that ‘kvlt’ is normally used to describe something that is phenomenally quirky, or outrageous, or funny (sometimes all these things at once), and there is no better way to apply the term than to Mitsuoka, the niche Japanese car company.
Back in 1979, Susumu Mitsuoka began the Mitsuoka Motor Company, a firm that was to essentially function as a coachbuilder, taking existing cars and slapping on its own bodywork. The first car that it built was called the, er, Bubu Shuttle 50, in keeping with the Japanese car-naming tradition of writing completely disparate words on pieces of paper, mixing them together in a bag and then selecting three or four at random. Over the years, it has built a series of completely nut-job cars, with equally fruity names – the Viewt (a modified Nissan Micra made to look like a Jaguar XK 120), the Galue (based on various Nissans and resembling a cross between a Rolls-Royce and a Bentley), the Le Seyde (a Nissan Silvia that looked like the love-child of the Batmobile and a Duesenberg) and the Dore (based on a Ford Mustang, looks like a gangster car from the 1930s).
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