Though these days Japan has a (somewhat) thriving auto industry, it wasn’t always that way. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, Japanese cars were light years behind their American counterparts, at least in terms of raw power. Japanese V8 engines were few and far between, though Japanese car companies did mimic the large-and-in-charge style of American cars with some models. This left the Japanese police out-powered and unable to catch up with the bad guys in their own small-engine patrol vehicles.
We suppose that is the reason why Japan looked to America for its cop cars, and they looked in the right place. Over on Reddit a user posted the above picture of a Japanese pursuit car…which just happens to be a 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1. And it looks pretty damn cool if we do say so ourselves.
According to Reddit users fluent in Japanese, this Mustang Mach 1 was used as a pursuit vehicle in the Tochigi Prefecture, just north of Tokyo. The police livery appears to have been kept deliberately minimal, though the black-and-white look of this Mustang certainly give it a fearsome look. We’d hate to be the lawbreaker who saw that in their rear view mirror.
While we’d never heard of this particular brand of Japanese patrol cars before, apparently it is a well-known fact in Japan that Mustangs made for pursuit vehicles back in “the day.” So much so that there is even a 1:18 scale model replica of this very pursuit car. That is seriously cool, and we now have a new-found respect for the Japanese police forces. They obviously have great taste!