“Mitsubishi Debonair 1963”
It was the 1960s. The Japanese automobile industry was finally taking a break from the postwar turmoil, but its next challenge was to keep up with the design. This was not something that could be mastered overnight, and the industry had no choice but to quickly adopt the influence of Italy and the U.S., which were the leading design countries in the world. Under such circumstances, Shin Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (now Mitsubishi Motors) invited Hans Brezner, a former GM designer, to design its luxury cars. I was personally fascinated by GM in the U.S., and I wrote to them to ask how to become a designer. Then Hans was introduced to me. I remember immediately visiting him at Mitsubishi’s design section in Nagoya and asking him many questions. At that time, he was working on the Debonair. I remember that IZUMIYA (the predecessor of TOOLS) was very enthusiastic about introducing European and American design technology at that time, and they even invited him to their seminars. The Debonair was sarcastically called a “living fossil” perhaps because it was produced for 22 years, but it is one of the cars that I feel very close to.   Hideo Kodama