In 1968 Dean Moon was contacted by Don Nichols to build engines for the Japanese car manufacturer Nissan which was planning to install them in their R381 Grand-Prix Cars. Dean put Fred Larsen to work and had him build 5.5 liters small-block engines. The whole team flew over to Tokyo to attend the race and help out in the pits. Nissan and the Moon-tuned Chevrolet engines won the Grand-Prix that year, turning Moon into a famous brand in Japan.
According to Shige Suganum, "Moon was pretty famous in Japan in the sixties," and he and many other kids knew the logo well as they were growing up. Moon was present in Japan from 1968 and well into the 1970s. In 1983 Shige becomes friends with Dean Moon, and he starts importing and selling Moon discs, t-shirts, and other Moon merchandise in Japan. In 1986 he opens up his first shop in Yokohama. "MOON wasn't popular anymore back then," he told Laurent Bagnard in 2009 when he interviewed Shige for the book GO with MOON! - 1950-2010. "Back in '68 it was pretty popular in Japan. in '72/'73 it disappeared, so everyone thought it was gone, there was no more MOON in the market in Japan at all." A year later Dean Moon passes away. His wife Shirley took over the business, running it until she passed away in 1990. After Shirley passed away, Shige ends up buying Moon, and he continues running the business both in California and Japan.
Hot Rods of Japan
Junichi Shimodaira's 1927 Ford Model T Roadster - The Galaxian
Junichi Shimodaira's 1927 Ford Model T Roadster Pickup - La Cucuaracha
George Hara's 1929 Ford Model A Roadster Pickup
Junichi Shimodaira's 1930 Ford Model A Tudor Sedan - Rod Riguez
Customs Cars of Japan
Hot Rod and Custom Shows of Japan
Custom Shops of Japan
Car Clubs of Japan
People of Japan
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