As many of you know, Mr. K is the father of the Z Car and was honored for his innovative design of the early Z Car that set the bar for others. He helped Nissan to become the best selling import brand in 1975.
He also positioned Nissan to become the 1st automaker to sell Americans on compact pickup trucks and “King Cabs”. Here is Mr. K with the actor (Dale Ishimoto) that portrayed himself in Nissan’s famous “Dogs Love Trucks” ads:
Retired from Nissan since 1977, Mr. K still had a drive for styling. He played a major role in refining the Nissan Z concept car that was unveiled at the North American Auto Show in January 1999. On October 13, 1998 Mr. K was inducted into the Automobile Hall of Fame museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
We have fond memories of Mr. K at our local and national Z-car shows. It always amazed us how enthusiastic and full of verve this man was to come stateside and participate in our love for these cars. Here is Mr. K at a Z show in the Bay Area, circa 2002. Like many Datsun owners I too was humbled when he signed memorabilia/car parts and shook hands. Mr. K was driving a Z well after he turned 100, noting that his driver’s license was good through his 103rd birthday. Amazing individual.
Having excellent communication skills even in is older years he was known for ending emails and conversations affectionately with, “Love Cars! Love People! Love Life!”
Thank you Mr. K for all that you have done for the automotive world. Our condolences go out to your family. You will be missed!