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240 Landmarks of Japanese Automotive Technology
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240 Landmarks TopPassenger Cars, Part 1 > Roland (Tsukuba)
 Roland (Tsukuba)
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When Kazuo Kawamada was young, he was obsessed with motorbike racing, but in 1929 he started to test drive cars. An admirer of American front-wheel drive vehicles like the Cord, Kazuo began to design his own car, focusing on the handling excellence of the front-engine front-wheel drive set up. Funded by Ichiro Hatoyama and Eiichi Shibusawa, he built the Roland in 1931 and went on to establish the Tokyo Jidosha Seizo Company in 1934. Having been founded from the start with mass production in mind, with all parts including the engine, chassis, body and the like ordered from outside suppliers, the company was able to focus on assembly and sales. As a result, although preceded by a model called the Mizuho, 130 Tsukuba were built, which was a surprisingly large number for the time and some were even exported to China. The increasing intensity of the second Sino-Japanese war, however, led to the passing of the Automobile Manufacturing Industries Law. This forced the company to close, as smaller and medium-sized automobile companies could no longer obtain permission for production or even obtain materials. Kawamada then joined forces with a smaller factory to build a racer called the Haneda to compete in a race at the Tamagawa Speedway. However, the car was troubled by problems related to maintenance and endurance and lost out to a Datsun.
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Storage location:TOYOTA AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM (41-100, Yokomichi, Nagakute, Nagakute-cho, Aichi-gun, Aichi-ken 480-1131)
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Year manufactured:1932
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Manufacturer:Tokyo Jidosha Seizo Company, Kazuo Kawamada
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Classification:Mass-production vehicle
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Current status:On public display: operational
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Vehicle name / Manufacture
Vehicle name:Tsukuba
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Model name:Roland
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Company name:Tokyo Jidosha Seizo
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Year manufactured:1932~1938
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Designed by:Kazuo Kawamada
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Collaboration:Ichiro Hatoyama, Eiichi Shibusawa
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Vehicle type/usage:Small passenger car
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Location of actual vehicle/replica:Toyota Automobile Museum
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Model / Weight
Style:Phaeton (sedan)
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Number of doors:2
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Passenger capacity:4
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Vehicle weight:Approx. 500 kg
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Points of interest, topicality:About 130 Tsukuba manufactured, some were exported to China, improved version of the Roland
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Body / Size
Structure:Stamped steel sheets
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Bumpers:None
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Step:Integrated into fender
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Overall length:Approx. 3200 mm
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Overall width:Approx. 1200 mm
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Overall height:Approx. 1500 mm
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Features:FF transmission with front vertically mounted engine based on the Cord
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Body / Axle / Driving / Others
Frame:Members
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Front axle:Independent type, lateral 1/2 leaf
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Rear axle:Independent type trailing arm longitudinal 1/4 leaf
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Wheelbase:Approx. 2400 mm
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Front tread x rear tread:Both approx. 1050 mm
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Vehicle height adjustment:None
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Steering:Ackermann type
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Dampers:None
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Stabilizer:None
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Driving stability devices:None
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Features:Four-wheel independent suspension, Harajiro body, stamped frame, truck variants were also manufactured, rigid lateral leaf used for the Tsukuba
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Engine / Size / Power
Cooling/cylinder arrangement:Water-cooled/narrow angle V4
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Valve train:SV
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Carburetor:Updraft
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Bore x stroke:56×76 mm
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Displacement:736 cc
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Ignition system:With contact type distributor
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Max. power/r.p.m.:18 hp/4000 rpm
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Exhaust emissions treatment:Noise reduction muffler only
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Supercharger:None
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Variable ignition system:Automatic ignition advance
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Fetures:The 25 deg narrow angle V4 engine was manufactured by Meguro Seisakujo, the radiator by Nihon Radiator, and the carburetor by Zenith.
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Hybrid
Hybrid system type:None
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Drive-train
Transmission:MT3
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Drive system:FF
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Performance
Mode fuel efficiency:-
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Reference materials:Documents of the Toyota Automobile Museum; Car Graphic, Nigensha, 1986
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