Page 111. 1963 Fuji Rabbit Superflow Model S301 BH 123cc SOLD

1963 Fuji Rabbit Superflow Model S301 BH 123cc

A RARE MODEL S301 WITH TORQUE CONVERTER

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Fuji did not sell the Rabbit in Great Britain – there were already enough scooters for sale here – though it was marketed extensively in the USA. Its main claim to fame was the top-of-the range model 200cc S601 with ‘Superflow’ torque converter, an innovative feature for a scooter of the early sixties.

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The Fuji scooter featured here has the most common body style. But only 11,700 model S301’s were made using the S601’s torque converter – which is what makes it an ‘S301BH Superflow.’

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This one was imported into the UK from Japan in the 1990s. It’s registered, MOT’d and taxed. Two new batteries are fitted. My mechanic has given it a thorough going-over, so it’s mechanically and bodily sound. It starts easily and runs well.

Cosmetically it’s in its original paint, with surface rust in various places. If you wish to respray it to concours it would be an easy job …and it also looks superb as is.

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I believe it’s the only one in the country.

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The above advert shows the 125cc Superflow. The text in the white field at the top says:

‘Torque converter for easy driving! Rabbit Superflow 125′

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FUJI HEAVY INDUSTRIES Ltd,

Tokyo, Japan

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[The page above shows 301s or 402s coming down the assembly line. The sidebar illustrates a 601 at top, a 301/402 middle, and a 202 at the bottom]

Nakajima Aircraft Co was incorporated in 1931, though founder Chikuhei Nakajima had been building aircraft for the government since 1917. The company produced many of Japan’s military planes during WW2 but, with the surrender, in 1945, the company was re-established as Fuji Sangyo Co to manufacture civilian vehicles. Their first scooter, the Fuji Rabbit S-1, which made its debut in June 1946, was based on the American Powell scooter, a small scooter used by American servicemen. The first Vespa was introduced 6 months after the Rabbit.

Fuji Sangyo Co was divided into various component companies, and the name of the company producing the Rabbit scooter became Fuji Heavy Industries, which is the name on the badges of this Rabbit.

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Rabbits were exported to North America from 1957. Fuji made 25 different models of Rabbit, from 1946 until 1968. It was the last of the Japanese scooters, as its main competitor, the Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon scooter (also made by an ex-warplane manufacturer and introduced in 1946) had ended production in 1963. Fuji made a wide range of vehicles, including buses and microcars. The 360, which was released in 1958, was badged as a Subaru, the first of a long line of cars bearing that name.

This model, the S301, was made between 1961 and 1968, and a total of 137,448 produced.

You can see the full range of Rabbits on the this excellent Fuji Rabbit website – http://www.fujirabbit.com

[the above text condensed from information on the above website; also these original brochures from that site. All with thanks to Jean-Francois]

Many Rabbit parts are now reproduced in the USA, and can be viewed here – http://www.claussstudios.com/id5.html

and here – http://www.rabbitscooter.com/

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I recently received an email from Shane Burnett in Seattle, who also owns an S301BH (among other Rabbit scooters). I’m very grateful for this information, which has solved the mystery of why I couldn’t find adverts for the ‘S301 Superflow!’

Greetings!

The Rabbit you’re selling is an S301, but more specifically it’s an S301BH.

The vast majority of the Rabbits produced were of 3 or 4 varieties:

S202 — similar to a Honda Cub, with big wheels and step-thru frame, but 2-cycle 90cc motor.
S211 — never exported anywhere, as far as I know. 90cc 2-stroke with small wheels (typical scooter style) — some think particular model looks Lambretta-esque.
S301/S402 — same body, but 301 has a 125cc motor and 402 has a 150cc motor.
S601 — frequently called “the Superflow”, aka “Cadillac of scooters” — 200cc 2-stroke, 100 kph top speed, torque converter, air shock, gas gauge, etc.

The S301/S402 was the most popular body style sold, but virtually all of these bikes had 3-speed or 4-speed manual shifters on the handgrip.

The S601 was the model sold as having the “Superflow” — aka the torque converter.

However, Fuji made relatively few S301s with the torque converter — 11,700 to be exact.
All S301s have 125cc engines, but yours — the S301B series — has a 2nd-generation engine with a rotary valve that squeezes out almost another horsepower. The S301A produces 7.1, and the s301B produces 8.

So, there you have it. Your Rabbit is a common body style, but an uncommon configuration. You mention in the listing that Fuji was known for its torque converters — certainly not for this model. It’s that other behemoth — the S601 — that’s known for having the torque converter.

How do I know all this? I think I probably own the only S301BH in the United States. I imported it from…the UK, so 5 years ago, there were at least 2 in the country. :) Mine still bears the labels from the Japanese shop where it was originally sold. I also own an S402AT, several S402BTs, and several S601s.

You mentioned Clauss Studios here in the US as a good source for repro parts; Rabbit House in Japan is a good source for original parts as well. His website:

http://www.ne.jp/asahi/rabbit-house/yamada/

and here’s the page on the s301B:

http://www.ne.jp/asahi/rabbit-house/yamada/s301b.htm

Hope you know Japanese, or know someone who knows Japanese. :)

Hope this information helps,

Shane Burnett
Seattle, WA  USA

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A nice touch is Fuji’s Rabbit logo, which appears on various parts of the scooter:

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japanPC copy

What other Japanese vehicles were around at the time the Rabbit was produced?

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Though Japan was soon set to conquer the world with its motorcycles, the fifties were still a time of austerity in Japan, reflected in the vehicles produced. Above you can see the 1957 SJK (Suzuki Jidosha Kogyo – translated: The Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Company) Cyclemotor engine. Below is the 1957 SJK product range. The motorcycles are the ST-II, the COX-II and the Colleda and the cyclemotors are called the Mini Free and the Diamond Free.

The Diamond Free was sold as a cycle attachment engine from 1952, while the Mini Free, introduced in 1954 and produced until 1958, was sold as a complete machine.

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At the first Tokyo Motor Show, in April 1954, more than 30 Japanese motorcycle manufacturers (out of a total of 55) participated. By 1963, when this Rabbit was born, only nine Japanese motorcycle manufacturers and two scooter manufacturers remained. The business had become extremely competitive and, by 1963, Honda was the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. The enormous success of the Honda 50 throughout the world caused the demise of most of its competitors’ scooter production.

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Superflow Engine Photos

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SHORT VIDEOS of the SUPERFLOW RUNNING

Video 1: Starting Procedure

1. Put the bike on its main stand or side stand. Pull in front brake lever.

With the torque converter if you don’t do this, it will drive off without you as soon as it fires up!

2. Turn on petrol. Pull out choke.

3. Turn ignition key on and press starter button.

4. Turn off choke.

Video 2: Engine Running & Torque Converter Turning

Video 3: Wooden Block to use when engine is cold

The Rabbit uses two small 6v batteries (6N11A4 around £14 each).

An electric start and torque converter uses up a lot of battery power when starting from cold.

So we’ve made up a small wooden block. Fit this under the engine when the bike’s on its side stand,

pull it over onto the block so the rear wheel can turn freely to save battery power.

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There’s  reasonably sized ‘boot’ at the back for storing small items.

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It’s very solid underneath and the main stand and side stand are both supported by strong metal.

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SUPERFLOW TORQUE CONVERTER

superflow1

2superflow3superflow

5superflow

6superflow

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PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE BIDDING

OWNER: BuyVintage Online Auctions

LOCATION: Brighton, E.Sussex, United Kingdom

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DELIVERY is not included in this auction.

This means that it is not my responsibility,

BUT I can put you in touch with a delivery chap and organize collection;

you liaise with them direct re delivery and pay them separately.

Great Britain - delivery is ONLY £50 for this scooter to main parts of England;

extra to extremities such as Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, etc (and may take longer to arrive)

(Please email your postcode if you want to confirm price).

THIS BARGAIN PRICE DELIVERY IS ON A PART-LOAD BASIS.

(Collection when they’re in my area; delivery when in yours).

LOCAL DELIVERY FREE

If you want it fast, please organize your own collection.

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Ireland & N. Ireland – I’ll recommend some companies, but you’ll have to organize it yourself.

Europe – delivery is probably around €400 to Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, etc. I can recommend two companies.

North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, etc – I’ll organize all the crating and shipping for you.

PAYMENT: Paypal is okay for cheap items; otherwise deposit only on paypal please.

INTERNATIONAL PURCHASERS:

You must communicate with me before the end of the auction to discuss payment and shipping options.

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AFTER PURCHASE: Please email me your phone numbers; I prefer to speak to all purchasers personally.

I do everything I can to make your purchase a pleasurable experience.

I’ve been selling obscure vintage vehicles on ebay since 2002.

Sharing similar interests, I’ve become good friends with many of my customers.

Please feel free to email or phone with any comments or questions…

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VEHICLE CONDITION: Vintage vehicles are wonderful beasts

– but each has an individual personality and they sometimes have bad days just like you and me.
You will need basic mechanical skills (or a local mechanic) to use one on a regular basis.

Two-strokes invariably need basic servicing before starting them, if they’ve been left to stand for more than 3 weeks or so.

These are rare vehicles whose values are not necessarily based on running order.

IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THE ABOVE, PLEASE DO NOT BID.

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If you have any questions about this (or any other vehicle in these BuyVintage Online Auctions),
you can contact Colin in our Customer Service Department between 9am and 7pm daily:

By Phone – (UK 0044) 07866-126469

By email – Buyvintage@mac.com

The Auction Catalogue is our website -

http://www.BuyVintage.co.uk

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Published on May 6, 2008 at 5:16 am  Leave a Comment  

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