Mitsuoka is known for its penchant for taking various Japanese models and transforming them into classic-inspired creations, with the Japanese designer’s cars featuring all-new sheet metal with some retro bits.
Honestly, their cars are typically marmite. Some love that they take a riff on some classic designs with modern bases. Others despise the dress-up imposters. When it comes to the Mitsuoka Rock Star, there are a number of transgressions it makes in the face of the car it mimics, namely the second-generation Chevrolet Corvette.
While the body is actually an endearing take on a “Honey I Shrunk The ‘Vette” theme, the fact that it’s based on a Mazda MX-5 means that the firepower under the hood is no match for the 5.3- or 7.0-liter V8 you’d have found with the original Chevy. The 130 hp 1.5-liter four-pot from Mazda just doesn’t have the same kind of ring to it.
And while there’s no question the Rock Star would never, ever fool a purist, the fact that there was no LHD edition (with only the latest Vette’s getting a right hand driven option) meant that one of the biggest failings of the car was that the steering wheel was on the wrong side for the market the original Vette called home.
While we doubt the low-volume Japanese automaker really had any plans to sell the Rock Star outside of Japan, it seems they may have come around to the idea of at least offering those who drive on the right an option. There’s a catch, though. The hint is in the official name, which is the Rock Star 2.0 LHD Only1 Special.
It certainly explains what it says on the tin — the LHD Rock Star is a one-of-one. It’s also the last in the line, with only 200 units of the conventional Rock Star ever being made, this special edition LHD car (the base MX-5 was sourced from Canada) will be the last send-off, finished in Ruby Red, with a “Passion Blood Red” interior.
Passion blood aside, it’s an expensive swansong. At 9.9 million yen ($85,600 at current exchange rates) it’s almost double the price of the standard Rock Star. Rarity won’t be the only barrier to getting your hands on the LHD Only1 Special either. Applicants will have to submit a 500,000 yen ($4325) lottery entry. A maximum of 100 individual lottery entries will be open until February 14, and those who lose will be granted a refund.