A short history of the Prince Motor Co., Ltd.

The predecessors of the Prince Motor Co., Ltd. that merged with Nissan in 1966 were the Nakajima Aircraft Company and the Tachikawa Aircraft Company. During the Pacific War, Nakajima had produced the legendary Sakae and Homare fighter plane engines - the former powered the Zero Fighter and Hayabusa, while the latter was used in the Shidenkai. Tachikawa had manufactured the fuselage of the Hayabusa, one of the finest combat aircraft of the time.
With the Japanese surrender, Nakajima changed its name to Fuji Industry in a bid to switch to a profitable peacetime business. However, as a result of a GHQ directive designed to dismantle Japan’s zaibatsu (holding companies), it was divided up into a dozen small companies. One of these was Fuji Precision Machinery, which embarked on a wide range of ventures, from diesel engines and sewing machines to movie projectors. In 1951 this company developed a 1,500cc, 45hp gasoline engine, which won high praise when it was used in the Prince automobile, launched the following year.
Tachikawa, meanwhile, was building its postwar reputation with the Tama electric car. When restrictions on oil imports were relaxed, the demand for electric vehicles fell, so a gasoline engine was adopted. The company changed its name several times - to Tokyo Electric Cars Co., to Tama Electric Cars Co., to Tama Cars Co., and to the Prince Motor Co., Ltd.. In 1954, it was merged with Fuji Precision Machinery, its engine supplier.
This merger turned Fuji Precision Machinery into a car manufacturer, but its product was sold under a different brand name. To avoid this problem, it readopted the Prince name in 1961. This was the company that later produced an illustrious line of cars, including the Skyline and Gloria, that also demonstrated formidable performance on the race track.

The Lambda 4S rocket, seen here on display outside the National Science Museum in Tokyo’s Ueno district, was used to loft "Osumi", Japan’s first satellite. The booster for the 4-stage Lambda was supplied by Nissan. Prince, which was "descended" from aircraft manufacturers, made use of its advanced technical expertise to produce solid propellant rockets from 1953.