Russian Toyota AA Surfaces in The Netherlands


Last December a car surfaced in Russia, one that the owner claimed to be a long-lost Toyoda AA. This was Toyota’s first production automobile, first built in 1936, and is so rare that the Toyota Automobile Museum in Japan doesn’t even own one. They had to construct a replica for display, and while records show that only 1404 Toyoda AAs were built, Russia claims not one, but two AAs. Now, one of them has been purchased by the Louwman Museum in The Netherlands.


The Louwman Museum website is calling it an AA, so we assume that they have performed some kind of verification. However, that is only an assumption. The only thing that seems certain is that this AA did come from Russia and was originally posted on drom.ru (Note the broken rear window).

The AA’s rear was flush, but if the other Russian AA is any indication, these cars were modified extensively to suit the owner’s needs, with entire sections of the body cut out (and possibly re-grafted with sections from other cars).

The Louwman Museum says that this car came from Vladivostok and was owned by a Siberian farmer since WWII. It was used in the countryside and thus has been modified. They purchased it from the grandson of the owner and it took seven months to get it out of Russia.

The following is a translation of the Louwman website from Dutch thanks to Toyotageek.

Almost no one had expected that somewhere in the world has an original copy of the first car model of Toyota are the AA. The Toyota factory museum in Japan even has a replica be produced. Around 2008 the AA, however, arises in the Russian Vladivostok. He had since World War II owned a Siberian farmer and is likely to come to Russia as war booty. The car has always driven the country and has been heavily modified. The examination of the history is still ongoing.
Toyota is the Museum Louwman taken directly from the grandson of the
original owner. It has taken seven months to get the car in the Netherlands. Including the Russian Ministry of Culture was authorized to allow the car to be exported, because more than fifty years old. The car is by train from Vladivostok to Moscow and then driven by truck to the Netherlands.
Except the oldest, this is also the only known war for Toyota in the world.

So is it a real AA? Perhaps a Dutch JNC reader can visit the museum and do some detective work. As for the full debate on whether these are history in the making of a clever dupe, see this thread in the JNC forum.

[Image: Skitmeister's Flickr] Hat tip to Toyotageek.

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15 Responses to Russian Toyota AA Surfaces in The Netherlands

  1. slickwrick said:

    whitewalls sunvisor and some artillerys and it will me a mini chevy master deluxe.

  2. bert said:

    Once again-steering wheel on the wrong side! Not to mention that boot, wich may or may not be welded on. However, the front of this car does look more AA than the other car.

  3. banpei said:

    No problem… Can go there since the new museum just opened a few days ago. ;)

  4. Ben said:

    Bert: That’s true, but the steering wheel, etc. are all easily changeable. The hard lines of the body are the key.

  5. Bobbywoll said:

    so if its not an aa, where did he get aa wheels from; and the chrysler airflow had a vent window that rolled down with the forward door glass. a trick piece of american engineering not repeated on the toyota.

  6. kim said:

    theres a side mirror in one pic and its not there in the top. so dont think its the same car

  7. bert said:

    Ben- The hard lines on this car, especially around the windshield, scream AA more than the other Russian car. Not to mention the size, the other car’s proprtions always seemed too big to me. As for the gross mutilation that is the steering wheel, and the “boot” area, someone should be a victim of an old fashioned Russian firing squad for what they did to that poor Yota!!! (If it is a Yota!)

  8. Toyotageek said:

    Kim – the mirror was mounted on what appears to be the hinge – easily removed.
    The hole halfway down the front door is the same. The broken glass in the side window is the same. They’re the same cars – the big question is, is it REALLY an AA…???

  9. Bobbywoll said:

    This has been fun

  10. banpei said:

    Got an “official” answer from the Museum:
    The car was converted from RHD to LHD. Holes are still visible in the dashboard.
    They are confident that the trunk is original since there are no reasons to doubt this.

  11. bert said:

    banpei- In the picture of the car sitting on the truck, you can sort of see that the boot area might have had some kind of body work and welding. It looks like a shoddy job, but the metal’s color doesn’t quite mach around the bottom rear of the car, and it is not smooth like the rest of the lines on the car. But, if they are sure that it’s original, could it be an AC?

  12. banpei said:

    I said it was their “official” answer. I’m not saying I’m agreeing with their answer. ;)

  13. Tyler said:

    Very nice to have closure on this exciting story!

    Now let’s promptly put some oversize wheel arches and deep dish wheels on there!