There seem so many places to get vague information about the early Toyota days in the US. I find one source, then another, then another and end up getting confused because my notes get erased and scratched over, etc.
I'm really trying to nail down the years and chassis codes for the earliest Crowns, Coronas Tiaras and Stouts. I'm also trying to wrap that information up in an easy-to-view format. Here is what I have so far:
Here is a topic that I posted on the TORC site almost two years ago:
1st-Gen - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The first Crown seems to have been the RS30 model. Production began in 1955 with the R engine (1.5L) and then later offered with the 3R engine (1.9L). Stepho's site does not show the RS30, but says that the RS22 sedan and RS26 sedan were imported to the US starting in 1959 and ended sometime in the 60s. Other sources claim that the Crown did not hit US soil until the 1957 model year. Wikipedia states that the first generation Crown ended in 1962.
- What years were the Crown imported?
- What was the chassis code(s)?
- What years were each engine offered?
2nd-Gen - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
From 62-67 the 40-series was produced, according to Wikipedia. Stepho's site has no information for US-spec cars. I need any information I can get.
- Was the 40-series imported to the US at all?
3rd-Gen - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Looks like the third-gen was only imported to the states from 1968-1970. There was an MS53 wagon and an MS55 sedan, both with the 2M engine (2.3L). Stepho's site shows production through January of 71... wondering how that affects the model year sales in the US. Was the 1971 Crown a 50-series or a 60-series? Was there overlap?
- If this car was produced through Jan of 71, how could the 4th-gen be a 71 model year?
4th-Gen - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The fourth generation was from 71-74, and came in three models: sedan (MS65), wagon (MS63) and hardtop (MS75). Only 30 hardtops were imported in 1971. All cars came with the 2.6L 4M engine. Stepho's site shows production ending in 1972.
- Is the chassis code of the wagon MS63 or MS70?
- Did prodution really end in 72? Where did the last two years of inventory come from?http://toyotacluborg.proboards61.com/in ... thread=291
and then there was this helpful reply by gaijinshogun...
As a big fan of these cars since the day I was born ;D(I came home from the hospital in my Dad's Japanese spec '62 Crown), I can shed some light on it's brief U.S. history in the U.S., from 1957 (Toyota's arrival in the Continental U.S.) to 1972 from the top of my head. In the past there have been various articles published on the history of Toyota in the major automotive magazines, but I note that there were some inconsistencies amongst them.
The first Crown sold in the U.S. was the 1958 model year as clearly documented in the following Toyota USA brochure:http://www.socapsrcchapter.org/files/TO ... %201958%22
This car did not have any success in the U.S. and was discontinued from the U.S. market after a couple of years. The next two generations of Crowns, the MS40 series and the MS50 series, seemed to have the greatest marketing efforts and sales in the U.S. indicated by the cars I have observed for sale in the past 25 years and the U.S. Sales literature available. You will note, these are the models that you will see most often for sale on the Internet. The MS60 series was introduced to the U.S. market during 1971 and discontinued in 1972. However, cars titled as 1971 Crowns can be from either the MS50 or MS60 series.
By the time the MS60 series was introduced to the U.S., Toyota was no longer seriously interested in selling the Crown here. This car is usually missing in the U.S. Toyota line brochures of the period. Apparently, Toyota USA did not offer the car to journalists at the time to conduct road tests. One unique fact regarding the MS60 series is that it was the only Crown sold in the U.S. as a Sedan (MS65), Wagon (MS63), and Hardtop 2-door (MS75).
I can only speculate the Crown was terminated in the U.S. market due to the following:
1. Lack of sales
2. Introduction on an upmarket and up sized Corona MK II also utilizing the 4M six. The Corona Mk II had already an established U.S. following
3. High price relative to the competition
4. The upcoming U.S. bumper requirements would require a major redesign
5. Overall marketing consolidation of models in the U.S. The Japanese market had room for small model variations which would be confusing in the U.S. market. Another example of this is the termination of the Carina model for the U.S.
In the US, the Crown doesn't have much of a history except for being the first car they sold here. Even during the years it was offered, we only received a single mid-line trim level. At the same time in Japan, there were pickup truck versions (El Camino style), sport versions with twin carburetors, and luxurious ones with power windows and rear air conditioners.
In Japan the Crown model has always been an important staple for Toyota. Today the Crown is offered in many different variations from a Taxi model (Crown Comfort) to a Lexus like V8 model (Crown Majesta).
Hope my rambling helps....
I just wanted to repost those because they seemed helpful. What I would really like is for someone that is more knowledgeable than me to lay it out so that I can easily document it on my site for other people to use. I think I have the Stout stuff down, and the Crown stuff has some holes in it, but I don't have a very clear idea about the early Coronas or Tiaras.