#
It is currently Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:13 am


Post a new topicPost a reply Page 1 of 3   [ 48 posts ]
Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Nailing down early Toyota history in the USA
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 2:45 pm 
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:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image





Here is a topic that I posted on the TORC site almost two years ago:

Quote:
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...

Quote:
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.


Last edited by ToyotaReference on Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:57 am, edited 11 times in total.

Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 3:29 pm 
...and regarding the early Coronas..

So the RT20 was the first Corona brought here... called the Corona, right? What years? And the RT30 was the second, but called the Tiara. I'm pretty sure the Tiara was only sold here officially in 1965. Then the RT4# and RT5# were sold as the third US Corona from 1965-1969... so it was sold along side the Tiara for one year?


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 4:49 pm 
Dang, everytime I start trying to research this on my own I end up totally confused. At this point I'd be happy with just matching a photo of the car to the chassis code.


Last edited by ToyotaReference on Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 3:22 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:57 am
Posts: 128
Location: Salem, OR
First off, that's a really cool site you have.

As for info on the models, I have a copy of The Standard Catalog of Imported Cars which lists the first generation Crown as being sold in the states from 1958 to 1966. They were available as RSL 4 door sedans, Custom 4 door sedans, 2 door wagons and 4 door wagons. It also says that the 1453cc engine was standard from '58 through '60 and the 1879cc engine was used from '61 to '66.

Oddly, the book groups the S50 and S60 Crowns together, being sold in the states from '67 through '72. It lists the 4 doors as MS55 and MS65, while the wagons are listed as MS53 and MS63. The 2M was in the Crowns from '68 to '71, switching to the 4M for '71 and '72. Maybe the S50 only had the 2M and was sold through '71, overlapping the S60 with the 4M in the same year. I really don't know for sure. The S60 was probably still sold in Japan until '74 even though they stopped importing it in '72.

The Tiara is listed from '61 through '66 and only having the 1453cc engine, probably the same one used in the early crowns. The Corona is listed as being introduced in '66.

All of this info came out of this book, but I've found small errors in it before so some of this might be incorrect. Hope that helps.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 1:51 pm 
OK, so as far as the Corona goes...

The first time it was sold in the US under the Corona name was in 1966 as the RT43 sedan with the 3R-B 1.9L. I have the 3R-B from 66-67 and the 3R-C from 68-69, but I just learned that the 3R-C was the California version of the engine... can someone illuminate that? Was the 3R-B and 3R-C offered at the same time, just depends on the state the car was sold?

The coupe was the RT52, and I'm starting to suspect it was sold as a 1967 model through 1969. I can't find any record of a 1966 coupe, so I am going to change that. A page I found mentions that the coupe was sold as a 1969 1/2 model, but the sedan was sold all year. I don't know what that means, though... wasn't there a 1968 Corona coupe? I'm gonna email the guy to ask for clarification:
http://mark.interapps.com/toyota.htm

So on my chart I have changed the sedan first model year from 1965 to 1966 and the coupe first model year to 1967.

On a side note, one of the brochures I found online for the 68 Corona had the name "Rambo Motors" printed on the corner, and an address right here in Portland. Sure enough, that is the location of Broadway Toyota, the dealership closest to our downtown core. I don't think its owned by the same family anymore, but its worth a shot to head down there and find out more. Cool.
http://picasaweb.google.com/toyotarefer ... 7894713122


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 2:23 pm 
And now on to the Tiara...

Well, according to Michael Foertsch (Toyotageek) the Tiara was only sold officially in the US for one year -- 1965, and only 318 were sold:
http://toyotacluborg.proboards61.com/in ... thread=754

He says it so definitively that I want to believe he is accurate. I have emailed him, though, to find out more about that. What I don't know is if the US Tiara was an RT20 or an RT30. Looking at the photos above I would say that they are the same car... but I don't have any confirmation that the photos are accurate yet, so I dunno. I'm guessing for now that the US Tiara was an RT20 because Google searches seem to come up with a lot more information than "Tiara RT30".


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 2:59 pm 
And lastly, the Crown...

OK, it makes sense that 1958 was the first year it was sold in the US, that has been documented fairly consistently. I changed that from 1955 on my chart.

So what is the difference between the RSL and the RS2# chassis codes? Once again I'm looking at the photos above and the bodies seem to be identical, with some differences in the grill and lights.

Stepho's site shows the following...
20-Series Standard RS20V (no years listed) Engine: R, Body Style: 2DS/4DS
22-Series Sedan RS22L 59xx-6xxx, Engine: R?, Body Style: 4DS
26-Series Wagon RS26V 69xx-6xxx, Engine R?, Body Style: 2DV/4DV
32-Series Deluxe RS32 1959-, Engine: 3R, Body Style: 4DS

There are some typos in his chart that make me question the accuracy, but the 1959 brochure lists the Crown Custom Sedan as the RS22L and the Wagon as the RS26V... so we know that those are right.

Now another brochure that I don't know the year (but am assuming is a 1965) shows the Tiara, Crown Custom Wagon (2d or 4d)and Crown Custom Sedan. The second page shows this:
Crown Custom Sedan: RS22L
Crown Custom Wagon: RS27L
http://picasaweb.google.com/toyotarefer ... aCrown1965

Uh oh, we've got a problem. I just found this brochure on eBay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/1965-Toyota-Crown-S ... dZViewItem

It is a U.S. brochure that shows the S40 model as the 1965 Crown. An wikipedia says the first-gen Crown was 55-62 and the second gen was 62-67.

So we have a conflict here. One brochure shows the 1st-gen Crown and Tiara as being sold the same year, Toyotageek claims the Tiara was only sold officially as a 1965, and another brochure shows the second-gen Crown as a 1965.

This is why my brain always hurts after I research this stuff. Someone PLEASE help me.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 3:31 pm 
OK, I'm gonna walk away from this for a little while. I just realized that I didn't even have the RS4# Crown on my page... I really don't know why. I think it might be because Stepho's page doesn't show any US imports for that model. I just found some US brochures for the RS4#, so it must have been here. Grrrr.....


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 5:35 am 
JNC Enthusiast
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:53 am
Posts: 632
Location: Georgetown Ma
Great site you have there!! That shows a lot of work and dedication. Have you tried emailing anyone a toyota direct, or maybe the toyota museum in Japan?

_________________
Brad D.

'83 Sapporo Technica; '84 Starion ES; '80 Colt; '79 Cressida
'91 RX7 convertible; '68 Camaro SS 350 convertible; '71 NSU 1200c


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 10:55 am 
TSiSS350 wrote:
Great site you have there!! That shows a lot of work and dedication. Have you tried emailing anyone a toyota direct, or maybe the toyota museum in Japan?


No... I figured the enthusiasts would probably know more than anyone at Toyota, but I might just have to do that.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 11:32 am 
Toyotageek got back to me with this. I gotta run, but I'm gonna try banging my head against this again with the new information a little later.

Toyotageek wrote:
I think the Tiara we sold was either a RT20 or RT30 series. There is so little documentaion. I will shoot an email to the Holmes' and ask them for their codes. We have some books at work I will check on Monday. But even then, the early books which were fo US market, don't always reflect the actual model for the US. They were messed up back then. I do have some brochures stashed away which might be of some help once I find them.

I have some books, but they are all Japanese and I can't read them (and my fiancee is not here to hep translate). What I can figure out is what we call the Tiara is the second generation Corona and was first offered in 1960 (1000cc). 1961 it went to 1500cc, then late 1961 to 1500DX and continued through to 1963 as a standard and a DX model. My book gives no model codes. Another book states that in 1959 there was the PT10, 1960 the PT20 (with 25,000 produced), 1961 there was the RT20. The TAM book mentions the 1960 Toyopet Corona PT20, and then in 1961 the body was strengthened andthe car was designated Toyopet Corona RT20 (and a 1900cc export model was launched for overseas called the Tiara).


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 7:04 pm 
Administrator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:41 pm
Posts: 5592
Location: LA
I have read just read through your posts but it might take 2-3 more reads to digest everything. Looks like you've figured out the answers to a lot of the questions since your initial post anyway.

Some quick notes. As you have learned, the 2nd-gen Corona was sold as the Tiara in the US, but I believe the T20 and T30 Coronas were of the same generation, just like the S60/S70 Crowns, but different body styles. In this case, the T36s were pickups and wagons.

The dates on wikipedia for the Crown are the Japanese build dates. The S40 Crown debuted in Japan in October of 1962, so until that time in 1962, the S30 was sold. Similarly, I have seen both S50 and S60 Crowns labeled as 1971.

Hope this helps.

_________________
Tyler wrote:
How I long for a shit brown wagon.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 8:20 pm 
Yeah, Toyotageek had some good info on the Corona, I'm going to incorporate that into the site tomorrow. I'm curious to find out what the T30 is. In the photos I posted at the top of this topic you can see that the RT30 has some slight differences in the grill, turn signals and bumpers, and looks a little more modern than the RT20. I wonder if the 1961-63 Tiara standard was the RT20 and the 61-63 Tiara Deluxe was the RT30. That kinda makes sense to me.

Now, this brochure shows that the Tiara was offered along side the RS22 Crown Sedan and the RS27 (not RS26?!?) Crown Wagon. It doesn't have the chassis code for the Tiara, but it does say that the engine is 75Hp. That should be a clue. My info says that the engine in the 58-60 Crown RS22 was the 1.5L "R" with 65Hp, and that matches the specs on the brochure. But, if the Tiara was sold first in 1960 then the brochure would have to be from that year. But if the Tiara was equipped with the 1.0L P engine then it would have much lower hp. So, possibly that brochure is from 1961 and the Tiara had the 1.5L R engine with the slightly higher compression ratio of 8.4:1, while the Crown had only 8.0:1.

OK, more research online and I uncovered a few more brochures:
http://picasaweb.google.com/toyotarefer ... aTiara1961
http://picasaweb.google.com/toyotarefer ... aTiara1963
http://picasaweb.google.com/toyotarefer ... aTiara1964

They show that the 1961 Tiara was RT20 with 75Hp. The 1963 wagon brochure calls it the RT26. And the 1964 brochure doesn't even mention the word Tiara, just the Toyota 1900 RT30 with 85Hp.

So basically in the US I pose this:

1960 Tiara PT20 1.0L (P) (maybe this wasn't even offered in the US?)
1961-1963 Tiara RT20 1.5L (R)
1964-1965 Tiara RT30 1.9L (3R)

The only thing that still doesn't add up for me is the wagon. It was the RT26 from 61-63 with the 1.5L, but what about when the Tiara bumped up to the 1.9L in '64? Did they still offer the wagon at all? If so, did it get the 1.9L or stay with the 1.5L? Everytime I find a piece of the puzzle it seems to create more questions!


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 7:23 am 
ben wrote:
The dates on wikipedia for the Crown are the Japanese build dates. The S40 Crown debuted in Japan in October of 1962, so until that time in 1962, the S30 was sold. Similarly, I have seen both S50 and S60 Crowns labeled as 1971.


So it was probable that the first RS4# Crown was sold in the states as a 1963 model. Updating the site to reflect that.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 7:57 pm 
JNC Enthusiast
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 10:02 am
Posts: 875
Location: The OC
ToyotaReference wrote:
Dang, everytime I start trying to research this on my own I end up totally confused. At this point I'd be happy with just matching a photo of the car to the chassis code.

Can anyone please verify that these photos are labeled correctly?


Image
RT20


That car above is a Toyopet Corona PT20. It is at the Toyota Museum in Nagoya.


Quote:
Image
RT30


Image
RS30


The two cars above are both at the Toyota museum in Torrance California. I 'think' you are correct on both of those, but I'm not 100% certain.

Quote:
Image
RSL

The red Crown is a 1958 Toyopet Crown RS-L. This car was actually exported to the US and is now on display back in Japan in Nagoya.

_________________
Michael - Collector of Toyotamobilia ~ www.toyotageek.com
Tomica Fan Club ~ www.tomicafanclub.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 8:14 pm 
JNC Enthusiast
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 10:02 am
Posts: 875
Location: The OC
Boy, you've gone & stirred up a can of worms!

I, for one, don't have all the answers. Actually I have very few answers. You seem to have found much more info than I ever have, but then I've never wanted to take on the task of trying to figure it all out.

Toyota's early years in the US are poorly documented. The other factor of going by what the brochures say, can be misleading because I think many of the brochures, especially the single sheets, were kind of generic. By that I mean they covered more than one year, and I think in some cases more than one country.

I've got some early Crown and Tiara stuff that you'll get to see as soon as I dig it out. I did find an old Road & Track article that calls the Tiara the Toyota 1900 (formerly the Tiara) - the article dates from November 1964.

I have some contacts at both Toyota USA and at Toyota in Japan, and the information they have been able to provide has been VERY limited. Like I said, Toyota's early records suck.

_________________
Michael - Collector of Toyotamobilia ~ www.toyotageek.com
Tomica Fan Club ~ www.tomicafanclub.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 8:25 pm 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:57 pm
Posts: 8526
Location: Arlington, TX, USA
Anyone tried their local library?

Once upon a time I found a great book there called "The History of Nissan Motor Corporation in America". Perhaps there's a Toyota version of this book? Just a thought...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 9:06 pm 
OK, what is the difference between the RS-L and the 1959 RS20, pictured below? I'm assuming the RS-L was maybe 1958 and then in '59 it became the RS22 like in this 1959 brochure:
http://picasaweb.google.com/toyotarefer ... aCrown1959


Last edited by ToyotaReference on Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 9:22 pm 
toyotageek wrote:
Boy, you've gone & stirred up a can of worms!


Tell me about it... I figured that someone would pop in and set me straight on this stuff, but nothing is ever that easy, right?


toyotageek wrote:
Toyota's early years in the US are poorly documented. The other factor of going by what the brochures say, can be misleading because I think many of the brochures, especially the single sheets, were kind of generic. By that I mean they covered more than one year, and I think in some cases more than one country.


Yeah, I'm looking only at brochures that have United States printed on them somewhere, but I still understand that in the infancy of the franchise there could have been multiple versions of each brochure.

I'll try to wrap my head around it again tomorrow. Maybe I'll be able to figure it out a little better.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 9:49 pm 
JNC Enthusiast
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 10:02 am
Posts: 875
Location: The OC
ToyotaReference wrote:
OK, what is the difference between the RS-L and the 1959 RS20, pictured below? I'm assuming the RS-L was maybe 1958 and then in '59 it became the RS22 like in this 1959 brochure:
http://picasaweb.google.com/toyotarefer ... aCrown1958


RS20
http://www.toyota.co.jp/Museum/data_e/a03_15_4.html


RS-L


One of the things you have to keep in mind is the difference in model numbers between exported vehicles and domestic (Japanese) vehicles. The Crown line up was very confusing, even in Japan as far as I can tell. Remember we only got the Crown here in the US beginning in 1958/1959 but in Japan it had been selling since 1955 with the RS and RSD (Deluxe). Let me do some digging and I'll see if I can post something tomorrow.

_________________
Michael - Collector of Toyotamobilia ~ www.toyotageek.com
Tomica Fan Club ~ www.tomicafanclub.com


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post a new topicPost a reply Page 1 of 3   [ 48 posts ]
Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron


Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
610nm Style by Daniel St. Jules of Gamexe.net