Mecum to Auction Jack Safro Toyota Collection


On a trip to California in the late 60s, Jack Safro was introduced to the RT40 Toyota Corona, a car then unheard of in his native Wisconsin. But everyone in California seemed to know it, and a dealer told him the quality was so good customers weren’t even bringing them in for the 1000-mile service. Before long, Safro had his own Toyota dealership back in Milwaukee.

According to this article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, his franchise sold just 42 Coronas their first year, but it was enough to make Safro Toyota the midwest’s largest Toyota dealer. 

From those humble beginnings, Safro expanded his business to five dealerships, including one of the first Lexus showrooms in the US. Over the years Safro also became quite the Toyota collector, with cars such as an 18RG-powered Corona coupe and the SCCA vintage race prepped 1976 Corolla SR-5 shown above.

Sadly, Safro passed away this January at the age of 72. As part of the resulting estate sale, his car collection is will be up for auction at the Mecum Spring Classic. Cars of note include cars like the sub-8700-mile Corona that sold a few years ago, JNCer robakun’s LHD Corona pickup, and a fully restored 1981 “Trekker” pickup. And if a MX73 Cressida limo, NASCAR Tundra or Paul McCartney Lexus RX should float your boat, Safro owned those too. It appears Mr. Safro was a dedicated collector and we can only hope that these cars will go to as good a home when they exchange hands later this spring.

The Mecum Spring Classic will be held May 13-17, 2009 at the Indianapolis Fairgrounds in Indanapolis, Indiana.

Thanks to Alex K. for the tip!

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5 Responses to Mecum to Auction Jack Safro Toyota Collection

  1. toyotageek says:

    Wow, so that answers a few questions… Now like you said, let’s hope these cars go to good homes (and that the new owners will join JNC).

  2. robakun says:

    Yea that pick up went to a good home but i guess the home owner kicked the bucket… maybe I should get it back?

  3. gaijinshogun says:

    Roadtrip!!!….hmm..that Cressida Limo would be the way come home in the back..who’s driving??

  4. Lobo says:

    Fantastic looking ’76 SR-5. A few strange things caught my eye- it was restored in 2008 and they put a trailer hitch ball on it, which isn’t legal in any race organization. Also, it doesn’t have the wiper blade arms, the cap for the one bottle, and they claim it makes 185 HP. That’s a huge amount for a motor with a small-looking downdraft carb, but maybe they are making it work. I hope she goes to a good home.

  5. Ben says:

    gaijinshogun – lol, I think I’ll follow behind whoever drives the limo in the Corona pickup… if robakun decides to pass it up.

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