The debut of the Toyota Corolla was a big deal in 1966. Though, it’s quite likely that even Toyota didn’t know how big of a deal the new model would be. The idea was a small but sporty compact that would slot between the Publica and Corona, but no one could have predicted that it would by 1974 become the world’s best selling car model and by 1997 break the Guinness world record for sales, outselling the VW Beetle. Did any of the salarymen passing this new Corolla display know the success they were gazing upon? Would they, as old men seeing “Corolla” become a household word around the globe recall, “I saw the first one on the way to work in 1968.”?
As Japan’s capital, Tokyo often hosts pop-up displays of new cars. TV commercials and magazine ads are great, but there’s still nothing like seeing a car in person. Here’s another display at Tokyo’s Yurakucho Crossing a few years earlier. The image is blurry, but it looks like a Prince Skyline GT. Again, how many people seeing the car could have guessed that how revered the Skyline name would be decades later?