LOST CARS: 1962 Toyopet Stout world honeymoon truck

Toyopet Stout World Honeymoon by Ivan Shkriev

Ivan Shkirev knew that the 1962 Toyopet Stout he had purchased was unique, but not how unique. Upon receiving delivery to his home in New Mexico, Shkirev found the faded declaration “Tokyo, Japan to Chicago, Illinois” painted across the Stout’s tailgate, along with the names of various countries that it had apparently visited decorating its flanks. 

1962 Toyopet Stout RK45 Honeymoon 01

In a storage space underneath the front seats, Ivan found 1960s maps of Afghanistan and Pakistan and a stockpile of spare parts. The car had seemingly traveled from the Japanese capital, across southern Asia, and through most of western Europe before arriving in Chicago.

1960-Nissan-311-Bluebird-prefectural-tourIn the Sixties, it was common for Japanese automakers to drive cars long distances to highlight their durability. In 1964, for example, Toyota took the then-new barikan Corona on a continuous 100,000km test back and forth on Japan’s first expressway. In such marketing campaigns the cars would often be decorated as they toured the country. Take the instance of the 1960 Nissan Bluebird 1200, which journeyed across Japan, adding the signature of each prefectural governor as passed through their districts.

After some research, Shrkiev found that the Stout was once part of the Lee Roy Hartung collection and contacted his widow. She told him the story of a newlywed couple that had flown to Tokyo, bought the truck, and taken a two-year honeymoon around the world. Hartung apparently knew the owners and the Stout was gifted to him some years later.

When Hartung passed away in 2011, his eccentric collection of what seemed like scrap was auctioned off for over $4 million, but there were apparently no takers for the Stout. It was donated to a local scrapyard. Fortunately, the owner decided it was too unique to crush and sold it to Shrkiev, who described his story in the Chicago Tribune.

We contacted Ivan, and as it turns out, he is a JNC reader going by the name elevenRussians in the forums. He’s a huge Toyotaku and owns a host of RWD Celicas, Corollas, and an RN12 Hilux as well. He said of the rare, dual-headlight Stout: “It definitely has a very interesting story, starting its journey as a low production (I heard they made less than 2000 of this model) underpowered vehicle and traveling through most of the world carrying honeymooners.”

1962 Toyopet Stout RK45 Honeymoon 08Ivan’s also discovered some additional clues. “Each door of the truck has three [kanji] symbols which we were unable to identify. I included the best contrasted image with outlines.”

“My goal is to restore it and take back to Tokyo. I hope that featuring it on JNC will help.” You can see more of the restoration project on Ivan’s website, RK45.org. If anyone has more information on this peculiar honeymoon celebration, please let us know.

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12 Responses to LOST CARS: 1962 Toyopet Stout world honeymoon truck

  1. Kuroneko says:

    Brilliant! Going to love following his work… Thanks!

  2. angelo says:

    Ohhh! Nice find

    Good luck in restoring this fine piece of history

  3. Steve says:

    A two year exploratory honeymoon trip of the world in a 1962 Toyopet Stout? I know what me and the missus will be doing next vacation period!

  4. Jim-Bob says:

    The people who did the Hartung auction ought to be ashamed of themselves for trying to scrap this! I can only imagine what else was lost to time due to their foolishness. Then again, anyone charging $100+ just to have the opportunity to bid probably wouldn’t get the appeal of classic Japanese vehicles either. I’m just happy it wound up in the hands of someone who will respect and preserve it now.

  5. Toyotageek says:

    Awesome story and looking forward to further installments!

  6. J.A.C.K says:

    great story! what could have easily wound up as a tragedy instead has another chapter to write.

  7. Bart says:

    This is a really, really cool story.

  8. Dave says:

    +1 This is an amazing story/truck!! And those maps he found under the seat, super cool. Definitely looking forward to future developments. The Kanji characters are intriguing. The first two characters appear to be “use” and “hand,” but not 100% sure. Last one, no idea. Wonder how it’ll be restored, ‘cuz there might be original details like that that (I’d imagine) Ivan might want to preserve.

  9. Joe says:

    Saw the truck today…it’s amazing…yes it in New Mexico..took a lot of pics of it

  10. andre says:

    do you know from where i can find parts for toyopet stout rl 45

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