Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project.
1957—Toyota Motors announces plans to enter the U.S. market with a four-seat “midget car” ($1,000-$1,200) and a six-seat Toyopet Crown De Luxe ($2,200). The Land Cruiser goes on sale in Cuba for $2,850. Toyota gets permission to open a dealership in Los Angeles..
1958—Jan. 8, the Toyopet, which gets 30 mpg, is supposed to be exhibited at the Imported Motor Car Show at Shrine Auditorium. However a July story says they were introduced during a gala soiree at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
July 31—The Toyopet ($2,187, whitewalls and side mirrors extra) goes on sale in Los Angeles at the Avalon Motor Co., 900 W. Anaheim in Wilmington; Art Frost of Culver City, 11153 Washington Place; Art Frost of Glendale, 737 S. Brand Blvd; Holt Motor Co;, 8230 Van Nuys Blvd.; Walter G. Linch, 312 S. Catalina Ave., Redondo Beach; C. Standlee Martin, 1227 American Ave., Long Beach; and at Balboa Motors, 1475 Broadway in San Diego.
1959—Masao Morimoto, chief stylist for Toyota, studies auto design concepts at the Art Center in Pasadena.
1964—The Times reports: “The four-wheel drive Toyota Land Cruiser, acclaimed by every automotive authority and automotive trade journal that has tested it, is rapidly becoming the favorite ‘go anywhere’ car of American outdoor sportsmen.”
1965—Studebaker rejects a deal to sell Toyotas, certainly one of the more visionary actions ever taken by an American company.
Oct. 25—A prototype of the 1966 Toyota Corona goes on display in Los Angeles.
1966—Americans buy 25,000 Toyotas, with sales up 131% over the previous year. U.S. sales have increased by more than 100% a year for the last five years.
1967—Toyota is the first automaker in the world to devise a smog control system that meets California’s new emission standards. The 2000-GT fastback goes on display in Los Angeles. Dominic Longo opens a dealership at 11509 Garvey Ave. in El Monte.
Quote of the day: “Do you want to be like Tchaikovsky and Chopin and wait for everyone to pick your bones after your dead? Do it yourself while you’re still able to enjoy the money.”
Lou Levy, president of Leeds Music Corp., on turning Stravinsky’s “Firebird” into the pop tune “Summer Moon.”