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Rare Rides: A Very Tiny Toyota 800 Sports Coupe From 1968

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What coupe is one hundred forty inches lengthy, vibrant purple, and was by no means bought in North America? It’s this Toyota Sports 800, from 1968.
Toyota debuted its new sports activities car idea on the 1962 Tokyo Auto Present, calling it the Publica Sports. The Publica was Toyota’s compact financial system car providing within the Japanese home market, and donated its platform to the Publica Sports.

Public reception was favorable, and Toyota set about making some modifications with a view to put the Publica Sports into manufacturing. Engineers elevated the Publica’s base engine from seven hundred to 800 cc, which meant the brand new coupe had forty four horsepower. The engine utilized in all 800s was a two-cylinder boxer engine with air cooling. As a result of the coupe was so mild (at slightly below 1,300 kilos), the tiny engine might propel the Publica Sports to a prime velocity of one hundred miles per hour, given an extended sufficient straight stretch.

Toyota then modified the coupe’s identify to Sports 800, beginning manufacturing in 1965. The 800 joined its cousin the Publica on the Toyota Public Retailer. As there have been already a number of miniature sports activities coupes on the Japanese market on the time, the 800 discovered itself a latecomer to the social gathering. Forward of its introduction, Honda launched the S500, and the Daihatsu Compagno and Datsun Fairlady have been already on sale.

One factor the Sports 800 had over its rivals was type. Designed by a person Toyota borrowed from Datsun, the 800 featured an aerodynamic, clean form and a detachable aluminum targa roof panel that could possibly be saved within the trunk. It was a really early instance of such a detachable roof.

Toyota outsourced manufacturing to Kanto Auto Works. The strains for the 800 labored slowly, and between 1965 and 1969 simply over three,000 examples rolled out of the manufacturing unit. Although the overwhelming majority have been proper-hand drive, a choose few have been constructed for American-occupied Okinawa and have been fitted with left-hand drive. Toyota ended 800 manufacturing in 1969, and didn’t supply a direct successor.

At present’s 800 is a tidy purple instance from 1968. Situated on the island of Jersey, this 800 has forty six,500 miles on the odometer. Given the estimate that solely 10 % of the Sports 800s made nonetheless exist immediately, this one asks a tidy $fifty two,seven hundred

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– Rare Rides: A Very Tiny Toyota 800 Sports Coupe From 1968 –

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