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Toyota is a brand that everyone recognizes, and that many have driven. It is a reliable car, and the brand offers everything from sub-compact vehicles to large SUVs. While most people know that Toyota has been around for many years, not a lot of people are likely to think back to when the brand actually originated—and, of course, the first car that Toyota ever made.

What was the first production model that Toyota ever built?

It turns out that the first production model that Toyota ever made was the Toyoda Model AA (spelled with a “D” at the time). According to 75 Years of Toyota, the model was first designed in 1935 using the Chevrolet and the Chrysler DeSoto as a reference.

This passenger car was large, and while it was listed in the catalog as a standard sedan, the vehicle couldn’t be called “standard” due to the conditions in Japan at the time it was built. The company spent a few years testing its prototypes, and it was in 1937 that the Toyota Motor Company was officially formed.

The website First Versions reports that the car had a starting price of 3,350 yen, which is just under $1,000. It had a length of 1,500 millimeters and a width of 1,736 millimeters. The six-cylinder engine was based on that of a Chevrolet, with 65 horsepower at 3,000rpm, very little power by today’s standards.

The car also featured a three-speed manual gearbox, and with rear suicide doors and a metal body, the car was based on the Desoto Airflow by Chrysler. In addition to the AA sedan, there was also a cabriolet version, the AB.

The history of the Toyota Model AA

The Toyota Model AA has a pretty rich history. It was the first prototype that was developed by the brand and was made under the supervision of Kiichiro Toyoda. The Model AA was made for only six years before being discontinued, and, according to Toyota UK Magazine, overall, a total of 1,404 were produced between 1936 and 1942.

Until recently, it was thought that none of these cars were left. However, a car from 1936, only one out of 100 cars that were built that year, was discovered, and after further investigation, the Model AA car was proven to be genuine, now sitting in a collection at the Louwman Museum in The Hague, Netherlands.

This is the oldest Toyota vehicle in the world that is known to exist, having been owned by a Siberian farmer since World War II. It was after the war that all knowledge of the Model AA was lost until a replica was then built for the company’s 50th anniversary in 1987.

When did Toyota first begin selling in the United States?

Despite the Toyota Model AA first being introduced all the way back in 1936, it wouldn’t be until 1958 that the company first began selling cars in the United States. The Model AA wasn’t sold in the US, and the first Toyota vehicle sold in the country was the  Toyopet Crown in Hollywood, California.

This began the era of Japanese cars being sold in the United States, with the Corolla model being the first imported vehicle that was designed specifically for the American market.  It was in 1975 that the Toyota Motor Company became the number one import brand in the United States.

Over the years, their reputation continued to grow, making them one of the most sought-after brands available.


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