Thursday, March 17, 2011

Toyota Sports 800 (1965–69)

Toyota's first production sports car. The prototype for the Sports 800, called the Toyota Publica Sports, debuted at the 1962 Tokyo Auto Show. The Toyota Sports 800 is affectionately called the "Yota-Hachi" (ヨタハチ), which is a Japanese short form for "Toyota 8". In Japan, the vehicle was exclusive to Toyota Japan retail sales channel called Toyota Public Store alongside the Publica. Between 1965 and 1969 approximately 3,131 units, 2-door roadsters and 2-door coupes, were built by the Kanto Auto Works. Only about 10% of those vehicles are known to have survived, most being in Japan. Never imported or sold in North America.

The Sports 800 was one of the first production cars featuring a lift-out roof panel, or targa top, pre-dating the Porsche Targa. The aluminum targa top could be stored in the trunk, when not in use.

In 1965, the car went into actual production, with chassis code UP15 and an increase in engine displacement from 700 cc to 800 cc, as well as dual carburetors, which increased power from 28 to 45 PS (21 to 33 kW). This engine was sufficient to power the light car around town at 70 km/h (45 mph) or on a race track up to about 160 km/h (100 mph). (wikipedia)

1962 Toyota Publica Sports Concept

(Photos from &

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