- Louwman Museum via Toyota UK

Obscure Vehicle History: Toyota AA

2w ago

6.6K

Toyota's first production vehicle had an extremely low production run of just 1,404 examples over a six year manufacturing run from 1936 to 1942, with 100 units being produced in 1936. This car is so rare, that the official Toyota museum had to create replicas for their own museum! One of these extremely rare cars is known to exist, and it is being restored and kept by the Louwman Museum in the Netherlands, which is a private collection that you can visit for a small fee.

Like I said before, they were produced from 1936 to 1942. The car was powered by a 3.4L I6, and that inline engine was paired to a 3-speed manual. The 3.4L I6 produced 62 horsepower, and that alongside the 3,307 lb weight of the vehicle made for 1 horsepower per 52 pounds. The AA was front engined, and rear wheel drive like many of the sedans of the time.

Louwman Museum via Toyota UK

The wheelbase of the car was 112.2 inches, and the total length of the vehicle was 186.5 inches. The car was 68.3 inches wide, and the AA was about 68 inches tall.

Now, you may have noticed that the AA looks strikingly similar to the Chrysler AirFlow, and it is. They look almost the same, suicide doors and all. It's crazy how much Toyota ripped off the AirFlow, and as far as I can tell, no legal action was taken at all, presumably because the AA was never sold in America.

Louwman Museum via Toyota UK

The one example known to exist is a 1936 model, uncovered in Russia. It was discovered in 2008. Since none of the vehicles had been known to exist before, a team of specialists from the Louwman Museum were sent to investigate and figured out that it was indeed a real example. The backstory behind the car is that a Siberian farmer had owned the car since the end of WWII, and it had been used extensively, and had been modified extensively. In fact, the drivetrain and undercarriage from a GAZ-51. a soviet workhorse truck.

Louwman Museum via Toyota UK

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Comments (12)
  • I read an article about this some time back, shortly after it was found, and the car was described as having had the engine replaced with a Chevrolet Six. Now that I have seen the above picture, I can assume that the historian who initially documented the car was quite wrong.

    13 days ago
    1 Bump
  • I saw that AA in Louwman (I visited in 2017 egzostive.com/louwman-museum-en ), and the Toyoda AA was an interesting segment between two high high profile stages (after the Maharadja's Swan Car and the supercharged Duisenbergs and before the Bugattis), it is yet a striking contrast but also an important piece of automotive history. In fact Toyota contributed to the car with a few personal presents (incl Soichiro Toyoda's office desk). I believe the japanese rewarded Mr Louwman galantly, but there are things money cant buy, and I am sure the Toyotra coporation apprecieted the gesture of fidning the oldest trace of the car company's existence...

    13 days ago
    1 Bump
    • By the was this was not the only Toyota in Louwman, they keep several race cars (F1, Endurance, Rallying) a GT2000 and of course a Prius in a segment presenting alternative fuel cars...

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      13 days ago
      1 Bump
    • Sounds like a great place to go! I want to go there one day

      13 days ago

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