Eiji Toyoda (1913 – 2013)

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 10.50.45 AM

Just got word that former Toyota Motors head honcho Eiji Toyoda died after 100 years on the planet. He joined his (almost) namesake company in 1936 and kept at it during the the next six or so decades.  He invented the “The Toyota Way” of efficient production after visiting Ford’s River Rouge complex in the 50’s where he, obviously, took copious notes.  In his honor we present a workhorse that is emblematic of his reign.  It’s a mid 70s Corolla  (note rubber clad bumper) that is still out there doing what it did in the first place:  providing basic, economical transportation.  The “STEELERS” decal on the windshield would seem to indicate the possibility that this car has actually spent some time in Pittsburgh but we may be projecting a bit.

We offer, as well, a glimpse of a much less successful product of the late Mr. Toyoda’s tenure.  It’s the first Toyota (then called Toyopet) sold in the US: The 1958 Toyopet Crown. It was a marketplace dud when launched when VW’s initial aunchloss  was in full swing and the vogue was, otherwise, for behemoth domestic cars.  Obviously this did not daunt Mr. T and his team who would come back with a new name and products which resonated with the U.S. buying public.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 10.48.07 AM

This oldie but goodie — with Lincolnesque suicide doors — was on display at the annual Japanese Classic Car show in Long Beach, CA last year, on loan from the Toyota Museum in Torrance, CA.  Make an appointment to visit the collection the next time you’re in the nabe.

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com                                                                                                                            Include your name, location of the car and some thoughts about the vehicle and we’ll look into getting it posted.

What do you think?