Picture of The Day: Toyota Classic

If you’ve been following Picture of The Day you will have noticed that Japan is a bottomless resource for the weird, the wonderful and the weirdly wonderful.

Particularly weird to Western eyes are the many retro-styled cars that Japanese manufacturers have built over the years. Not retro in the way the modern Jaguar F-Type recalls the 1961 E-Type, but overt pastiches of old cars.

Which leads us to this, erm, thing. It’s called the Toyota Classic. Launched in 1996 it was a tribute to the very first Toyota car, the Toyota AA, which went into production 60 years earlier.

Where the AA was a reasonably successful reinterpretation of the revolutionary, streamlined Chrysler Airflow, the Classic looked liked a black cab-based kit car.

Probably drove like one, too. The chassis was borrowed from the Hilux pick-up, while propulsion was provided by a 96bhp 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine strapped to a four-speed automatic gearbox. I’ve not been able to find any performance figures, but I’m guessing ‘slow’ would sum it up succinctly.

The interior was lifted from some other Toyota saloon, with lashings of (probably fake) wood trim added.

100 Toyota Classics were built, sold for a price roughly equivalent to $75,000, about £37,500 at the time. Or the price of a BMW 7-Series.

I’m not one to question other people’s taste, but sometimes you have to wonder…

By Only Motors

Images courtesy of Favcars.com; Wikipedia.org

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