|The Tachikawa Air Base Crown
I was up early this morning surfing anything to keep me from turning the TV on and I went to eBay to look for
memorabilia related to my old 1960 Toyopet Crown Deluxe. I bought the car used in 1968 for $100 and drove it for
about nine months while stationed at Tachikawa Air Base in Tokyo, Japan. I explored a lot of Japan in that old bus
and courted military dependent ladies in it. (They, like the car, all got away) It was a full-blown workhorse that never
needed repair. Thanks to the base hobby shop garage, basic PM and tune ups kept it humming... I purchased the car
from a fellow NCO in our Air Force weather detachment and in turn sold it to another coworker for that same $100
when I returned to the states. I suppose that if the car could talk I probably would still be in hiding....
I referred affectionately to it as a "bus" because it was boxy and solid. I didn't use it to ferry or taxi chums around
in, though, unless we were headed-out on an adventure to go trout fishing in the mountains or on a sortie into the big
city lights of Tokyo.
I have seen references in Toyopet material that the Toyopets were designed for rough roads in Japan... I can't attest
to that aspect as all of the roads anywhere in and around Tokyo, its burbs and military bases, towns and mountains
(Mt. Fuji) in 1968 were in better shape and design than most streets and turnpikes in the U.S. at the time. Even in the
outlying villages I never encountered potholes or lack of pavement, etc. So, my Toyopet never was called upon for
rough duty per its supposed design. And that made it a very sweet ride!
Like any young male, I spent nearly all of my waking ours (when not on duty) in that vehicle. I would love to see
one, today! I'm guessing that Mecum Auto Auctions won't have one up for sale any time soon, in their muscle car
division, though.... Now, I really do miss that car!
I didn't keep up with the Toyopet once I left it behind in Japan. I am assuming, based on its ruggedness and
dependability while in my care that it continued to give good service for some time.
Purpose of my email is to offer the one and only picture of the car I ever took. I have wonderful memories of it and
often pull this picture up and look at it as if it was an old friend. I never seem to have trouble managing a smile when I
see the photo... It never had hubcaps while I owned it but the upholstery and body were in great shape. Of course, the
wheel and column shift were on the right-hand side of the car. The color of the car was dark green. The 35mm color
slide I scanned the jpeg from has faded, a little...
Anyway, I've attached a pic of the old bus. I sure miss it and the fabulous memories we created, together.... It was
8 years old when I took ownership of it. You can see the (then) current Japanese tag on the front of the car.
Ed from Alabama
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Late in December of 2012 I received an email from a fellow that had owned a Toyopet Crown while he was
stationed at a US Air Base in Tokyo in 1968...
|To learn more about Toyopet Crowns or to share your own stories or knowledge about these cars, please visit and
join my Toyopet Crown Group.