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Reported by Daron Pitts Director Of Technology Community Development Foundation - Tupelo/Lee County
January 31 2013


The 1958 Toyota Toyopet Custom Crown Deluxe is now on permanent display at the Tupelo
Automobile Museum in Tupelo, Mississippi.

The engine was installed and was first cranked at the museum when Frenchy Dehoux installed it
along with the help of a local group of men at the museum.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Mississippi had it's line-off ceremony at the plant where the first
Mississippi made Corolla was unveiled. The night before, at the Tupelo Automobile Museum, Akio
Toyoda and a small Toyota delegation got to view the Toyopet at a special event. Mr Toyoda loved
seeing the car. We presented him with a framed photo of his father in 1958 with a Toyopet Crown.
Mr Toyoda climbed all through the car, sat in the drivers seat, cranked it and even put it in gear...
inside the museum. Laughing and smiling the entire time. He loved the car and he and his group
inspected every part of it -it was as if they had run into an old friend again.

Soon after that the Toyopet was driven at the start of production ceremony for Auto Parts
Manufacturing Mississippi. They are a major supplier for the Toyota plant in Blue Springs,

A lot of our research, original air filter (with the original Toyota logo) and other items are on
display beside the car in the museum.

Our organization puts together a monthly TV show about local economic development events and
Chamber of Commerce news. In December of 2011, the episode was on the museum and we
featured a lot about the car and interviewed Frenchy on its restoration. You can watch that video
CDF Threads (not mobile phone compatible).

Since this has become sort of a pet project for us, we can't devote the time I would like to to the
project. Occasional research is still done and in April of 2012 I revisited San Francisco and went to
Pier 50, Mission Rock Terminal on the bay side to where the first Toyopets were brought in and
took photos.

www.TupeloToyopet.com website has suffered no updates due to the lack of priorities on this
"story". We know we have a willing captive audience with several civic club organizations and
other groups that we can share the "Tupelo Toyopet" story with and will one day complete it all
and present it. A research paper (could be a book), videos, documents, newspaper articles, etc….*

As of now, the restoration is complete, the car is perfectly drivable and on display at the museum.
Occasional research is done and new information is being found to prove our theory that the first
Toyota samples came to San Francisco, not Long Beach, and that the Consulate Crown may very
well be one of the first few sample cars. No "smoking gun" to prove it, but in a court case, we
could easily make a strong circumstantial evidence case and win.

Daron Pitts
Director Of Technology
Community Development Foundation - Tupelo/Lee County
300 West Main Street, P.O. Box A
Tupelo, MS 38802-1210

Related LINKS:
Tupelo Automobile Museum
The new Toyota Prius Plant
Community Development Foundation
Toyota Tales
Follow updates on the official Tupelo Toyopet Blog
To learn more about Toyopet Crowns or to share your own stories or knowledge about these cars, please visit and
join the
 Toyopet Crown Group.
Youtube clip of first time engine cranked after it was rebuilt and installed at the museum:
* Update:February 9 2013

The Mississippi Automotive Manufacturer's Association (MAMA) called the Toyota Mississippi plant about showing the Toyopet at their "Cars Under
the Stars" car show on March 2nd of this year.  Toyota's public relation person (that we have worked with in recruting the plant here) called David
Rumbarger (my boss) and he couldn't take the car (he had a meeting that Friday March 1st - setup day).  David called Alan McDaniel, the currator of
the museum where the car is and he couldn't go....so I will be taking the Toyopet to Jackson, Mississippi for this car show on March 1/2.

While talking with the MAMA representative, she was asking me about the car and I began to tell her the story of our car....she wants to feature this
car as a main attraction to the car show.  I have an interview lined up next week with the Mississippi Public Broadcasting group about doing a spot
promoting the car show and telling about the Toyopet.

In order to do this I had to get some content up on the website, so i started a WordPress blog on Thursday....I've got a good amount of stuff up and
now that I have (finally) decided on a web platform to start getting this information out, this is where I will start posting.

I have forwarded the domain to the Wordpress site -

So....there you go.  Things just happened to force me to get going on this plan to publish a lot of this stuff...

I was asked to get up to make points of the car, and the story - I told the lady that this was about 5% of all that we have.