2008 August

Toyopet Crowns seem to keep popping into my life. One of the latest was
this 1960 Toyopet Crown from Michigan. It was back in May of this year
(2008) that the owner of this car had posted a message to my Classic Toyota
Town Group, asking about information about a Toyopet Crown that had been
in storage in the family barn for the past 48 years. The car was rescued from
the 100 year old barn just before it fell in. I got in touch with the owner,
Nancy, and asked her if she wouldn't mind sharing some of the cars history
with me. She did, and here is her story.

The Michigan Crown
by Nancy Miller

The barn was really starting to show its age but it had served well for
almost 100 years.  Dave took it upon himself to begin removing it before it
came down and injured anyone.  What an undertaking it would be since
Dad was a bit of a pack rat.  The barn was filled with treasures and trash.  
We salvaged the barn wood, beams, the old antique wagon wheels and of
course the car.  There in the back of the barn under the loft by piles of
wood was the Toyopet.  It had been there in the barn for more years than it
was ever driven on the road.  Luckily the guys moved it out before the barn
fell in.

Let me tell you our story of this Toyopet and how it found its way to a
small farm in Michigan.  Dave’s uncle was one of many of the servicemen
stationed in Okinawa, Japan.  During his career he was stationed all over
the world.  While in Japan and he decided to purchase the 1960 Toyopet
Crown Deluxe, it reminded him of the old style cars back in the US.  Well
it wasn’t long before he returned to the states and the military shipped his
belongings and the little car came with him.  Stickers on the bumper show
the Military Fort where it was stationed.  Soon it followed him home to

Most of the family was surprised to see this car from Japan.  Nobody knew
what a Toyopet was or had ever seen one before.  After all this was
Michigan – motor city – Henry Ford, need I say more.  She was driven for
awhile and then broke down and there was no where to get parts.  Letters
were written to California asking for a parts manual.  Parts were ordered
and it took two years before they arrived.  Uncle Buck tried to repair her
but he just couldn’t get her going.  Nobody around here knew anything
about the Japanese car and many folks didn’t even want it in their shop.  
That’s when it ended up at the farm.  Dad was more of a mechanic then
most and he tinkered with it and got her running again.  By then Dave’s
Uncle was moved to another base and the little car was left in Michigan.

Dave always thought it would be the first car he would drive.  After all he
already knew how to drive from his years of experience on the farm
tractors.  But Dad said no, he was a Teamster truck driver and the little
Japanese car just didn’t fit in too well here.  So into the barn it went.  Dad
would take it out now and then and run down the back roads but for many
years now it has lived in the barn. She still has her 1963 license plates on
her and we have the original Michigan title.

Sadly Dad died in 2000, and Dave owns the car now.  She is a lovely piece
of history although a bit sad, she’s still here while so many of her kind are
long gone.  People still stop and ask about the car and when we say it is a
Toyopet nobody really knows what it is.  With our hard economic times
most folks just want to scrap her and pocket a little money.  But somehow I
don’t think that’s her future at least I hope not.  She’s made it this long
with all here parts and she is after all a survivor.   

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.
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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.