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Toyota Publica (P10)

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Toyota Publica 700.jpg

Toyota Publica (トヨタ パブリカ) (P10/UP10/UP10D). 1961–6 (prod. 268,830 sold incl. P20). 2-door sedan, 3-door wagon, 2-door coupé–utility, 2-door convertible. F/R, 697 cm³ (F2 OHV). Tatsuo Hasegawa-led response to MITI’s 1955 national car concept, a “Japanese Volkswagen”, meeting basic requirements such as a 100 km/h top speed, weight under 400 kg, payload of 100 kg, fuel consumption under 30 km/ℓ at 60 km/h, no breakdowns or significant repairs for 100,000 km, and with a monthly production of 2,000 units, a sale price of ¥250,000. Name a contraction of public car. The company believed that it would be impossible to deliver such a low sale price. Front-wheel drive favoured by boss Eiji Toyoda, but prototypes were unsuccessful, and a switch to rear-drive was decided in 1959, as was a capacity increase to 700 cm³. Full monocoque. Designers tried to maximize interior room despite RWD, done through suspension set-up (double wishbones at front, leafs at rear) and engine positioning. Power of 28 PS from the eventual production model, retailing at ¥389,000. Not that successful initially, considered too basic at a time when Japanese buyers began aspiring to own a car. Lacking basics such as a radio and heater, even a fuel gauge and side mirrors (legal in Japan at the time). Semi-automatic and van added in 1962, deluxe in 1963, the latter finally encouraging some sales of the line. Spawned Toyota Sports 800, based on the same mechanicals. Performance model in 1964, with power upped to 32 PS.

Manufacturing location: Toyota City, Japan

Marque: Toyota | Model: Toyota Publica | Successor: Toyota Publica (P20)

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