Another super rare car in the shop this week. This time it’s a 1966 Toyota Sports 800, in good shape, just some rust and pitting on the fenders.
This vehicle is special
They only made 3,131 Toyota Sports 800s in total, from 1965 to 1969. Only about 10 percent of them survived. Most of the remaining vehicles are still in Japan, so classic car folks aren’t always familiar with it when they see it.
The production numbers on the 1966 Toyota Sports 800 model was 703. If we go by the estimates, that means the one that rolled into our shop is probably only one of less than 100.
This particular vehicle is a right-drive model. Only a few left-drives were made for the Okinawa market. They were not imported or sold in the U.S. though a few of the left-drive cars were road tested in the States.
Keep it Light
The Toyota Sports 800 was the company’s first production sports car, with aerodynamics in mind. After WWII, Japan had a serious issue with fuel, so they needed cars to be small and light.
The body of the Toyota Sports 800 is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and thin steel, with a weight of just 1,276 pounds. It has a targa roof that fits in the trunk and gorgeously designed fenders that flow into trademark Toyota headlamps.
In Japan, the Toyota Sports 800, known to its legions of fans as the “Yota-hachi” is only one of two cars inducted into the Japanese Automotive Hall of Fame (an institution that honors the people behind cars more than the cars themselves).
We are always thrilled to work on classic cars. This 66 Toyota Sports 800 was no exception. Thanks to our great customers who trust us with these beauties.
If you want to learn more about this gorgeous car, here’s Scott Sylvester at Petrolicious sharing the story of Japan’s “hero car.”