1965 Japanese Car Spotters Guide | Unique Cars and Parts

22 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 1965 Japanese Car Spotters Guide | Unique Cars and Parts

Mazda Carol

Toyota Sports 800

The Toyota Sports 800 was Toyota Motor Corporation’s first production sports car. The prototype for the Sports 800, called the Toyota Publica Sports, debuted at the 1962 Tokyo Auto Show, featuring a space age sliding canopy and utilizing the 28 hp (21 kW) power train of the Toyota Publica 700, a Japanese market economy car. The Toyota Sports 800 is affectionately called the Yota-Hachi, which is a Japanese short form for Toyota 8.

In 1965, the car went into actual production, with chassis code UP15 and an increase in engine displacement from 700 cc to 800 cc, as well as dual carburettors, which increased power from 28 hp (21 kW) to 45 hp (34 kW). This engine was sufficient to power the light 580 kg (1,279 lb) car around town at 45 mpg or on a race track up to about 100 mph (160 km/h). The car had aerodynamic styling by Shozo Sato, a designer on loan from Datsun, and Toyota engineer Tatsuo Hasegawa.

Hasegawa had been an aircraft designer in World War 2 and the resulting Sports 800 was a lightweight and agile machine.

Mazda Carol

The Sports 800 was one of the first production cars featuring a lift-out roof panel, or targa top, pre-dating the Porsche Targa. The aluminium targa top could be stored in the trunk, when not in use. Between 1965 (Showa year 40) and 1969 (Showa year 44) approximately 3,131 units were built by the Kanto Auto Works.

Only about 10% of those vehicles are known to have survived, most being in Japan. 1,235 Sports 800 were manufactured in 1965, 703 in 1966, 538 in 1967, 440 in 1968, and 215 in 1969. The vast majority of the 3,131 cars were right hand drive, but some 300 were left hand drive models, built primarily for the Okinawa market. (Okinawa, having been American occupied, drove on the other side from the rest of Japan.)

A very limited number of left hand drive cars were used by Toyota to test drive in the US, but Toyota made a decision not to import or sell the cars in the US market. There are subtle design differences between the years. Noticeable differences have included: change over from non-synchro to synchromesh first gear in 1967; a grill and bumperette change in 1968; and side marker lights in 1969.

The basic body design, however, remained unchanged. An air-cooled 790 cc horizontally opposed two-cylinder boxer engine powered the vehicle.

The 0.8 litre 2U (45 bhp @ 5400) was produced from 1965 through 1969, while a similar 2U-B was produced from 1966 through 1976 (in 1975 the Dyna Coaster Bus manual shows that Toyota used the 2U-B as a separate auxiliary engine, just to run the air-conditioning unit for the bus). The 2U was also used in the Publica (UP20/UP26) and MiniAce (UP100). Weight was kept down by using aluminium on selected body panels and thin steel on the unibody construction.

For the first few years of production even the seat frames were made of aluminium. Curb weight is 580 kg.

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