1968 Toyota S800: Sporting Past

s800

There are days when I’m convinced Barn Finds reader Robert R. and I are long-lost siblings (or at least distant cousins); almost every find he sends in are vehicles I’ve thought about owning at one point in time. Actually, I’ve been keeping an eye out for a Toyota Sports 800 and it’s been ages since I’ve seen one. This 1968 example is listed here on eBay with a hefty $59,500 price tag – yes, you read that correctly. To be fair, these cars are exceedingly rare and many of the ones I’ve spotted were originally shipped home by a service member. With only 300 LHD examples ever made and many having long since disintegrated into a pile of rust-stained dust, a running/driving S800 is always going to fetch a premium. While Toyota may no longer stoke the coals of the enthusiast flame, the S800 is a reminder that, like the Honda S600, the Japanese did build cars that were nothing short of visceral – a quality I’m not sure exists today.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. St. Ramone de V8

    What a unique little car. One more I never knew existed, and learned about here. I can see how this would get big dollars, as I think Toyota has some loyal collectors. Must be a prize to them. Where would you find another? Especially LHD?

  2. Alan (Michigan)

    Good thing this is a light little car. I don’t think I’d want to be lifting it up in quite that way.

    Nifty, uncommon car. But this seems like a show car price to me, for a decidedly “driver” appearing machine. Of course the markets for so-called collector cars right now has me scratching my head, so who knows?

    The fixed part of the roof has a really awkward appearance from most angles. I wonder if there are any roadsters?

  3. Dolphin Member

    I support keeping rare and unusual little cars like this alive and healthy, but………well, I just need more CAR than this.

    Somebody ought to get this listing to Jay Leno. He’s a better man than I am (funnier, wealthier, bigger garage, has permanent staff, etc). Maybe he would go for it.

    This car is important to keep around to show that the Japanese, and Toyota in particular, were thinking about sporting 2-seaters back then, but as useful and reliable as Toyotas are the truth is I haven’t wanted one since the 2000GT was a new car.

  4. kenzo

    It has been a topic here before. Just because there weren’t many made is it really worth high five figures going to six? The car is cute but 60k? 300 left hand drive – no link to actually back up 300 made stats. But I guess a claim of 300 makes it highly collectible and it does comes with a spare tire! Not sure what lots of potential means, No mention of previous owners, records, history, or anything else. Interior has been armour-all’d to make it shine. consul carpet where nobody stands shows more than 26230 miles or km. I would believe in adding a 1 in front of the 26230. They even spray shined the inside floor mats and dash. Trunk shot shows more than low mileage surface corrosion. Under carriage passenger side coating is gone. Drivers side is well on its way. Rear wheel wells need attention. Front lower valence appears to have blistering.
    This car is cute and collectible for somebody who wants another toy and has a fat wallet.
    If it is that desirable put it on the open market / auction to see what it is really worth.

    • Alan (Michigan)

      Yes. Well, the lister is BHCC, after all… I’ll probably always be skeptical regarding those listings, ever since the green long-wet smashed in Ferrari. Same shine-up job on a terrible condition car.

  5. shiro1303 Member

    Considering they are rare even here in Japan I can still find nicer drivers here in the 30-40k range
    I happen to have the sister car in my garage right now its a 66 Publica sports same engine and drivetrain just a convertible sedan type body

  6. jim

    very interesting car but if i had that kind of money to spend i could have a barn full of cars not just one. it has 66 watchers but i do not think that means it will sell as it would still need a lot more time/money to correct the issues. great find

  7. Mark E

    These were worth $4-6k in the ’90s, $10-15k six or eight years ago. I know they’ve probably gone up more quickly thanks to the general craziness of old Japanese cars over the past couple of years but I very seriously doubt that price. Maybe $30-40k tops?

    In the strange but true dept: I knew where one of these was sitting, abandoned, in an empty lot, back in the ’70s. It was free for the taking and was not worth bothering with back then. Neighborhood kids loved to play in it though. These are -tiny- cars so it was more their size! ^_^

    • Mark E

      Okay, after clicking the link I see the answer – BEVERLY HILLS AUTO CLUB. Now I -KNOW- it’s not worth the asking price! They’re just fishing, trying to determine the high water mark.

      Additionally, from the description and/or the pictures I can see that this is not a fresh minty restoration or beautifully maintained original but in ‘restorable condition’ so it’s certainly not worth even top price which is, what, $30k?

  8. Robert R. Member

    Hello Jeff, there are soooooooooooo many and I just try to send in a good mix. Yes, sometimes I do send in some “high” end/price point ones, but I tend to send in mostly entry level priced ones. It appears we are like minded and have good taste.

    Cheers, Robert

  9. Jose

    Just not turned on by this little job. To me it looks like an old Honda Solara which one could likely pick up for 2k. And it’s surely not worth, at least not to me, 59k. Like Jim said, for that kind of dough I could buy a barn load. Good luck.

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