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Pet Project: 1960 Toyopet Crown RS30 Wagon


Reader Josh O. discovered this rare 1960 Toyopet Crown Custom wagon hiding in a barn. He pulled it out with the plan of restoring it, but other projects have gotten in the way, so he has decided to let it go. There weren’t many of these imported to the States and only a handful are believed to still exist. If you are interested in saving this unique piece of Japanese automotive history, you can find it here on eBay. Thanks go to Josh for letting us know about his barn find.


Toyota began life as a loom manufacture under the name Toyoda, but in the late 1930’s they changed their name and began building automobiles. As the company grew, they set their sights high and it wasn’t long before they were exporting cars to every part of the globe. Being highly influenced by GM and Ford, their early cars were modeled after American automobile designs. While this ’60s wagon is a fraction of the size of the cars it was modeled after, you can easily spot traits from a number of popular American cars.


The American styling cues continue into the inside, with two tone bench seats and trim accents reminiscent of ’50s Chevys and Fords. The suicide rear doors add some unique character that wouldn’t typically be found on a station wagon. The engine, a 1.9 liter straight-4, wasn’t all that powerful and struggled to keep up with traffic here in the States. The seller claims the motor in this one is currently running, but they don’t have the keys, so they had to hot wire it to get it running.


This would could be a great car to make part runs in, as long as you don’t have to go a long distance. There can’t be many of these left, so hopefully someone will save it. Finding parts could be challenging, but thankfully it looks to be solid. We can see someone trying to swap the engine out for something bigger, but that might be like shoving a Great Dane’s heart into a Chihuahua’s body. It might work, but it would never be right. So what would you do with it?


  1. clayb

    Maybe it was hiding in that barn for a reason.Maybe it didn’t want to come out of hiding.Ya’ ever thought of that? You remember all the things that happened to the Hunchback of Notre Dame when he came out?(And he was better looking then this)

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  2. Charles

    It looks complete.

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  3. Jim-Bob

    If it wasn’t so complete (and running), I would want to try out one of my more interesting ideas on it. I would transplant a complete Prius hybrid drivetrain into it. You could get all of the modern fuel economy, driveability and reliability of a Prius in a interesting shell. The Prius is ugly. However, this is kind of cool looking in an odd sort of way. Both are Toyotas and so it sort of works (in my warped mind anyways).

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  4. Charles

    Or drop a 22R engine in it, and drive it forever.

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  5. Charles

    I think that it is so ugly, it is cute. Some new paint, and new wheels, and it would look pretty decent. No one at the local car shows will have one like it.

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  6. Toolbox

    I am with Charles, a 22R and a 5 speed. Good power, runs forever and a bit longer and will return good MPG.

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  7. Chris A.

    From a certain angle it reminds me of an early Ford Falcon wagon. What is there about white paint cars and how easily they rust?

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  8. Chris H.

    You guys have it all wrong! It needs a modern Toyota V-8 and updated running gear. Get the interior sorted, leave the outside alone (maybe drop it an inch or two) and then you have the perfect Banzai surf wagon.

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  9. Guro

    If it was for sale in my neighborhood, I would buy this in a heartbeat.

    This one it too important to mess around with. I would restore this vehicle back into its original condition en preserve it.

    According to Wikipedia: “A total of 287 Crowns were imported to the US with only five known to have survived”

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  10. Wayne

    Never been much on Japanese cars but this is cool! Never seen a suicide door wagon!

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  11. scottski

    Heaven help me, I have wagon lust.
    Even for a Toyopet.
    Yep: “suicide doors”. It’s a keeper.

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  12. Wayne

    I am with ya Scott! My first car was a 62 Buick Invicta wagon with factory bucket seats and console and…I still have it!

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  13. Gary Fogg

    Wayne we want pictures !

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  14. Wayne

    Gary..not exactly sure how to do that but I can tell you I bought the car in 71 for 200.00 and drove it my senior year in high school and for several years after. I parked it out back of my Dads business where it had been sitting for 30 years. I got the idea I wanted to drive it to my class 40th reunion picnic so we had to cut down trees and move alot of stuff to get it out. Took 6 weeks to get it back on the road but pulling up in front of the school in the same car I drove 40 years prior was priceless. It still has the 8 track I bought with my first job out of school!

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  15. scottski

    It’s off-topic from the Toyopet, but, Wayne… that’s a Barn Find story.
    And it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
    I don’t like to post ads… but this is a pretty good illustration:


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    • Wayne

      Scott…thanks for the referal but I was lucky enough to find this ad in a stack of old magazines my mother had saved. I was also able to find the slaes brochure for the 1962 Buick wagon line up as well. None of the cars pictured were my color and since it is black, it looks like a hearse! LOL! W.

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  16. Don Andreina

    Japanese wagons are still underappreciated at the mo’. Here in Oz there is an immaculate 1977 Crown Wagon going for 5k. A lot of the boy racers who loved their grey import GTRs are now driving around in Stagea imports because they need to accommodate their families. Interestingly, New Zealand was considered a pilot market for the West, and you will find all sorts of oddballs over there including the hyper-rare ‘Thunderbird’ (1971-74) Crown wagon. RHD though.

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