Triple Treat: Toyota RT55 1600 GT

Rare, unusual, and collectible cars come from all corners of the globe, and for these little Toyota classics, we are trekking all the way to Nagoya, Japan, to look at not just one car, but three that are for sale as a package deal. Barn Finder misterlou referred this little collection to us, so thank you for that misterlou. This trio of Toyota RT55 1600 Gts is listed for sale here on Yahoo, and the opening bi8d has been set at ¥550,000 (approximately US$5,100).

The first thing to note is that in spite of the fact that they are derived from the Corona line, technically they are not Coronas. They don’t carry a Corona badge anywhere, so they were considered to be a stand-alone model. The three cars are in various states of repair. The white one in the first photo looks to be pretty good, but none of the photos give us a good look at any of the cars. It doesn’t look like it has any major issues with rust, and while the second car also looks reasonably solid, it isn’t quite as good as the first. The third car is looking a bit the worse for wear, but it still looks like there are plenty of parts on it that can be used.

It looks like at least two of the cars contain most, if not all, of their interior trim. The dash features all of the gauges that you would require to monitor the health and well-being of a performance engine, and this dash looks like it is in very good condition. Likewise, the center console looks like it is quite good. It also looks like there is at least one good set of seats and door trims, so it looks like a good clean and a carpet set will revive the interior quite nicely.

It was once you delved below the skin that you found what truly differentiated the 1600 GT from a regular Corona. Filling the engine bay is the 1,587cc DOHC 9R engine. This was essentially a 4R engine with a very nice twin-cam head attached. With compression pushed up to 9-to-1 and breathing improved by the addition of a pair of twin-choke Solex-Mikuni carburetors, the little Toyota suddenly went from having 90hp at its disposal to a conservative 110hp. Although the 4-speed manual transmission was standard, a 5-speed unit was also available as an option. Handling was taken care of by updating both the standard Corona springs and shocks, and this made the 1600 GT a truly competent handler. It looks like all three of these cars retain their great little engines, which is a slice of good news for the next owner. It isn’t clear which transmissions are fitted to the cars, but it would be worth crossing your fingers and hoping that at least one of them was a 5-speed.

With external assistance from Yamaha, Toyota was able to produce some pretty nice little twin-cam engines, and one of their greatest strengths is the fact that they are very robust. With three cars in this collection, it would be entirely feasible to restore at least two of them, using the third as a donor. Of course, there is also the possibility that once the third has been dragged from the undergrowth, it might also be fit for restoration. Finding nice examples of these little cars today can be a real battle, so this set might represent a once in a lifetime opportunity.


  1. RSwanson

    I comb barnfinds and other sites nearly every day in hopes of finding something that would be worthy of a gentle massage to convert to a road or rally racer. It doesn’t need to be a winner or pretty but ,unusual , quirky and affordable are the marks here. This may check all the boxes. Brain is whirling as I write.

    Like 6
  2. William Denny

    Warning, if you follow the the link to the Yahoo Japan auction listing you will spend hours looking around! It’s been awhile since I’ve been on it but if you’re looking for true JDM parts this is where you go.

    Like 2
    • DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

      I found myself doing that. Like looking at the S600:

      And some of the motorcycles…. !!!
      Had to stop. Shirt was drool-soaked.

      Like 1
      • Gay Car Nut Tacoma

        I looked at the Japanese auction. Unfortunately, I don’t speak Japanese, and I can’t read alien.


    Truly amazing. I want

    Like 1
  4. Gay Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome looking Toyota RT55 Corona GT. If it were in nicer condition, I might consider purchasing it. I’ve always liked JDM Japanese cars.

  5. TimM

    I wasn’t really into these till my son purchased a 95 Nissan 240!! ( I know it’s not a Toyota ) we put an Japanese turbocharged motor in it and it became a really fun driving car!! Now these are getting my full attention and the younger crowd really loves these!! Still affordable and yet fun to drive!! Even after ten years though I still can’t get used to the metric sizes!!


    I know that THE Toyota the I dreamed of owning the Toyota 2000 GT is in a different categorie than this GT I could never afford either but this one sounds like it would also be a fun little machine restored.

  7. TimM

    Does anyone see what year these cars are???

  8. Gerry Member

    Auction closed at just under $15k they were 1967 and 1968 not sure which was which

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