Tupelo Toyopet Timeline

  • 1867 Sakichi Toyoda is born
  • 1924 Toyoda Model G Automatic Loom is invented
  • 1933 Toyoda Automobile Department is set up to manufacture automobiles
  • 1935 Prototype of Model A1 passenger car is completed
  • 1947 Toyopet SA (first in model line is produced)
  • 1955 Shotaro Kamiya convinces the Toyota Board of Directors to start exporting to the United States
  • 1957 (August 31) two sample Toyopets leave Yokohama, Japan (1 Crown and 1 Custom Crown Deluxe)
  • 1957 (Sept 7) the samples arrive in San Francisco, California at Pier 50, Mission Rock Terminal
  • 1958 (October) the first large shipment of Toyopets arrive in San Francisco, California at Pier 50, Mission Rock terminal
  • 1958 (Oct 30) Consulate General Akirya Nishiyama registers his Toyopet with the State of California
  • 1958-1959 only 287 Toyopets were sold – an admitted failure from Toyota
  • 1965 The Consulate General of Japan gives the Toyopet to Mr. Tanaka in San Francisco.  The car is stored inside in Mr. Tanaka’s auto shop garage.
  • 2008 (June 22) Mr. Tanaka’s son lists the car on eBay
  • 2008 (June 29) Supporters from the community in Tupelo, Mississippi win the eBay auction
  • 2008 (July 19) A two man research team drives cross-country from Tupelo, Mississippi, to San Francisco, California to pick up the Toyopet
  • 2008 (July 21) The Team visits the Toyota Museum in Torrance, California and meets with Toyota Archivists on the history of the Toyopet / and meets with the General Manager of Hollywood Toyota about the early Toyota dealerships in the US.
  • 2008 (July 22) The team conducts research at the San Francisco Library and visits the historical Japantown for records about the Consulate and his Toyopet
  • 2008 (July 23) The team visits Larkspur, California to the home of an early Toyopet dealer and conducts interviews on Toyopet sales and dealers.  the team then visits the Maritime Library in San Francisco to research the American President Line’s archives for information about the first Toyopet shipment to the US and possible Toyopet samples being delivered to San Francisco.
  • 2008 (July 24) The team loads up the Toyopet and drives to Phoenix, Arizona to the home of Frenchy Dehoux to have the engine removed to be renovated/rebuilt.
  • 2008 (July 28) The Toyopet is unloaded at it’s new home, the Tupelo Automobile Museum in Tupelo, Mississippi
  • 2008 (August) Disassembly begins at the Tupelo Automobile Museum
  • 2008 (November) Renovations begin with a new coat of paint matching the paint color or a Toyota can of Toyopet touch up paint found in the trunk of the car
  • 2009 (January) Renovations continue with all chrome and body parts
  • 2010 (September) Engine work is completed and shipped to Tupelo
  • 2010 (June) Assembly and renovations continue at the museum
  • 2011 (August) Engine and transmission are installed and the Toyopet is cranked for the first time
  • 2011 (November) President of Toyota Manufacturing, Akio Toyoda, visits the Tupelo Automobile Museum and unveils the fully restored Toyopet at the Tupelo Automobile Museum.  He climbs all through it, and cranks it.

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