The 1958 Toyota Toyopet Custom Crown deluxe was purchased on eBay by a community of supporters from Tupelo, Mississippi. The Tupelo Automobile Museum and the Community Development Foundation played essential roles in purchasing the Toyopet, picking it up in San Francisco, transporting it back and completing its restoration.
The Community Development Foundation serves at the local Chamber of Commerce for Tupelo, Mississippi and the Economic Development Organization for the Tupelo/Lee County area (http://www.cdfms.org). David Rumbarger (President and CEO) found the Toyopet on eBay and two CDF employees, Daron Pitts and Jamie Kennedy, drove to San Francisco to pick up the car and conduct research on it’s origin.
After a full restoration, the 1958 “Tupelo Toyopet” Custom Crown Deluxe was on display at the Tupelo Automobile Museum. The display featured the car and several artifacts discovered in the renovation of the vehicle. The original air filter with the original Toyota logo, a Toyopet service manual, the original registration from the Consulate General of Japan and several old magazines featuring stories on the Toyopet when it was on sale.
In the early spring of 2019, Tupelo Automobile Museum held an auction in conjunction with Bonhams and sold most of the museum’s collection, EXCEPT for the “Tupelo Toyopet”. [Bonhams Tupelo Automobile Museum auction results]
The 1958 Toyota Toyopet Custom Crown Deluxe was NOT sold since it did not belong to the museum. The car was transported to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi in Blue Springs, Mississippi, and was temporarily stored there.
In June of 2022, the Toyota Experience Center finally opened to the public and featured the Tupelo Toyopet on display! This $10 million, 15,000 square foot facility sits on a small hill that overlooks the main Toyota Mississippi plant. [“Toyota Welcomes Guests to Experience Advanced Manufacturing in a Remarkable Way”]
You can view the Toyopet at the Toyota Mississippi Experience Center by scheduling a tour.
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