Toyopet’s First Owner

consulate-in-newspaper

Akira Nishiyama, Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, California – from October 8, 1956 to February 9, 1960

Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, Akira Nishiyama, was the first owner of the Tupelo Toyopet.

Mr. Nishiyama registered the Toyopet in the city of San Francisco on October 20, 1958.  The registration reads:

CONSULATE GENERAL OF JAPAN
346 CALIFORNIA ST
SAN FRANCISCO   CALIFORNIA

…the engine number on the registration is “R172059”, the same number on the engine plate of the can and the same number stamped into the frame.  The license number on the registration is “616”.

A second registration card was located in the vehicle dated 1965 (no month or day).   This registration was to:

CONSULATE GENERAL OF JAPAN
601 CALIF ST
SAN FRANCISCO  CALIFORNIA

…the “engine or ID number” on the registration reads “R172059” and the license number is “192”.

Mr. Nishiyama apparently became friends with an auto shop owner named Mr. Tanaka in San Francisco.  Mr. Tanaka’s son (who eventually put the car on eBay) said the Consulate General gave the car to his father in 1968.  Toyota history claims the vehicle was terrible on the hills on California and would overheat often.  The car was probably given to Mr. Tanaka to be worked on and it simply remained.  When the car was purchased and picked up in San Francisco, it was still sitting in the same garage where it was left in 1968.  Because the car had been kept indoors since 1968 it was in immaculate shape.  The interior, steering wheel, dash and floor mats were all still in great condition.  Cigarettes (probably owner by the Consulate General) were still in the ash tray in the back seat of the car.

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