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Toyota’s big hits

This would be a fun game to play with a whole multitude of brands. Most major auto brands have a rich history, and among the richest is Toyota. The Japanese manufacturer has been a leader in the auto world for decades upon decades. And so, in paying homage to one of the greats, let’s take a look at some of Toyota’s biggest hits.

1955 Toyota Crown

The first Toyota to be sold in the U.S. was the 1958 Crown. But by that time this model was already 3 years old with a loyal fanbase outside America. The Crown had a bit of a rough start, selling only 2,000 units over a 3-year period, plus the initial rap on the car was it was too heavy, small and underpowered. But over time the Crown shook this prejudice and many feel had it not been for the Crown, the Camry would have been a heck of a lot different.

1971 Toyota Celica

The cool thing about this Toyota is the general look and feel of the car holds up today. Yes, it does look dated, as 1971 should, but this sporty ride was considered a Mustang fighter in its day, capable of taking down Ford (which it never did). No matter though, the Celica was incredibly reliable and a hot seller. Nothing but thumbs up here.  

1992 Toyota Camry

The old staple, many argue this right here is the jewel in the Toyota crown. It’s hard to argue otherwise, with the Camry having outsold nearly every other Toyota model. An American sedan, through and through, the Camry hit dealers and the rest was history. Large cupholders, a big and wide body, it’s almost as if the Japanese had sent spies to study American culture for a decade and then returned with a product that was made to the exact specifications of the U.S. market. Ford came around with the Taurus but it wasn’t nearly as popular which only boosted Camry sales to another level.

1993 Toyota Supra Turbo

Toyota had long been pressed to come up with a kick-butt sports car and when engineers put pens to paper (and then paper to the manufacturing line), viola … the Supra was born! Visually this ride looked like some angry shark, ready to demolish anything in its path. A respectable 320 horsepower for the time was well received, as was the 6-cylinder, twin-turbo engine.

A new version is due for this year, but odds are it won’t offer the same grit as the 1993 version.

2004 Toyota Prius

Twenty years from now we might dub the Prius as the most important car Toyota ever manufactured. The same way in which the Ford Model T completely transformed the auto world, the Prius and an electric future have a shot of being even more impactful. The Prius powertrain isn’t knocking anyone’s socks off, but it is super-efficient, and Toyota hit a home room in putting together a comfortable car at a reasonable price.

Hybrids are now commonplace, and we can thank the Prius for that. Well played, Toyota!

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