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February 24, 2024

1947 Toyopet Model SA, One of the Earliest Toyota Cars

The SA was Toyota’s first new passenger car design (as opposed to updating the AA) after World War II. It was the first in a family of vehicles before the introduction of the Crown. A series of light trucks also shared the chassis and major components of these passenger cars. All of these vehicles were sold under the Toyopet name.

Although permission to begin full production of passenger cars in Japan was not granted until 1949, limited numbers of cars were permitted to be built from 1947, and the Toyota SA was one such car. Design work started at the end of 1945 when the GHQ let it be known that authorized commercial production of vehicles for the general public would be commencing soon. This model was introduced in January 1947, with a prototype (which had been under development for more than a year) being completed at that time.

Production occurred from October 1947 through May 1952 (overlapping with the 1949-introduced SD), with a total of only 215 being built. The first car to be produced by Toyota in the postwar period was the AC, which had first been produced in 1943-1944. Fifty were built for government and military use in 1947, and three more were assembled in 1948. Since only 54 cars were built by Toyota in 1947, this leaves four Model SA production cars to be built at the end of that year, not counting the prototype.

Eighteen SA cars were built in 1948, and from 1949 to 1952, 193 more were built. No breakdown exists between models after 1948; only yearly passenger-car grand totals are extant.


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