This appealing little runabout from Toyota was the product of ‘The National Car Concept’ that was created in 1955 by the very powerful Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
The idea was to nudge Japanese captains of industry into focussing their efforts on creating vehicles that met a number of specific requirements.
Top speed had to exceed 100 km/h; the cars kerb weight had to be below 400 kg – and fuel consumption should not exceed 1 litre/30 km at an average speed of 60 km/h on a level road.
The other significant element was full service intervals should exceed 100,000 kilometres.
You can see by the slightly Stalinist prerequisite that the ministry meant business – but it must at least in part account for the legendary reliability of most Japanese production cars.
And in the Publica’s wagon manifestation (above) the result looked kind of cute – and in the ’62 Sports concept guise (below), was downright dashing.
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