January 9, 1958 – Toyota and Datsun come to the USA

On January 9, 1958, the Imported Car Show was held in Los Angeles, officially bringing Nissan and Toyota to the United States for the first time. While some Datsuns, Nissan’s vehicle tradename at the name, and some Toyotas came home with servicemen in the early 1950s, this was the first time that the two companies presented their cars to the American public outside of testing. The vehicles debuted included a Datsun-1000 and a Toyota Toyopet Crown. Although Toyota had opened a Hollywood dealership in October of the previous year, sales didn’t begin until after the show. It was found the small, underpowered cars were not popular. Datsun, on the other hand, knew that stronger engines were needed for the American terrain and their first US dealership was opened on October 8, 1958 in San Diego by Ray Lemke. This modified yellow 1960 Datsun 1200 wasn’t much different from the Datsun 1000 that debuted in 1958. It would have originally featured a 48hp engine and a four speed column shifter.  By Vetatur Fumare https://flic.kr/p/nRe8kq cc2.0A right hand drive 1959 Toyopet Crown, similar to the model that debuted in LA in 1958. By Iwao https://flic.kr/p/p6GZo7 cc2.0https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

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