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The Toyota Sports 800 was Toyota’s first production sports car. The prototype called the Toyota Publica Sports, debuted at the 1962 Tokyo Auto Show. The car entered actual production in 1965. The car had aerodynamic styling by Shozo Sato, a designer on loan from Datsun, and Toyota engineer Tatsuo Hasegawa, although it was obviously influenced by Italian design, drawing on designs by Bertone and Pininfarina.
It was one of the first production cars featuring a lift-out roof panel, or targa top, predating the Porsche Targa. The Sports 800 was never imported en masse by the company, but like the MG before it, quite a few US servicemen stationed in Japan brought them home.
- Based on the prototype Toyota Publica Sports, shown at the 1962 Tokyo Auto Show
- Never imported to the U.S. by Toyota en masse
- Powered by a 790 cc flat-twin “boxer” engine which produced 45 hp
- Produced from 1965 through 1969, total built 3181