You don’t make it to 60 years in America without building products people want. And for Toyota, product has always been king. From off-road royalty to high-performance coupes with a boxy toaster in between, the company has produced classics in just about every possible category.
Sadly, all these models can’t live forever. But, since we’re looking back in time today, below is our list for the five cars we wish we still made. Clearly, this is a hugely subjective topic.
That’s why we want to hear your favorites. Email us at email@example.com
to tell us which Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicles from the past you miss the most -- along with a few sentences about why. We’ll publish our favorite submissions in a few weeks.
Here’s our list.
Perhaps no other Toyota in history evokes as much wonderment and awe as the 2000GT. Just over 350 were ever made globally, and only about 60 were left-hand drives. To many, this tiny sports car told the automotive world that Toyota was poised to become a major player in the U.S. It’s the only Toyota to appear in a James Bond film, as a modified convertible version hit the screen in You Only Live Twice.
Further, it’s current value fluctuates between $800,000 and $1.2 million. Oh, and we made a video with one of our dealers and this car. Watch it here.
Ask modern car enthusiasts what Toyota they want to bring back, they’ll likely bark “SUPRA!” before you can end the question. The sports coupe is a beloved piece of automotive history, making such a mark that, 20 years after its demise, rumors are still flying about its return. “If I could only bring back one car, it would be the Supra Turbo,” says Greg Thome, Toyota Motor North America lifecycle communications consultant. “It was an icon for the brand and has, to this day, a cult following.”
Land Cruiser FJ40 series (1984)
FJ Cruiser (2006-2014)
The Land Cruiser is still around, but it’s moved closer to a luxury SUV than the traditional off-road model that marked its historic beginnings. In 1984, the utilitarian masterpiece FJ40 became an icon in the series. “I love its uncomplicated, timeless design,” says Nate Martinez of TMNA product communication. “Plus, the sturdy construction has been proven for years to be a mega-workhorse and indomitable all-terrain vehicle.”
A modern nod to Toyota’s off-roading history, the FJ Cruiser was the closest that Toyota ever came to building a real-life Tonka truck. This rugged SUV was not only fun to drive, it looked amazing with its white roof over a vast combination of body colors. It’s no surprise that, since production ended, the demand (and price) of pre-owned FJ Cruisers has skyrocketed.
Is it a sedan? Is it an SUV? That was the question that defined the ‘tweener’s run. It had the roomy interior of a small SUV, but the ride height of a sedan. Maybe that limited interest, somewhat. But the Venza proved itself to be a very useful multi-purpose car, with a little bit of oomph, a hint of sex appeal and a lot of intrigued looks at traffic lights.
By Dan Nied