It was October 31, 1957 when Toyota opened its North American headquarters in a once Rambler dealership in Hollywood, California. With them came the first Japanese car to be exported to and sold in the mainland United States. The Toyopet Crown.
The Toyopet was not initially a success story. A few problems hampered its acceptance. Starting with the name, broken down both Toy and Pet left it hard to be taken seriously in the U.S. car market. While it performed alright on Japan’s poor quality road network, it struggled to keep pace on America’s smooth, fast-flowing blacktop. When it eventually got to 60mph, a speed that was rare in Japan, the car apparently shuddered so much the driver couldn’t see out of the rear-view mirror.