Toyota Publica

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 MITI "national car" concept

The origins of the Publica can be traced to the "national car" concept of the
omnipotent Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry, which was
announced in 1955. The concept stipulated for a vehicle fulfilling several
requirements, like maximum speed over 100?km/h (62?mph), weight below 400?kg
(882?lb), fuel consumption not exceeding 1 litre per 30 km at the average speed of
60?km/h (37?mph) on a level road, but also notably the requirement that the car
would not break down or require significant repairs for at least 100,000?kilometres

 From concept to reality

Although Eiji Toyoda was initially keen to take advantage of the, at that time
innovative, FF concept (front-mounted engine with front-wheel drive), it proved
technically too complicated for Toyota engineers to be able to complete within the
allotted time, so the decision was made to switch to more conventional FR layout
(front-mounted engine with rear-wheel drive). In spite of the fact that the government
sources announced that significant tax breaks would be made for cars with engine
displacements of less than 500?cc, Toyota decided that such a small engine would
provide insufficient power on the highways, and increased the planned displacement
to 700?cc. The resulting engine was an air-cooled 697?cc ohv 2-cylinder boxer which
produced 28?hp (21?kW), and was known internally as the Toyota U engine.
Fortunately for Toyota, the tax incentive announcements did actually not materialize.

The new car was given a 2-door sedan body, which was intended to accommodate 4
people and a significant amount of luggage in the trunk, thus fulfilling the projected
expectations of the customers. The car had a double wishbone suspension in the front
and semi-elliptical leaf springs in the rear.

 UP10 Publica

The new car was given the internal designation of "UP10" and the market name of
"Publica" and was sold through a new dealer network, separate from the previous
"Toyota" and "Toyopet" dealerships. Sales began in June 1961, with the basic price of
389,000 yen. Initially, the car was very basic, lacking even such basic options like a
radio or even a heater. This limited its appeal to the consumers, which were
perceiving the automobile as an aspirational good and expected it to exude a much
more luxurious impression.

 Pronunciation of the name
While the name "Publica" was chosen with reference to the English phrase "public
car", referring to the cars intended attainability and popularity, due to the lack of exact
distinction between the "l" and "r" consonants in Japanese, the name can be
sometimes misinterpreted as "pabrika", leading to unplanned associations with

 Further development of the UP10 series

In 1962, a 2-door station wagon version was added, and a derivative model, Toyota
Sport 800 (marketed initially as "Publica Sport") debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show.
In 1963 Toyota added a new Deluxe trim level, denoted internally as "type UP10D",
which featured such "luxuries" as reclining seats, heater or radio, as well as some
chrome decors (the previous base model was now called Standard). With the
appearance of the Deluxe, demand finally picked up, and when the convertible model
was added the same year, sales of the Publica finally reached the target level of
3000-4000 monthly. In February 1964, a pickup truck model joined the lineup, and in
September the engine got a power boost to 32?hp (24?kW), while the Deluxe trim
level was also made available for the wagon version.

 UP20 Publica

In 1966, Toyota launched the revised Publica range, designated UP20. The engine
displacement was increased to 790?cc, and power to 36?hp (the engine was now
called 2U) while the convertible received the 45?hp (34?kW) twin carburetor engine
from the Sport 800. Since October that year, the dealers were operating under the
"Toyota Publica" (rather than just "Publica") brand, and the base price was reduced to
359,000 yen for 1967 - as the US dollar stood at about 360 yen at that time, Toyota
marketed the Publica as the "1000 dollar car".

In 1966, Toyota also launched the Toyota MiniAce forward control van, based on the
UB20 Publica, as well as moved the production of the wagon version to Hino Motors
in 1968, after the company was taken over by Toyota. 1968 also saw the launch of
Publica Super version, which came with the engine of the Sport 800.

 UP/KP30 Publica

 New model, new engine, new image

1969 Toyota Publica

In 1969, a whole new generation of the Publica was launched. The car was effectively
now a scaled down version of the Corolla, sitting on a shortened Corolla wheel-base.
While the air-cooled 790 cc 2U engine was retained in the cheapest domestic market
versions, the cornerstone of the lineup was now the new K-series 4-cylinder,
water-cooled 993?cc engine (designated 2K), a lower-displacement version of the
1077?cc engine used in the contemporary Toyota Corolla. The pickup version was
now officially known as "pickup". The situation in the Japanese market changed, as
demand developed rapidly, partially fuelled by the post-WWII baby boomers coming
of age and gaining their driver's licenses. Having the Corolla firmly established as the
family car offering, Toyota did not market the Publica as the "popular car" anymore,
but rather as an entry-level vehicle for first-time young buyers.

 Publica SL and Daihatsu Consorte

In 1969, Publica dealerships were renamed "Toyota Corolla" dealerships, and the
Publica SL was launched, which featured the 1.1?L K-B twin carburetor engine also
offered in the Corolla SL. The following year, this engine was replaced by the 1.2?L
3K-B unit in both the Corolla and Publica SL's. As Toyota had just started its
relationship with Daihatsu, in 1969 the latter launched the Daihatsu Consorte, which
was essentially a mildly restyled P30 Publica. It was, however, powered initially by
Daihatsu's own 1.0?L engine, which saw service in the previous Daihatsu model, the

 Facelifts and Starlet

1978 Toyota Publica wagon

1970 saw minor changes to the range, including a new instrument panel, and a new
High Deluxe version featuring the single-carburetor version of the 1.2?L engine and
front disc brakes. A more substantial facelift took place in 1972, when the KP30
Publica was given new front and rear fascias. The U-engine model was dropped, as
the boxer unit could not clear emission standards anymore. 1973 saw the introduction
of the Toyota Publica Starlet (designation KP40), a coup version of the facelifted
Publica. The facelifted model continued until 1978, when it was replaced by the KP60,
marketed as the Toyota Starlet. The Publica pick-up continued until 1988, being later
fitted with the 1166?cc 3K and 1290?cc 4K-J engines.

 Toyota 1000

The P30 Publica with the 993 cc 2K engine was known as the Toyota 1000 in non
Japanese markets. The Toyota 1000 continued to be sold in non Japanese markets
even after the Publica replacement (the P40 Toyota Starlet) was introduced onto the
Japanese market 1973. Branded as the Toyota 1000, the car was launched on the West
German market, at the time Europe's largest national auto-market, in the Fall/Autumn
of 1974. with an unusually lavish list of included features that included radial tyres,
front headrests, tinted windows, a heated rear window and even a radio.

The Toyota 1000 sedans and wagons were replaced by the P60 Starlet in 1978 but the
Toyota 1000 pick-up continued to be sold next to the Starlet sedans and wagons.

The Toyota 1000 range included a 2 door sedan, 2 door wagon and 2 door pick-up. In
South Africa, the Toyota 1000 range also included a pick-up with the 1166 cc 3K


^ "News: New Publica range". Motor nbr 3486: page 56. 12 April 1969.?

^ a b "Modelle und Preise:Toyota 1000 kommt im Herbst". Auto Motor u. Sport Heft
13 1974: Seite 28. date 22 June 1974.?

^ a b Toyota Vehicle Identification Manual, Toyota Motor Corporation, Overseas Parts
Department, Catalog No.97913-84, 1984


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 Categories: Toyota vehicles
 1960s automobiles
 1970s automobiles
 Subcompact cars
 Rear wheel drive vehicles
 Vehicles introduced in 1961
 Vehicles with boxer engines
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