Friday, October 3, 2014

Oakland Street Sighting - 1966 Toyota Stout 1900 Pickup

An old Toyota pickup to me is nothing special. The Hilux and its successor, the "Truck" or "Pickup" are mostly just old trucks driven by landscapers and junk collection companies. A vintage 1960s-era Toyota Stout, on the other hand, is kind of a big deal to find. An unrestored, generally complete Stout that runs is a particularly rare find. Finding one completely at random, forgetting where it was and then finding it again months later completely at random is really something, or at least it is for me.

The beauty of rare vehicles in the modern era is that usually, someone somewhere has already posted about it on the internet. This '66 Stout is no exception. The owner provided a great photo log on an Alfa Romeo blog just after purchasing the classic Japanese hauler in 2012, which helped me greatly in identifying the model year. The other good thing about that resource is that it shows what the current owner has done to preserve his truck. It used to have a set of 1980s-style Centerline wheels and black plastic side mirror, ugly seat covers and the lower bed sides were missing. Now it sports a proper chrome mirror, painted steel wheels and all the sheet metal. These pickups usually never had a rear bumper from the factory, but they did come with a front one. This truck doesn't have one, and that's undoubtedly a hard piece to find.

Stouts were sold in several countries but were never especially popular in the United States. Two versions were offered: the Light Stout, with independent front suspension and five-lug wheels, and the commercial-grade Full Stout with solid front axle and six-lug wheels. The Light Stout, equipped with a 1.9 liter four-cylinder engine and a curious column-shifted four-speed manual, was imported to the U.S. from 1964 to 1969 as the Stout 1900. A whopping four were sold here in the first year. I think even Datsun had better luck with their first pickup offering in the States in 1959. They sold ten!

Perhaps the most interesting detail of the Toyota Stout is its interior. My photos don't really do this truck justice because I was in an unfamiliar part of Oakland and someone was watching me from across the street. Peeking into car windows in Oakland is generally not a good idea. In any case, the interior features a horizontal strip speedometer rimmed in chrome, a delicate chrome horn ring on a two-spoke steering wheel and three stacked white plastic "W-P-L" buttons to the left of the instrument panel. These buttons control the wipers, parking lights and headlights/taillights. The parking lights themselves are rather interesting, tucked in pods on top of the front fenders. The bluish paint seen primarily on the bed is actually what's left of the original Niagara Green. This is one of those vehicles that presents a tough choice between preservation of the existing patina or full restoration.

2 comments:

  1. I drove a red Stout during the summer of 1967 as a parts driver for a MB, BMW, Porsche, Shelby dealer outside Boston. What I remember most about the Stout was the four speed gearbox with shifter on the column (four on a tree?), which was similar to the shifter on my MB 230S that summer. A couple of years later in LA, my company gave me a new Toyota HiLux for work. As you posted, the Stout, even in LA was outsold many times over by the Datsun pickups during the period 1964-1967, very often for pool-cleaning companies. Beginning with the HiLux, competition between Toyota and Datsun(Nissan later) for small pickup sales evened out more.

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  2. I don't understand the fascnation with this one. Its ugly, and not in a charming, intruiging kind of way, and it barely sold at all. Not a classic in my mind. Just an automotive failure. Just because something is old doesn't mean its a classic.

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