By on November 1, 2017

Image: 1966 Toyota StoutToday we step back in time over 50 years to check out a little beige truck. Imported across the sea, it fell right into the hands of a caring buyer — one who cautiously stepped away from the American pickup truck norm. What we have here is the very beginning of a Japanese manufacturer’s truck offerings in North America; a 66-horsepower genesis moment.

It’s a Toyota Stout, from 1966.

Image: 1966 Toyota StoutToyota began making trucks in earnest in 1947 with the Toyopet SB. Based on the SA sedan, the truck swapped the sedan’s tube chassis with a ladder design and a couple of solid axles. An evolution of the SB became the SG in 1952.

Toyota quickly developed a larger truck for consumers, introducing the Toyopet RK 1¼ ton in 1954. It was larger than the sedan-based SG, but more consumer-oriented than the medium duty FA model (which featured dually wheels and a flat cargo bed).

Image: 1966 Toyota StoutThe RK was renamed Stout in 1959, in anticipation of a new (larger) generation for 1960. Between 1960 and 1978, the Stout 1/2 ton found popularity around the globe. Manufactured in Japan, South Africa, and Thailand, North America received Japan-made Stouts (called the Stout 1900 for its 1.9-liter engine) between 1964 and 1969.

Image: 1966 Toyota StoutInitial sales were slow — customers were not eager to forsake the well-known American pickup for a new imported competitor. In its first year on sale, Toyota shifted four Stouts. Toyota realized the Stout was not the answer for a North American truck, and placed a more modern Hi-Lux in North American showrooms for 1969 (the Hi-Lux name was replaced with Truck for 1976.)

Other markets continued to enjoy their Stouts, and the model would endure into a third generation, remaining in production between 1979 and 1989. The end of the Stout line saw the model denied an official replacement as Toyota continued with the Pickup, Truck, and Hi-Lux.

Image: 1966 Toyota StoutThis well-preserved example is presently for sale on the Greensboro Craigslist site, with an odometer reading of 46,000 miles. The owner is asking $7,000, which seems reasonable for such a hard to find truck in this condition.

[Images via seller]

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31 Comments on “Rare Rides: A Toyota Stout – Japanese Simplicity From 1966...”

  • avatar

    Now THIS is a rare ride.

    (Doffs cap)

  • avatar

    That is such an adorable mutt. I want to take it home.

  • avatar

    There’s a ’64 Stout that sits on the showroom floor at Toyota of Dallas. It’s red with a black interior, and is mostly original, except that it wears hubcaps from a ’70s-’80s Dodge D100 pickup.

    I always make a point to stop and check it out when I’m at the dealer, picking up parts I’ve ordered through their Internet site.

  • avatar

    One of my favorites. Love these and the Corona from the era. Would love an example of both.

    Corey, you forgot to mention the column-shift *4* speed manual! I have trouble with “three on the tree” shifters, a 4 speed would certainly take some getting used to.

    The final generation of the Stout saw this frame and bed with a mis-matched HiLux cab/front clip.

  • avatar

    Corey, why don’t we set up a trust fund so you can actually buy these unicorns with a mermaid riding side saddle.

  • avatar

    I’m holding out for a Mitsubishi Chunky, or maybe a Nissan Heavyset.

  • avatar

    Red meat thrown to the small truck crowd ;)

    Cool little truck.

  • avatar

    Almnost looks like a toy Chevy truck of that time.

  • avatar

    No chance the Stout “benchmarked” the IH Scout 80 p/u at all, right?

  • avatar

    CL: “What we have here is the very beginning of a Japanese manufacturer’s truck offerings in North America…”

    The “beginning” of “a Japanese manufacturer’s truck offerings in North America” came with the Datsun 1000:

    “Nissan was the first Japanese automaker to sell a pickup in the U.S., at a time when the roads were filled with big American cars and trucks.
    Onto this scene emerged the tiny Datsun 1000 compact pickup — the first truck of its kind. Although the Datsun 1000 only featured a 37-hp, 1.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a quarter-ton load capacity, it was a precursor of better things to come. In 1960, its engine size increased to 1.2 liters, and its horsepower nearly doubled to 60.

    A new Datsun 320 pickup hit American shores in 1961, but it was the introduction of the Datsun 520 pickup in 1965 that led to a sales jump of then-historic proportions, from a few hundred units per year to more than 15,000. In its first year, the Datsun 520 pickup became the top-selling imported pickup in the United States — a title the company held onto for more than a decade.”



    • 0 avatar

      If you read it carefully, “a manufacturer’s” means “a single manufacturer.”

      Didn’t state this Toyota was the first Japanese truck in NA. That would have read, “What we have here is the very first Japanese truck in North America.”

      Do you understand? Please confirm.

  • avatar
    Joe D

    Pretty cool truck. I ran across a blue one ( appears to be same year/vintage) a few months back on Vashon Island, WA. The truck I saw was in great shape. I saw it parked in the little downtown area and saw the older gentleman drive off a few minutes later. Seem to run well.

  • avatar

    What a great find! Would be a perfect little get around for weekend fun. Love the steering wheel on that.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    If so many of us, including myself, love older pick-ups with rubber floor mats, bench seats, manual transmissions and almost no options… then why does almost no one buy them that way when they’re new anymore? It’s hard to even order one like that.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d say it’s nigh-impossible. I live in the land of the pickup, and it’s become a status symbol for who can carry the most chrome at the highest altitude. I’m assuming many owners have never actually seen the inside of the cargo box. If you own a short box/regular cab anything, it’s assumed you’re poor or it’s a company vehicle.

      I’ve owned three Hardbodies (one a 4×4 reg cab that was basically horse and buggy suspension to ride in) and learned to drive in a 720. I still miss them.

    • 0 avatar

      Lots of rubber matted bench seat trucks are sold every year, though the manual transmission is virtually extinct. The problem is that it is the fleets that buy the vast majority of those trucks. You can find them on dealer lots, you just have to go to a dealer with a dedicated fleet dept or a more rural location.

    • 0 avatar

      How many have you bought? If there was significant demand (for base models) from the retail sector, they would stock more of them. People who actually buy trucks to drive everyday don’t want to put up with base models, usually, especially when you can get a nicely optioned one for not much more (and I don’t necessarily mean a $50k+ Platinum over an XL, I mean an XLT or similar). I see them, but they usually have a company name on the door, or government license plates.

      The fact that average transaction prices on trucks keep going up is testimony that the buying public doesn’t want base models. This is not just true of the big 3 full size trucks. When was the last time you saw a Tacoma with steel wheels and rubber floors?

      I appreciate base model trucks. My ideal F-150 is an XL SuperCrew 4×4 that isn’t “fleet white”, but we are in the minority. If I was a crew leader who spent his days in his truck going from job site to job site, sometimes with clients on board, I’d probably go with a King Ranch. You can’t drive an S-Class or even an XTS or Continental out in the woods, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice, comfortable vehicle with all the modern amenities to go out there with. For many, an open cargo box is a must. This is why fully loaded trucks have hard, durable plastics where they would be soft touch or leather wrapped in a car like a Mercedes. Just because it has many luxury features does not mean it won’t get taken out where it’ll get splashed with mud and be kicked by steel toe’d boots from time to time.

  • avatar

    Very cool little truck! I find the horizontal seam along the length of the box interesting as that is one of the first places that the later trucks rusted out at up here in Canuckistan or pretty much anywhere with moisture. Seems they had that Achilles heel design flaw for a while….

  • avatar

    Another great article. Thanks, Corey!

  • avatar
    Art Vandalay

    I saw one of these when I lived in San Diego and thought some dude had gotten the bed from a different truck from a junky yard and fitted it. Good work truck though.

  • avatar


    You’re welcome. :)

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