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Obscure 1996 Toyota Classic Is A Hilux In A Retro Wrapper

Introduced in 1996 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Model AA, the Toyota Classic was a cool and quirky throwback

 Obscure 1996 Toyota Classic Is A Hilux In A Retro Wrapper

  • A rare 1996 Toyota Classic, one of only 100 ever built, will be auctioned by Mecum in May 2024.
  • The model was launched in 1996 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Model AA.
  • Based on a Hilux chassis, the Classic features an AA-inspired body with chrome accents, whitewall tires, and a wood-trimmed interior.

If the turn of the century had a theme, it was retro. Starting around 1995 and continuing for nearly a decade, automakers introduced an assortment of retro-inspired models including the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chevrolet SSR, and Plymouth Prowler.

Those are widely known examples, but do you remember the Toyota Classic? Probably not as the car was launched in 1996 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Toyota’s inauguration as well as the debut of the Model AA. Only 100 units were built as part of the Toyota Excellent Conversion Series, which “aimed to provide wide-ranging types of cars … to increasingly diverse tastes of customers.”

More: This Chevrolet SSR Barn Find Just Sold For $49,875

The end result was the 1996 Toyota Classic, which was based on a Hilux chassis and featured an AA-inspired body built by Toyota Technocraft. Each featured a two-tone exterior with chrome bumpers and “white ribbon” tires. The model was also equipped with a retro-inspired interior that featured leather seats, a wood-rimmed steering wheel, and a copious amount of woodgrain trim.

Motivation came from a Hilux-sourced 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 96 hp (71 kW / 97 PS). It was connected to a four-speed automatic transmission that powered the rear wheels.

Mecum

While the car was launched nearly 30 years ago, one of them is heading to the auction block next month by Mecum. There’s no estimate, but the model has 26,073 miles (41,960 km) on the odometer.

That’s less than 1,000 miles (1,609 km) per year and the car appears to be an excellent condition. As you can see, it features a flawless paint job, circular headlights, and a prominent hood ornament. The body takes the cake thanks to a retro-inspired design that recalls the 1936 original, which was the “first all Japanese-made passenger car that was completed and placed on the market.”

The old school styling continues inside, but there are modern amenities including air conditioning as well as power windows and locks. Drivers will also find disc brakes and power steering.

If you’re interested, the Toyota Classic will be auctioned at Mecum’s Indy 2024 event on May 16. You can can check it out here.

 Obscure 1996 Toyota Classic Is A Hilux In A Retro Wrapper

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