Toyota Automobile Museum is based in Nagoya, only a few Km’s from the centre of town. The results of an online search showed a lot of potential so we decided it was worth the trek.
The building was surprisingly large, surrounded by very well maintained hedges and lawns which is a luxury in Japan. We paid our entry fee and received a warm welcome from one of the staff. Initally as you enter there is a lone Toyoda Model AA which is Toyota’s first production model. http://www.toyota.co.jp/Museum/data_e/a03_08_1.html
The thing about the museum is that is more of a history of the automobile then a Toyota timeline, they have a very special collection of their creations scattered over the three levels. The tour starts with restorations of the earliest automobiles ranging from wooden motorised seats from the 1800’s. They’re interesting in person but not entertaining material so I’ll skip to the production cars after showing this full crocodile skin interior. A sign of wealth is by having the skins of multiple animals on your car right?
The Flying Feather was built to be economic and light. It was independently designed by a Nissan executive who wanted to start his own business after dealing with unions and internal politics. The prototype was built in the second floor of a building with no ramp to the lower level. http://www.toyota.co.jp/Museum/data_e/d02_01.html
Technically it’s not from the Nissan/Datsun stable. It would be hard to argue that its styling didn’t inspire more modern designs…. especially if it was parked alongside a K11 Pao. They have a collection of early model which were continued into the 80’s and still to today. After we passed through the auto section we were taken back in time with a history of culture. It is broken up and features everything from bicycle, cameras, household appliances and also sprinkled with some showroom condition cars.
The grounds keeper decided to scare our guide with the remains of a bird which wont be making it into the history books.