Leno Drives Toyota's Very First Car

Classic Cars

The 1936 Toyoda AA was Toyota’s very first car. Jay Leno drives a replica while visiting Japan.

The Toyota museum in Nagoya, Japan, was an obvious tourist attraction for the Jay Leno Denim Chin to check out on his recent trip to Japan, and while there the Denim Chin had the good fortune of driving a replica of Toyota's very first car, the 1936 AA sedan. Originally called Toyoda after the family name, the Japanese carmaker's first automobile was recreated in 1989 as no examples were thought to exist. In actual fact, one example remains and currently resides at the Holland's Louwman National Motor Museum in the Hague.

The only AA in existence was discovered in the Russian town of Vladivostok and had been owned by a Siberian farmer since World War II. The museum acquired the Toyota from the original owner's grandson who transported the car to the Netherlands by lorry via Moscow.

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Produced from 1936 to 1943, the AA came with a 3.3-liter six-cylinder engine producing 62 horsepower. The design was inspired by the Chrysler Airflow and approximately 1,400 examples were built. This last remaining example is not only the oldest Toyota in the world, but also the only pre-war Toyota known to exist.