Located in Torrance, in south Los Angeles, the Toyota USA Automobile Museum is accessible by appointment, but features some incredible cars from throughout Toyota's history.
For the full story, check out Celicas, Land Cruisers, Supras and more at the Toyota USA Automobile Museum.
Easy to see the Jeep inspiration here, but it's in incredible condition -- as are all the cars here.
Toyota has sold a lot of pickup trucks. The yellow model is from '77, the others are from the '90s.
This is actually a replica of the 1936 Model AA. Interestingly, this one was built on a Hilux chassis.
Toyota is understandably proud of its role in our hybrid powertrain present.
After a year racing, the car was sent up to the Bonneville Salt Flats to break some speed records. It might be the first Toyota to set a speed record: 211 mph.
Not massively different inside, surprisingly.
A handful of concept cars for Toyota and Lexus.
Not a ton of legroom though.
That's a big bumper and grill right there.
The cloth roof on this concept retracts fully, which looks really cool.
The interior is even more bonkers than the roof. I dig this car, wish they had made it.
This 1978 Celica GT was one of the second-generation models. It had a 95 horsepower inline-4.
The curvy rear of a second-generation MR2 next to the boxy first-generation model.
A very boxy '80s interior for this 1985 MR2.
Eleven years after the car in the previous slide, we got this. More than twice the power, a bit more weight, and a lot more performance: 0-60 in a claimed 4.6 seconds. Not bad for 1993.
Or this, a 1970 Corolla two-door wagon, sporting a respectable 73 horsepower from it's 1.2L engine.
Another Corolla wagon, this one from 1979. What is it with '70s cars and brown?
Like it just rolled out of the showroom. Beautiful.
The 2.0L DOHC inline-6 from the 2000GT
At the Grand Prix of Long Beach (now the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach), not too far from the museum, Toyota supplies cars for a celeb race before the big show. I saw Patrick Stewart drive one year. His car wasn't here, but the museum does have those driven by Tony Danza, Jay Leno, Cameron Diaz and others.
It makes sense when you think about it, but it's surprising to see racers without windshields.
Stewart is the only driver to win the Baja 1000 driving a four-wheeled vehicle solo.
This car got Toyota's first win in NASCAR. Under the "hood" is a 5.9L 700 horsepower V8.
The winning car from the 2003 IndyCar championship. Inside is a 3.5L V8 with around 675 horsepower and a 10,300 redline.
"Snug" is an understatement.
For a $1.5 million museum piece, I didn't expect I'd be able to touch it but they opened it all up and let me get in!
Most 2000GTs had a 2.0L straight-6 with 150 horsepower. A handful had this, a slightly larger 2.3L six.
I'd never seen these open before. They're the side panels aft of the wheels but before the doors.
And behind the other panel: the battery.
It's a small cockpit. Not "cramped" exactly -- I've certainly been in smaller classics. But it's not what you'd call "roomy."
Every inch of the car looked like new.
For such a small car there's a fair amount of trunk space. Width and depth, anyway, you can see how low the glass goes.