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Christmas Gift Guide

Toyota USA Automobile Museum

FJ25

Toyopet

The museum floor

Trucks

Toyopet and beyond

AA

Last Crown

Hybrids

Record holder

Surprisingly stock

Concepts

Comfy

Bumper design

Topless

Purples

Tom's cruise

Long line of Lexuses

Celica

Celica GT

Celica GT-Four

Two MR2s

'80s

Brown or orange?

Supra

Prototype

Corolla

Little wagon

Brown

Minivans

Pickups

FJ45

Twiggy's GT

Inline

Racers

MKIII

Celeb racers

Baja

No windows

Solo

NASCAR

Winner

Like a glove

2000GT

Doors and windows

Power

Side panels

Battery

Dash

Handles and knobs

Trunk space

If only

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.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Easy to see the Jeep inspiration here, but it's in incredible condition -- as are all the cars here.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Speaking of incredible condition, this Toyopet Crown was the first passenger car Toyota sold in the US. This one is nearly 60 years old.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The museum! You enter near old cars and trucks, but as you can see in the distance, there are newer cars too. The one in the foreground is a 1967 Stout 1900, the predecessor to the Hilux.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Toyota has sold a lot of pickup trucks. The yellow model is from '77, the others are from the '90s.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

After the Toyopet, Toyota had a much bigger hit with the Corona. You can see the Corona above in teal.

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This is actually a replica of the 1936 Model AA. Interestingly, this one was built on a Hilux chassis.

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This Crown, from 1971, was the last of its kind sold in the US.

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Toyota is understandably proud of its role in our hybrid powertrain present.

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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.

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Not massively different inside, surprisingly.

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A handful of concept cars for Toyota and Lexus.

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Not a ton of legroom though.

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That's a big bumper and grill right there.

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The cloth roof on this concept retracts fully, which looks really cool.

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The interior is even more bonkers than the roof. I dig this car, wish they had made it.

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The front (back?) of Tom Cruise's car in "Minority Report." It will be interesting to see if the cars of 2054 look anything like this.

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On the left is the "F1" prototype, what would be called the LS 400. Yes, it's the first Lexus.

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This is a 1971 Celica, the first year it was sold in the US. Love the color.

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This 1978 Celica GT was one of the second-generation models. It had a 95 horsepower inline-4.

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Now this is a rare one, a GT-Four or All-Trac Turbo. Not too many sold in the US. Turbocharged, intercooled 2.0L 200 horsepower inline-four driving all four wheels. I'd buy one.

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The curvy rear of a second-generation MR2 next to the boxy first-generation model.

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A very boxy '80s interior for this 1985 MR2.

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The boxy-yet-still-streamlined 1982 "Celica Supra." This was its first year of production. It would later lose the "Celica" prefix when it went front wheel drive.

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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.

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There's no engine or interior in this prototype, but you can certainly see the design language that would lead to the 86.

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Sure Supras and Celicas are exciting, but the real money is made with sedans. In this case, the ever-popular Corolla. This car is from 1969, the second year the model was available in the US.

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Or this, a 1970 Corolla two-door wagon, sporting a respectable 73 horsepower from it's 1.2L engine.

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Another Corolla wagon, this one from 1979. What is it with '70s cars and brown?

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Minivans? At a car museum? This place is a riot. I always liked the design of the the boxy TownAce or "Toyota Van." It's iconically '80s.

This one even has a built-in ice maker! How civilized.

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The white one is a 1979 SR5, also known as the HiLux, Toyota's legendary "indestructible vehicle."

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Like it just rolled out of the showroom. Beautiful.

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One of the museum's three 2000GTs. This one is owned by the model known as "Twiggy."

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The 2.0L DOHC inline-6 from the 2000GT

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Stacked up and all around, the many different vehicles raced by Toyota. Here's a 360 video of this area.

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The Eagle MKIII from 1991. It won 21 of the 27 races it entered, including the 24 Hours of Daytona. Inside is a 2.1L 4cyl engine that produced over 925 hp.

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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.

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Built for the punishing desert races like the Baja 1000, these were both driven by Ivan "Ironman" Stewart.

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It makes sense when you think about it, but it's surprising to see racers without windshields.

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Stewart is the only driver to win the Baja 1000 driving a four-wheeled vehicle solo.

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This car got Toyota's first win in NASCAR. Under the "hood" is a 5.9L 700 horsepower V8.

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The winning car from the 2003 IndyCar championship. Inside is a 3.5L V8 with around 675 horsepower and a 10,300 redline.

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"Snug" is an understatement.

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And now it's time to get up close and personal with this gorgeous 2000GT.

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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!

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Most 2000GTs had a 2.0L straight-6 with 150 horsepower. A handful had this, a slightly larger 2.3L six.

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I'd never seen these open before. They're the side panels aft of the wheels but before the doors.

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And behind the other panel: the battery.

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It's a small cockpit. Not "cramped" exactly -- I've certainly been in smaller classics. But it's not what you'd call "roomy."

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Every inch of the car looked like new.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

I asked if I could take it for a spin. The answer was predictable.

I did get to take a 360 video of the interior though.

For the full story, check out my tour of the Toyota USA Automobile Museum.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
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