Mat Irvine: The Toyoda Model AA’s significance lies in the fact that it was the first Toyota passenger car produced, in 1935. Note the ‘d’ in the name, because it was developed by the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works Company, under the guiding hand of Kiichiro Toyoda. The automotive section of Toyoda became independent in 1937, when the name was altered slightly to the now-familiar Toyota. The reasoning behind the ‘t’ is slightly confused, but seems to be that writing Toyota in Japanese kanji requires eight brush strokes - and number eight is lucky in Japan!
Parts layout includes the decal sheet (lower centre below) with chrome-like decals.
Sorting out what will be painted in body colour (above). Items include the wheels, spare, and the two headlamp pods. Only the bumper brackets are missing here.
Primary assembly of the chassis (below) which was to be painted gloss black.
As it is an unusual colour for a car of this era (or any era, come to that) this was the shade I chose for the review kit.
Note that if you are use one make of paint over another, it is always advisable to check compatibility. So I tested the gloss on a scrap plastic sheet. It dried perfectly, so I could apply it safely to the main parts.
The radiator shell (below) is separate from the main body. A chromed insert is supplied for the grille. The photo-etch Toyoda badge is placed on top.
Fitting out the interior (below). Note the two floor colours, and that the door handles have been covered with BareMetal Foil. This was also used for the rear-seat foot rest.
The real thing
The Toyoda Model AA was powered by a straight-six OHV engine, fitted to a strong ladder-chassis, carrying a conventional type of four-door, five-seat body, based on the Chrysler Airstream. The back-seat area was more spacious than the front, and included such comforts as a folding foot rest. Although basically an all-Japanese automobile, the Toyoda AA used many off-the-shelf US components, ensuring that spares availability would not be a problem.
Tamiya: Toyoda Model AA
Assembled length: 202 mm (8 in)
Manufacturer’s ref: 24339
Thanks to Tamiya’s UK importer and distributor, The Hobby Company for the review kit.
Note: This review is in memory of Glynn Pearson, a much respected UK modelling industry stalwart, who died in January 2016, aged 81. Glynn worked in the industry for 50 years, firstly with the Richard Kohnstam company that included RIKO International, then moved to help set up its new incarnation, The Hobby Company, in 2000.
Glynn was one of the first to look into the up-and-coming Japanese hobby industry, and to expand it out from its home country. He knew many people in Japan and worked directly with Tamiya, getting the company interested in, for example, Formula 1. I knew Glynn for many years, and he was one of the nicest and most helpful people you could ask to meet. He will be much missed in the hobby, both in the UK and Japan.