Toyota’s Toyopet 1500s: A Look at the Truck’s Short but Impactful Life
Produced from 1956 to 1960, the light pickup truck evolved over the years to become the Stout before its complete discontinuation in 1989.
One recent afternoon, while searching online auction site Invaluable for a rare Ozzy Osbourne poster, we stumbled upon this very cool, vintage sign (pictured below), promoting Toyota’s Toyopet 1500 truck. The rare, early original advertising poster from 1959 featuring two Toyopet pickups intrigued us to find out more about these light Toyota trucks.
The Toyopet 1500 first went into production as model RK23 at Toyota’s Koromo plant in April 1956 and had a payload capacity of 1.5 tons. The standard body was a two-door, three-seater pickup with a separate cargo body and fold-down tailgate. A heavy-duty version of the RK, the RK23 significantly modernized the truck’s appearance as the sides of the cab became flush with the body.
In April 1958, the RK23 was succeeded by the RK30, adopting a synchromesh transmission and switching from a floor shifter to a column shifter. The RK35 was introduced in July 1958, extending the wheelbase and increasing the payload capacity to 1.75 tons. During a naming competition, the truck was renamed the Toyopet Stout in June 1959.
The Toyopet Stout’s name was shortened to just Stout in July 1960 as Toyota sought to compete in the flat-deck pickup market by extending the length and width of the truck while keeping the maximum payload capacity the same at 2 tons.
Mainly exported to overseas markets, the third-generation Stout was placed on the market in March 1979. Employing the existing cabin of the third-generation Hilux 4×4 with model variations of single or double cabs, the Stout was discontinued in March 1989.
So, while buying an actual Toyopet 1500 pickup may be hard to come by these days, you can easily get your hands on a poster of one. Or of Ozzy.