1968 Toyota 800 Pickup (UP26) Series P20 - Historic Flashbacks
National car spawns pint-size truck
Out of the 1968 Toyota press materials comes this model 800 UP26 pickup truck. This second-gen model (P20 series) began with the 1966 model year and is a descendent of the Publica lineup of vehicles that Toyota introduced in 1961. The Japanese national car standards called for all vehicles to meet minimum economy and reliability standards. This put the production focus on smaller, lightweight vehicles, and spurred the Publica offerings.
The 800 is a front-engine, rear-drive configuration featuring an air-cooled 790cc opposed twin four-stroke powerplant fed by a single, center-mounted Aisan carburetor. The two-cylinder engine was able to deliver higher torque than horsepower numbers at 46/40, respectively.
The front fascia of the P20 series is unique, for its time. The sweptback headlight bezels give the Publica a more sporting look than its contemporaries. Other features include pop-up cowl vent, tie-down hooks on bed rails, and multipiece sliding rear window.
The Publica family of vehicles were produced until 1975. Stricter emission standards introduced for the 1976 model year and more appealing Toyota models essentially ended the line.
These are a rare sight today. Very few 800s made it to the U.S., especially under LBJ's Lightweight Truck tariff introduced in 1964, which added 25 percent to the cost.