This past year marked a golden milestone in Toyota‘s history as the company celebrated 50 years of doing business in America. They’ve come a long way since the first Toyopet Crown sedan reached American roads in 1957. Toyota opened for business in America on october 31, 1957, in southern California, and started selling cars the following summer. By the end of 1958, it had sold just 287 Toyopet Crown sedans and one Land Cruiser-a far cry from 2006 sales of more than 2.5 million cars and trucks.
Since 1957, Toyota has invested more than $15.5 billion in its U.s. operations, and has produced nearly 14 million vehicles in the U.s. In addition, Toyota affiliates and dealers directly employ more than 34,600 people in the U.s.
To help Toyota celebrate its 50th anniversary in America, the company proposed a joint venture with Lowrider Magazine, and after a few meetings we were given full control of the project. The only requisition was that the car had to be lifted like a traditional lowrider; they wanted nothing to do with airbags. With all of that said and discussed, we picked up our Camry and started off by stripping the car down. once the car was stripped of all of its gear, it was ready to be designed.
Tricks to the car included extending and “suiciding” the doors of the one-time sedan, and cutting the roof to mimic a glass roof. The car was equipped with a CCe hydraulics setup, and the interior was redesigned and hooked up with the latest Pioneer technology and scosche wiring accessories by installer jimmy of shot Callerz Customs. The exterior was also redone with a show finish using seM’s Color horizon finishes. We also slipped in a custom grille generously provided by e&G Classic Grilles. To give the car a traditional look, a set of Coker 5.20 tires were used.
This entire project took a few months to do from start to finish with the help of the right crew. The car’s debut was at the seMA show in Las Vegas, nevada, this past November where Toyota was one of the main show sponsors. We really wanted to provide you with a sneak peek of the buildup of the Lowrider Camry as it took so much to accomplish this build in such a short span of time.
Now follow along as we show you some of the things that were required to make this vision a reality. Also make sure to keep your eyes open for the next issue of Lowrider where we will be featuring the complete build of the “Camryder.”