Toyota built the first prototype passenger car, the A1 that became Toyota later at some time. The A1 was then redesigned and pushed into production to be the Toyota’s first production cars including the AA sedan and the AB cabriolet followed by AE, AC and BA sedans in the later years. The entire AA series was then replaced by SA in 1947.
In May, 1935, Toyota manufactured three A1 prototypes and unfortunately none of them made its way to production level. The company then had all its focus on the production of G1 trucks. Once the G1 trucks were in production, the company turned back to the designing and development of AA and AB passenger vehicles.
This 4-door sedan received a 3389cc Type A 6-cylinder engine, generating 62 hp (46 kW) along with a 3-speed column shift manual gearbox. The chassis and electrics used were similar to those in Ford. On both sides it got solid axles, pressed metal discs were used for all the four wheel rims and braking system was carried out by drums.
Between 1936 and 1943, the company produced 1404 units of AA sharing the most of the features with A1 prototypes. In 1943, the AA was replaced by the more rigid AC. AA was the 4-door sedan mainly based in the Chrysler Airflow sedan featuring a metal body together with metal ladder chassis.
The AB was manufactured by the company up to the year 1942 and almost 353 units were produced. AB was similar to AA in many features except for the fact it was a cabriolet having a folding roof.
The mechanicals specs were similar to AA prototype.
The company started working on its design in 1938 and the production of AC began from 1943. After the production of 115 units (43 units in 1943; 19 in 1944; 50 in 1947; and 3 units in 1948), it was replaced by the SA series in 1947.
AC shared the same mechanical specs with A1, AA and AB.
Compared to its predecessors, it was smaller in size and the development process began in 1939. After the completion of the prototype model, the AE was unveiled in 1940. The production of the AE started in 1941 and till 1943, just 76 units were produced by the company.
Majority of the mechanical specs were same as those of AA, however, AE received the Type C engine that would become Type A with 2 cylinders discarded.
It was a simple sedan that featured a wooden frame rather than metal. The company produced BA between 1942 and 1944. It is thought that the BA design was based on the Volvo PV60, but this is a lot more ambiguous as Volvo didn’t announced its PV60 until 1944. So the question is still open.
The first model of BA was launched in 1940 and only 17 units of BA were produced in total until 1943. It is however claimed by some sources that the BA didn’t went in production until 1943. However, different resources suggest that all the models seemed not to be produced in the same 1943 year. So, we can conclude that the 17 units produced at different times from 1940 to 1943.