Celebrating an Icon: The Toyota Sports 800 Marks 50 Years in the Philippines

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October 4, 2017

Toyota has undoubtedly become a renowned brand in the automotive industry. The Japanese carmaker has made a name for itself by producing reliable, durable, and practical cars for just about every segment, catering to pretty much every type of customer. Yet despite this, the marque knows how to have fun as it has come up with a few shining examples of fun-to-drive sports cars. One of these is the Toyota Sports 800.

While the Sports 800 only had a limited run of around 3,131 units from 1965 to 1969, the Yota Hachi (or Toyota 8 as it is lovingly called) has managed to create a cult following. In fact, a group of enthusiasts recently celebrated their 50th birthday last Sunday at the posh Manila Polo Club in Makati City.

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Manila Sports Car Club, the small gathering had a few examples of the little Toyota that were immaculately kept and restored. Guests got to see the car up close and peruse everything from its Targa top to some really fine details.

Apart from these cars, two Japanese experts, Messrs Sugiyama and Dohi, were on hand to give a few insights about the Sports 800. Not only did they enlighten visitors about details like the small yet peppy (for its time) 45hp 800cc motor with dual carburetors, or how the car’s lightweight allowed it to run on a race track at around 150kph, but they likewise brought many down memorable lane with stories of the fun-loving Toyota.

Yes, the Sports 800 may have only been produced in limited quantities in its Japanese home market. Yet this Toyota has become an icon around the world. In fact, it has become the purveyor of other hot little Japanese sports cars like the Honda S600, as well as Toyota’s own 86 and upcoming SF-R.  And we’re quite certain that it will live on in the hearts of this and other passionate groups for years to come.

Photos: Sabina Cruz

About the Author

Mr. Gerard Jude Castillo
Gerard has been a self-confessed car nut ever since he was a little boy. As a grown-up, he indulges in his passion by collecting toy cars (which he started since childhood) and reading up on the latest cars out there.  As News Editor, it is his job to deliver the stories about the most recent motoring events in an easy-to-digest manner.