Concept Capsule: Recreationism Toyota Style


(first posted 1/12/2016)      Back in the early 1970s, Toyota started to put some different thinking into recreational transportation. The 1971 RV-1 was the first of a series of concept cars that seem like a dead-end in of themselves, but played their part in anticipating the current trend for cross-over vehicles.


The RV-1 was based on the Celica launched the year before. It came with its own trailer – the lid of which could be flipped and used as a boat with an outboard motor attached.

The rear owes something to the Triplex Scimitar with its fixed rear-side windows, and came before the Chinetti/Panther Ferrari 365 GTB4 shooting brake with its gullwing application. Can anyone think of an earlier example than this Toyota?


The 1972 RV-2 was built over Crown underpinnings. What I find really interesting about this shape is how handsome it is up to the b-pillar. With a better grille treatment, and deletion of that side swage, this could have been a saloon or coupe to rival anything on the market in looks.


It shared a similar body configuration to the RV-1, but with a completely different application. And apparently it could sleep four; two in the rear and two occupying the folded back front seats. Somehow.


The 1977 CAL-1 was the product of the newly opened Toyota CALTY Design Research out of California and this… er… riva’d rumbleseat derivative of the A40 Celica Supra was prepared as a concept car first shown in Japan.


The 1983 CQ-1 cared little for the outdoors. This was a ‘concept in automobile communications technology’. I’m not sure whether any of that technology included gaming, but it certainly signals the movement towards the great indoors and all the life experience we can binge upon without even leaving the home. Or the car.