Toyota Stout is a name that resonates with automotive enthusiasts and collectors alike. With its rich history and iconic presence, the Toyota Stout has carved a niche for itself in the annals of automotive heritage.
Exciting news has electrified the automotive world as Toyota has officially announced the return of the Toyota Stout in 2024. This has made car enthusiasts buzzing with anticipation.
Let’s get to explore the legacy of the Toyota Stout in this piece.
What Is Toyota Stout?
The Toyota Stout is a classic and iconic pickup truck that was produced by the Japanese automaker, Toyota. The vehicle holds a special place in automotive history as one of Toyota’s early attempts to enter the global pickup truck market.
The Stout was first introduced in 1954 and remained in production until 1989. During its long production run, it underwent several significant changes and improvements.
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Toyota Stout truck
First-generation of Toyota Truck
The first generation of the Toyota Stout, introduced in 1954, marked a significant milestone in the history of Toyota’s pickup trucks. Initially known as the Toyopet RK 1¼ ton truck, it made a bold entrance into the market, surpassing the size of Toyota’s SG light truck while still maintaining a smaller footprint than the Toyota FA medium-duty truck.
Let’s look at the details of this pioneering generation:
The standard model of the first-generation Stout featured a two-door, three-seater pickup with a separate well body that boasted a fold-down tailgate.
Toyota, in its commitment to meeting various customer needs, offered an array of body configurations for the Stout.
These included a van, an ambulance, a double cab coupé utility (with 2 doors and seating for 6, featuring an integral well body), a drop-side pickup, a pickup with stake sides, a pickup with full-height metal sides and a canvas top, a light bus (which served as a precursor to the Coaster) and even an ice cream van.
The Stout models utilised mechanical components that were in line with the automotive standards of that era. This included a ladder frame chassis, leaf springs, solid axles and four-wheel drum brakes. Its power source was the dependable 48 hp (36 kW), 1500 cc Type R engine, paired with a manual transmission.
Even in its early iterations, the Stout featured thoughtful finishing touches. It came equipped with essential features like windscreen wipers, dual outside mirrors (introduced in 1955), hubcaps, chrome trim, and dual headlights.
One interesting aspect of the Stout’s first generation was its load capacity. The 1954 model was officially designated as a 1¼-ton truck, but in reality, it could carry a substantial load of up to 1,220 kg (2,690 lb). Likewise, the 1955 model was designated as a 1.5-ton truck but could handle a load of 1,330 kg (2,930 lb).
Evolution to the Stout name
In 1957, the RK underwent revisions, resulting in the introduction of the RK30 and RK35 models. However, it was not until May 1959 that it was officially christened the Stout, a name that would become synonymous with rugged dependability. In the competitive market, one of Stout’s primary rivals was the Nissan Junior.
The Stout was proudly assembled at Toyota Shatai’s Koromo Plant, later known as the Honsha Plant since August 1960. This production facility played a crucial role in bringing this exceptional pickup truck to life.
Second generation of Toyota Stout
The second generation of the Toyota Stout was redesigned in 1960. For this product, the Stout underwent significant changes and improvements and became renowned for toughness and dependability.
Let’s explore the key features and developments of this notable generation:
In the Japanese market, the second-generation Stout was available with two engine options. The RK45 model featured a 1,453 cc Type R engine, while the RK100, introduced in October 1962, boasted a larger 1,897 cc 3R-B engine. These engines provided enhanced performance and versatility for a variety of tasks.
Facelift and twin headlights
Along with the introduction of the larger engine in 1962, the Stout received a facelift that included the distinctive addition of twin headlights. This not only improved visibility but also gave the Stout a more modern appearance.
Introduction of the “Light Stout”
In September 1963, Toyota introduced a shorter and lighter-duty model known as the “Light Stout” (type RK40). This version featured an independent coil-sprung front suspension, offering a more car-like and comfortable ride. Toyota aimed to compete directly with Nissan’s Datsun minitrucks with this variant, although it did not achieve significant success in its home market. Ultimately, the “Light Stout” was replaced by the Briska and Hilux following Toyota’s acquisition of Hino Motors.
Body styles and production
The second-generation Stout maintained the use of conventional mechanical components, including leaf springs and four-wheel drum brakes, all built on a sturdy ladder frame chassis.
Body styles included a standard pickup (two-door, three-seater), a double-cab pickup (four-door, six-seater) and a practical two-door panel van.
Truck production took place at Toyota Shatai’s Honsha Plant, while the assembly of vans was carried out by Arakawa Auto Body Industries, also located in Honsha.
The Stout made its debut in South Africa in 1961 and enjoyed considerable success until its discontinuation in 1979. It was the RK45 Stout that became the first Toyota to undergo complete knock-down assembly in South Africa in 1962.
The South African production later shifted to the two-litre RK101 series, available in various configurations such as a flush-side pickup, dropside, or chassis/cab. These South African Stouts retained a simplified version of the original bed and were not affected by Japanese regulations on overall length.
North American presence
A version of the “Lite Stout”, equipped with the 1.9-litre 3R engine, was sold in North America as the Stout 1900 between 1964 and 1967. While initial sales were modest, it marked Toyota’s entry into the North American pickup truck market.
Evolution of cabin space
In response to export market complaints about limited cabin space, Toyota introduced a new cabin design in this generation. The expanded cabin, with an additional five centimetres (two inches), was introduced. This required a redesign of the rear bed for long-wheelbase versions, while shorter models received a lengthened wheelbase to accommodate the longer cabin.
Transition to larger engines
With the introduction of a slightly larger 2R engine, the “Lite Stout” became the RK43, and the 1.75-ton 1500 became the RK47. There was also a one-tonne six-seater medium-duty version known as the RK47P, powered by the same 70 PS (51 kW) 2R engine.
The second-generation Stout experienced another update and facelift in September 1967 with the introduction of the RK101. This marked the end of all 1.5-litre models for Japan, although they continued to be available in export markets.
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The third generation of Toyota Stout
The third generation of the Toyota Stout, which underwent significant changes, was released in March 1979 and it represented a continuation of the Stout’s legacy as a dependable workhorse. This generation brought several notable developments to the Stout’s design and specifications:
Modernisation and Facelift
In March 1979, the third-generation Stout received a comprehensive facelift. The most noticeable change was the adoption of the front pressings from the smaller Hilux pickup truck, giving it a more contemporary appearance. Despite the new front end, the Stout retained its role as a reliable 1.5-ton workhorse, catering to a wide range of utility needs.
Engine and powertrain
The third-generation Stout, designated as the RK110, continued to use the proven and sturdy 1,994 cc 5R engine. This engine had a well-established reputation for durability and performance. While Toyota mentions that export versions were available with the 2.2-litre 20R engine, some discrepancies exist in parts catalogues which primarily include the 5R and the 4Y engines.
The Stout offered practical body styles, including a standard pickup (two-door, three-seater) and a double-cab pickup (four-door, six-seater). These configurations catered to different needs, from commercial use to family transportation.
Limited sales in Japan
Interestingly, the third-generation Stout saw limited sales in its home market of Japan. Trucks in this weight class were typical of a cab-over design, making the Stout less common domestically. Most third-generation Stouts were primarily intended for export markets, where their reputation for reliability and durability made them sought-after choices.
Double cab retirement
In July 1985, the double-cab version of the Stout was retired, reflecting changing market preferences and demands.
New export version (YK110)
From September 1986, a new export version, known as the YK110, was introduced primarily in Latin American markets. This variant was equipped with the 2.2-litre 4Y engine, catering to the specific requirements and preferences of these regions.
Notably, the third-generation Stout did not have a direct successor. Toyota’s focus shifted towards larger pickups, such as the T100 and later the Tundra, which were primarily designed for the North American market. The Stout’s role in North America had been effectively replaced by the Hilux back in 1968.
Toyota stout 2024 release date
Toyota’s recent announcement of the revival of the iconic pickup truck, the Toyota Stout, in 2024, has certainly stirred excitement among devoted Toyota enthusiasts and vintage vehicle collectors. The reintroduction of the new Toyota Stout 2024 carries great historical significance, as it resurrects a classic model steeped in heritage. This move also sets the stage for an intriguing competition with the Ford Maverick and falls in line with Toyota’s overarching pickup truck strategy.
The anticipation surrounding the return of the Toyota Stout is visible, as it reconnects generations with a piece of automotive history. This classic truck has left an indelible mark on the hearts of many and its resurgence is a testament to Toyota’s commitment to both its rich heritage and evolving automotive market demands.
Moreover, the reintroduction of the Toyota Stout in 2024 aligns strategically with Toyota’s broader vision for its pickup truck lineup. As the automotive landscape evolves with a growing interest in compact and versatile pickups, Toyota aims to capture this market segment with the Stout. This move not only taps into the nostalgia of the past but also positions Toyota as a formidable player in the modern pickup truck arena.
The competition with the Ford Maverick, another highly anticipated compact pickup, adds an extra layer of excitement to the mix. It presents consumers with compelling choices and fuels healthy competition that often leads to innovation and improved offerings in the pickup truck market.
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