My Car Quest

April 17, 2024

The Toyota Sport 800

by Mike Gulett –

At the Carmel Concours on the Avenue in August 2019 I saw this unusual Japanese car that I did not recognize – the Toyota Sport 800.

Toyota Sport 800

Toyota Sport 800

Here is what the owners, Michael and Barbara Malamut, wrote,

The Toyota Sport 800 is Toyota’s first production sports car. The prototype, called the Publica Sports, debuted at the 1962 Tokyo Auto Show, featuring a space age sliding canopy and utilizing the 28 hp powertrain from the Publica 700, a Japanese market economy car. The Toyota Sports 800 (790 cc) is affectionately called the “Yota-Hachi”, which is Japanese short form for “Toyota 8”. In Japan the vehicle was exclusive to Toyota’s Japanese retail sales channel called Toyota Public Store sold alongside the Publica. This example is one of 30 units built for export. Capable of 100 mph, the Sports 800 was often a race winner.

Toyota Sport 800

Hagerty wrote recently about the Toyota Sport 800,

The Sports 800 is considered the little brother of the 2000GT, and for good reason. It weighs only 1279 pounds—about half the 2000GT—and has a 13-inch-shorter wheelbase. The 790-cc air-cooled, dual-carbureted, boxer-twin engine produced 44 horsepower when new—enough to get the micro car to almost 100 mph while still maintaining an advertised fuel economy of 73 mpg. Unlike the one-off 2000GT roadster in You Only Live Twice, the Sports 800 came with a removable roof from the factory. Actually, it’s one of the earliest Targa-style roofs on a mass-produced car, predated only by the 1961 Triumph TR4 “Surrey Top.” The roof can be conveniently stored in the trunk.

Toyota Sport 800

Let us know what you think in the Comments.



Toyota Sport 800 Model

All photos by Mike Gulett.

The Toyota Sport 800
Article Name
The Toyota Sport 800
The Toyota Sports 800 is considered the little brother of the 2000GT, and for good reason. It weighs only 1279 pounds and has a 13-inch-shorter wheelbase.


  1. Very neat little Targa roadster, and 100 mph getting 73 mpg. Wow. I’d love to own one.

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