Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Toyota Mark II-L Hardtop

The story of the “Mark II” Toyota brand is a bit complex, but here’s the short of it: The Corona Mark II, first offered for sale in Japan, September 1968, at Toyopet Store dealerships, was intended as an larger alternative to the more established luxury sedan, the Crown, sold at Toyota Store dealerships, and the smaller Corona, also available at Toyopet Stores. It was a slightly larger vehicle than the Corona with a higher level of equipment offered at the time, sharing some of the features of the larger Crown, but taking the top position at Toyopet Store locations.

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Toyota Mark II-L Hardtop

The second generation Mark II was no longer based on the Corona platform, and featured an inline six to compete against the Nissan Bluebird and Laurel models.

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Toyota Mark II-L Hardtop

A novelty at the time was the “coke bottle” design - something that Nissan had embraced wholeheartedly. Conservative Toyota was a bit slower adopting this trend, but went all in with this car released in 1972.

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In the US, the “Corona Mark II” replaced the Crown as the Toyota’s largest car, as the Crown had found few buyers in North America.

Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Toyota Mark II-L Hardtop
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The model you see here started life as the #69-1 in the Tomica line-up all the way back in 1973 - just a little bit after the real car was launched. And it stayed there until 1976, when Toyota launched the next generation Mark II and Tomica followed suit.

Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Toyota Mark II-L Hardtop
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However, as you might have guessed, this is a much later “Limited” version from 2007. I loved it when Tomica gave an old casting the “Limited” treatment - it just highlighted how good the original castings really were. And the bespoke wheels with rubber tires look terrific on this one.

Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Toyota Mark II-L Hardtop
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The world needs more personal coupes with coke bottle styling - I miss them!

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