Toyota Tiara

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Toyota Corona T20, T30 series "Tiara"

1960 - 1969
4 cyl.
82 -120 bhp
3 spd. man
Top Speed:
Number Built:
1 star
Toyota Corona T20, T30 series "Tiara"
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 1


This second generation of the Corona was also known as the Tiara, when sold by Toyota in export markets such as here in Australia. It was introduced at a critical time for the company as they were struggling in their most important export market, North America. Their first flagship car, the Toyopet Crown, was unsuccessful in the US market, and was withdrawn, leaving only a single vehicle, the Land Cruiser. At the time, there was little market for an off-road vehicle like the Land Cruiser.

The front end styling of the P20 Corona "Tiara" was reminiscent of the 1955 - 1957 Ford Thunderbird. The Tiara was supposed to sell alongside the Crown, as a smaller companion. Introduced in 1960, the car was powered by a 45 PS (33 kW) 1.0 litre "P" series motor. With a three-speed manual transmission, top speed was a mere 110 km/h (68 mph).

In 1961, Toyota introduced a more powerful 1.5 litre "R" series motor, the same motor from the Crown; an even larger 1.9 litre engine was added in 1964. Sensibly, it seemed Toyota had decided that the 1 litre donk would not appeal to Aussie motorists, so the Tiara would not make its debut In Australia until 1963. The best feature of the Tiara 1500 was its price, retailing for A£915 for the sedan and A£999 for the two-door wagon.

The Tiara would seat four people comfortably, and five at a squeeze. Access for the sedan was via four doors which opened wide and had courtesy lights. The standard finish was not exceptional, but nor was it poverty pack, and although there was no heater or screen washer as standard, you did get a cigarette lighter as standard kit, along with two speed wipers, and fuel / temperature gauges.

The gearchange was column mounted, and was a 3 speed all synchro affair. Fast upwards and downwards changes were possible without crunching the gears. Suspension was by independent torsion bar and semi elliptics at the rear, which gave a firm but comfortable ride. During hard cornering there was very little body roll and only a small amount of understeer. There were drum brakes fitted to all four wheels, which were powerful enough when judged by what was on offer at the time...and they were reasonably fade resistant.

The headlights were good, and there ware standard fog-lamps mounted in the grille itself. The engine was only moderately tuned, with an 8 to 1 compression ratio and the carburettor was a twin choke unit. Maximum power was 65 bhp at 4500 rpm and the torque was 85.6 ft./lb. at 3000 rpm. The bore and stroke was 77mm x 78mm. The Tiara station wagon had basically the same specification was the sedan except that it was slightly longer, slightly higher and weighed 194 lb. more.

The Tiara sold better than the Crown and some claim it had a lot less mechanical problems. The Tiara ended up being the only sedan sold by Toyota in the USA until the reworked second-generation Crown appeared. By that time, the Tiara had been redesigned and given the Corona label from the Japanese domestic market. A total of only 318 of these vehicles were sold in the US. Two concept cars were shown at the 1963 Tokyo Motor Show - the Corona 1500S Convertible and the Corona 1900S Sporty Sedan. The Corona Sports Coupe was a concept car shown at the 1963 Tokyo Motor Show - it shared little with the Corona except the suspension and the name.

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Also see:

The Toyota Australia Story
Toyota Car Brochures
Toyota Car Commercials
Toyota Production 1950 - 1979
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