Prototype production of 'Shin-Nippon' AE medium-sized passenger car

Prototype production of the C-model medium-sized engine began in May 1937 and was completed in March 1939 (Table 1-10). This was a four-cylinder engine developed on the base of the six-cylinder B engine, with identical bore, stroke, and compression ratio to the B-model but a displacement volume of 2,258 cc, equivalent to two-thirds that of the B-model (3,389cc). The cylinder head, cylinder block, crankshaft and other parts could be processed using the same manufacturing facilities as for the B engine, and many other parts were also transferrable from the B-model without alteration.

Table 1-10. Specifications of the C Engine and Model AE Medium-Size Passenger Car (1940)

Item
Description
Engine
Model
Water-cooled, 4-cylinder, overhead valves
Bore
84.1mm
Stroke
101.6mm
Engine displacement volume
2,258cc
Compression ratio
6.4:1
Maximum output
50HP/2,800r.p.m
Wheelbase
2,500mm
Length
4,500mm
Width
1,730mm
Height
1,635mm
Vehicle weight
1,220kg
Source:
Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. Manufacturing Plan Vehicle List (Toyota internal document)

During this period, in March 1938, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry requested the development of a medium-sized vehicle with a displacement volume less than that of the AA passenger car (around 2,400 cc) for the purpose of fuel conservation. As Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. was engaged at the time in the development of the C engine, it was decided in July 1938 to start work on the creation of a medium-sized passenger car fitted with this engine. Completed in September 1939, the prototype of this AE medium-sized passenger car was announced by the Automotive Technology Committee and achieved excellent performance in test runs covering a total distance of 1,500 kilometers.

In a public competition held from November 1, 1939, the AE medium-sized passenger car was named 'Shin-Nippon'.1 On January 18 of the next year, 1940, senior management from dealerships was invited to the Koromo Plant for a presentation and test ride of the Shin-Nippon.

As there were strict limitations on the production of passenger cars at the time, only 76 units of the AE medium-sized passenger car were produced. In May of that year, in order to conserve steelplate, a BA model with a wooden body was developed and 17 units were produced. The specifications of the AE medium-sized passenger car are shown in Table 1-10.

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