The Toyota SB Light Truck: a glimpse into the past of the iconic Japanese brand.

In the vast panorama of automotive history, few vehicles have left as deep an imprint as the Toyota SB. Released in April 1947, this light truck not only ushered in a new era for Toyota, but also became a symbol of endurance and versatility in the world of transportation. From its ingenious design to its reliable performance, the SB has captivated classic vehicle enthusiasts and collectors around the world.

Foto: ©Toyota

The Genesis of a Legend

The Model SB entered production as a small-bonnet truck with a one-ton payload capacity. Equipped with a 995 cc, 27 hp engine, this vehicle adopted side-valve technology, already obsolete at the time, but which offered simplicity, lightness and economy. The decision to use this technology was a wise one, as it made the SB accessible to a wide range of customers, from small businesses to local farmers.

The SB truck was launched before the Model SA sedan due to restrictions imposed by the general headquarters of the occupation forces. This unusual circumstance not only gave the SB a competitive advantage, but also contributed to its iconic status in Toyota history.

A Design Icon

The SB’s design reflected the advanced engineering and attention to detail that have characterized Toyota over the years. With a ladder chassis, rigid front and rear axles, and leaf springs, the SB combined durability with exceptional load capacity. The driver’s cab and low-profile cargo bed were separate, providing an optimal configuration for transporting goods of all types.

A distinctive feature of the SB was the headlights positioned on top of the fenders, which not only provided superior illumination, but also gave the vehicle a unique and recognizable look. With a range of body variants, including everything from a pickup truck to a two-door light van, the SB suited a variety of commercial and personal needs.

Foto: ©Toyota

Technical Specifications

To fully understand the performance and capabilities of the Toyota SB, it is essential to examine its technical specifications:

Type of modelSB
Unladen mass (kg)1090
Length (mm)3800
Width (mm)1600
Height (mm)1785
Wheelbase (mm)2400
Engine typeWater-cooled, in-line 4-cylinder, side valves
Displacement (cm3)995
Maximum power (kW/PS)-/27/4000

Legacy and Production

Despite its modest production, the legacy of the Toyota SB lives on in the memory of those who appreciate automotive history. Manufactured at the Koromo (now Honsha) plant, the SB set a standard of quality and reliability that defined Toyota’s reputation for years to come. Although succeeded by later generations of light trucks, the SB continues to be revered as a pioneer in its class.

Conclusion: More Than a Truck, a Legend

In conclusion, the Toyota SB transcends its status as a vehicle to become an icon of the automotive industry. Its legacy lives on in every street traveled by a light truck and in every conversation about the history of transportation. From its humble beginnings to its current status as a cult object among classic vehicle collectors, the SB continues to inspire admiration and respect around the world.

With this article, we have explored the fascinating history and unique features of the Toyota SB. From its post-war debut to its enduring legacy, the SB remains a driving force in the world of classic vehicles. Its place in history is assured as a milestone in Toyota’s evolution and a symbol of innovation and durability.