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Toyo Motors Corporation, Kariya City, Aichi Prefecture, 1947-61


Toyo Motors (also known as TMC) was founded by Kawamoto Kazuo (川真田和汪) and started making clip-on 2 stroke engines for bicycle frames immediately after WWII in 1947. Kawamoto had been a professional rider for Harley-Davidson, and then in the 1930's worked on engine development for several car companies as an engineer before joining Toyota. Toyo Motors actually was a subsidiary of Toyota Industries, and their vehicles were sold through the Toyota sales network. They also supplied engines to other vehicle assemblers, as well as clip-on engine kits (the T9 and Roll Power R5) to private purchasers. The engines and complete machines were sold under the Toyo Motor (トヨモーター号) brand. They were all 2 strokes and they ranged in displacement from 50cc to 256cc.

Toyo Motors also produced a tricycle machine between 1953 and 1955 called the Toyolight (トヨライト号) which used a 125cc 2 stroke engine.

There is quite an interesting history of Toyo Motors, and its founder, written by a "Kazuya Tominari" (冨成一也) on the Yaplog website which has moved to a new web site you can read about at this link. Kawamoto left Toyo Motors to establish Thomas Union, which made mopeds in 1957 and 1958. Toyota wound down Toyo Motors in favour of automobile production in 1961.

A gentleman by the name of Shinji Mita took a number of photos of various Toyo Motors machines at a vintage display in Japan recently. I do not have information on which models they are, but they are included for information.

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