The Toyota Automobile
Museum boasts one of the
finest car collections in
Japan, with about 450
vehicles in perfect
condition. But only 120 of
them are shown in the
permanent exhibition, and
a DS was rumoured to be
hidden somewhere in a
warehouse. I checked it out
in February, 2011. A DS
there was, a beautiful 1958
DS19, one of the six
classic Citroens of this
amazing collection.
Curator Koji Yamada kindly took me
for a tour of the museum's secrets.
It was opened in 1989 by Toyota,
for the 50th anniversary of the
company's foundation. It is not
exactly Japan's largest car museum,
but it is the most visited, with no less
than about 240,000 visitors per year.
The quality of its displays, special
exhibitions and activities clearly
make it a reference.
(Japanese and English, with
explanations in several other
Yamada-san explains that although the
museum benefited from donations from
Japanese individuals, most of the European
cars have been purchased via the Louwman
Museum in The Hague (Netherlands). It is
also the case with this beautiful DS19,
acquired in 1998. It has all the
characteristics of an original 1958 DS19,
and is in a very good condition, although the
engine has not been re-started yet.
Left and below: some typical characteristics of a 1958
model-year DS19: the exhaust in the front; the blue Jersey
cloth for the seats; the small lights on the B-pillars; the
rear direction indicators translucent plastic housings.
In its December 2000 issue, the Museum's
newsletter ("Toyota Hakubutsukan Dayori",
left) announces the results of the "Car of the
Century" contest, with the DS in 3rd position,
illustrated by a photo of its own and recently
acquired DS19.

The same newsletter shows again the
museum's car on the cover of its June 2006
issue (below). The nice drawing is by Seiji
Chaza, already introduced in this site,
While we're at it, here are the five other
Citroens of the Toyota Museum: above, a
1937 11B, and below, clockwise, a 1953
2CV, a 1925 5CV, a 1975 GS, and another
Traction, a 1953 11B "Legere". Only the
1937 Traction and the 5CV are part of the
permanent exhibition.  
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