I don't like the last Toyota made in the 20th century very much in stock form, but the Cruising Deck Concept is a very different story.
Displayed at the 1999 Tokyo Auto Show, the Cruising Deck was based on the then brand new Celica but featured a flat deck with open-air rumble seats. The window behind the front passengers could be lowered into the divider between the front and rear cabins, which could then be folded down to form the lower cushion of the rear seat. The headrests for the rear passengers were attached to the massive rear wing. Subaru had nothing on this!
The car paid homage to the original California concept, the 1977 CAL-1 that was designed at Calty, Toyota's California design studio. Based on the prototype Supra, it could even be turned into a pickup.
At the 1999 show, Katsuhiro Nakagawa, former CEO of Toyota said they brought back the cruising deck one more time because "It's cool, sporty and a heck of a lot of fun!".
Look at it. He was right on!
As you can see, the concept was displayed towing a jet ski, something we've first seen from Toyota in 1971 when they designed a two-door station wagon called the RV-1. It was based on the first Celica but had a large inflatable tent in the boot and a jet ski on its own trailer.
This beach-ready bright yellow concept featured the same 1.8 twin-cam engine as the base car with 187 horsepower on tap. A true powerhouse compared to your average Californian dune buggy.
As a bonus, here's an image you can turn into a sticker and put on Camry bumpers in your neighborhood! You know, just to keep them "grounded to the ground."
Photo credit: Toyota. Thanks to Jason for the montage!