Posts Tagged ‘japanese’

Sunshine Survivor – 1974 Toyota Celica ST

July 16, 2016

Back when it was just a used car, Toyota’s Celica in lower-specification versions did not seem like anything more than just a 2-door commuter with a little more style than a Corolla. But time can do a lot to change perspectives, and the first-generation A20 Celica has some very appealing features, both in terms of its styling cues and some of its mechanical virtues. The A20 Celica’s curvy Coke-bottle design is quite elegant, and the front grill and rear panel have some neat period cues. 1974 cars still got the smiley bumpers, and while all A20-generation cars got the slim door handles, the facelift models got clunkier styling. Let’s take a look at this 1974 Toyota Celica ST for sale for $4200 in Redondo Beach, CA.

1974 Toyota Celica ST left front

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Cumberford and Mott’s Light – 1981 Subaru GL Hatchback

June 29, 2016

Though there were plenty of cars before the 1980s with cyclops front lights, like the Rover P4 and Tucker 48, it seems likely the Subaru Leone of the early 1980s will be the last to offer that feature from the factory. These lights were often used as a supplementary light for turning – though most notably, the Citroen ID/DS featured two inboard lights that turned with the front wheels – but lighting technology has advanced to the point where the addition of a separately mounted turning light is no longer needed. So let’s take a moment to celebrate an example of the last cyclops-light car, this 1981 Subaru GL hatchback for sale for $3750 in Milwaukie, OR.

1981 Subaru GL hatchback left front

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X Copy – 1985 Toyota MR2

June 27, 2016

Update: Nearly two years on, reader Stephen commented on the original post that he purchased the car for $1400. Now with 156,000 miles, the car is still doing well, though it had a few minor needs at purchase: a missing (now replaced) bolt on the coolant pump had caused a leak, and a small hole in the floor and sill rot are on the short list for a date with a welder. Other than that, he’s quite happy with the purchase – here’s a picture to show what it’s like now (note one of the great things about small cars: pulled up on the wrong side? no problem! just reach across!):

1985 Toyota MR2 followup left front

Thanks for the update, Stephen – nice to see this car is still out there doing what it does best.

Original post: For any enthusiast of small sports cars with a small, rev-happy engine, the MR2 has to be on the list. It’s like an X1/9 without the drama (or as much emotion) – that mid-mounted Yamaha-designed four-cylinder is probably one of the nicer four-cylinders to make it through the mid-1980s emissions-controlled malaise era – the nearest competitor had a not-so-awesome 1970s Iron Duke 4-cylinder, and other sporting convertibles ran engines dating back to the 1950s and 1960s. Beyond that, you get tight handling and two handy little trunks, with the frunk cool enough to keep your beer cold and the trunk warm enough to keep your potluck casserole warm. Because people drive to potlucks in MR2s. Check out this 1985 Toyota MR2 for sale with the opening bid at $3000 and 2 days left in Sanford, NC.

1985 Toyota MR2 left rear

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