Asia Times Online :: Japan News — That’s my car

31 мая 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Toyota S-800

That’s my car

By Todd Crowell

HUA Thailand — The year was Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak was at the top of the charts. Ayn Rand had just her novel Fountainhead . And the Toyota Co had just sold its first car in the States. Fifty years who would have predicted some of the models might collectors’ items or items of

But tell that to the hundreds of aficionados who turned out this at the 12th annual Toyotafest, each year at this

in the shadow of the Queen Mary in Beach, California. Every that Toyota has produced the early 1960s was on hand Toyota Crowns, Land Celicas, MR2s, Supras, you it. Toyota is almost unique in it has produced versions of almost all categories, from sports and compacts to luxury vehicles.

Resor of San Diego was there displaying his 1967 Toyota still going strong 400,000 miles (more 640,000 kilometers) on the original He bought it from a man who was going to it to a local high school to apart in auto-shop classes. I him [US]$150, and he accepted $125, he Now he owns 10 Toyotas. What’s so about them? Their lies in their quality. and the fact that the company has its distribution network going. You can get parts for a ’67 Toyota.

I sympathize. I used to own a Toyota sports car that I drove Japan in the late 1960s. It was a little red two-seater that, in had a lot more bark than (Not that you needed a lot of under the hood to get around during that time.) I around the countryside on my honeymoon. when I left Japan I it to my brother-in-law.

Aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiyaaaaaaaaaa! How was I supposed to it would become a classic? The time I saw my car was in a museum in Tokyo.

in the 1960s, it took considerable — not to say a copious amount of faith — to believe any Japanese — or any Asian automobile had the potential to become a Even now some find the hard to accept. The Asian car? It’s a stretch, I say, said Dave one of America’s leading authorities on cars.

Nevertheless, enthusiasts on both of the Pacific are beginning to rediscover the of owning a car made in the 1960s and It was a time when Japanese were first beginning to up in large numbers in foreign It was also a time when cars began to display the and performance characteristics that soon make them the world leaders they are (In the first quarter of this Toyota passed the US giant Motors to become the world’s auto maker in terms of

In a small way even my own Toyota was something of a pace setter. It a removable roof panel, Porsche to the idea by about a If it had been powered by more its 790-cubic-centimeter engine, the sporty car might have made a impact outside of Japan as an to, say, the Triumph Spitfire. In only about 3,000 ever made.

Of course, there are purists who insist that the term car hardly applies to Japanese or any Asian makes. Strictly in the US the term refers to cars between 1925 and 1948, as Packards, Duesenbergs and Austin 7s. War II cars considered to be of near or classic status include legends as the Ford Mustang, the some Triumph models of course, the once-ubiquitous Volkswagen

It’s time Toyota the ranks of the collectibles, said who founded the Toyota Owners and Club with this in mind 10 years ago. He that while Japanese may not seem ancient in comparison say, a 1926 Bugatti, have the basic attributes of — rarity and value. It have to be as old as your grandfather for you to it.


1964-69 S800

1964-70 Datsun

1965-70 Honda S800

Datsun 240Z

1971-75 Crown Coupe

1970-77 Celica Twin-cam

Toyota S-800

1970-74 Z600

1971-80 Suzuki

1968-72 Nissan Skyline

For example, take the Toyota (1965-70). Only 337 copies of elegant sports coupe built, and only 11 Americans bought one. Three exported to the United Kingdom two to be used in the James Bond You Only Live Twice and the one bought by Twiggy. Today jostle to buy these cars, a price tag over $100,000.

Dave Brownell concedes the Toyota 2000GT has a certain of, well, class. It’s collectible. I wish I had one.

Of Toyotas are not the only vintage made in Japan. There are of Nissan enthusiasts, and dealers are up and restoring as many of the original 240Z sports models as can lay their hands on. And since than 150,000 of the models made, they are many available than some of the sports cars.

US dealers are hoping that of reconditioned Z classics and Z vintages help boost the sports-car The Z was the first Japanese sports car to on equal terms with models and helped Nissan into the US market.

Are any other cars destined to become India makes the Hindustan modeled externally on the British Oxford. The original dies are in effect providing the buyer a 1950s-looking car with more technology. As for Korean models, says he has never seen that get old so fast.

I’m not one can write such cars off so After all, who can say there at this moment some person settling behind the of his or her first Hyundai, or Malaysian Saga or Chinese Chery, who in the middle of life experience an like mine? It may be a spruced-up at an automobile show, a picture in a or even the sight of a rotting old in a junkyard that stirs him or her to That’s my car.

Todd Crowell is an Asia Online correspondent based in

(Copyright 2007 Asia Online Ltd. All rights Please contact us about syndication and republishing .)

Toyota S-800
Toyota S-800
Toyota S-800
Toyota S-800


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