While wandering around at Cars and Coffee a few weeks ago, I spotted an odd-looking car with its rear view mirrors attached to the front fenders. “Oh yikes, this thing probably belongs to some weeaboo guy who gets a raging boner from reading his collection of Initial D mangas” I thought to myself. But as I got closer, I could see that this car was not some wanna-be drift machine covered in JDM stickers. No, this car is the real deal.
I’ll admit that when it comes to vintage Japanese automobiles, I know next to nothing about them. However, I know just enough to recognize that this right-hand drive Toyota Corona 2000GT is a very unique automobile here in the USA. Having spent a couple of hours researching mid-1970s Toyotas, I can now proceed to share with you some information about this car.
The 1980s were a gold rush of Japanese sports cars making their way to the United States. Manufacturers were importing cars such as the 280ZX and 300ZX from Nissan, the RX-7 from Mazda, the Mitsubishi Starion, the Isuzu Impulse, and the Subaru XT. Perhaps one of the most memorable Japanese cars of the decade was the Toyota Supra.
This two-seater sports coupe is pretty much a direct descendant of the Toyota 2000GT I covered recently. It has an inline-6 cylinder engine, rear wheel drive, and a long, sloping front with a hatchback roof. Toyota produced the second generation (or Mark II) from 1982 through 1986. They were badged as “Celica Supra” at the time, becoming just “Supra” in 1986 with the introduction of the Mark III Supra.
When it comes to cultural differences, Americans and Europeans have very different tastes. We have distinctly different preferences in food, music, clothing, and humor. It stands to reason that we would also have different preferences for automobiles. As Peugeot learned in the 1980s, this is exactly the case.
Peugeot is a large and well-known car manufacturer in France. In 1987, they launched a brand-new car called the 405. This mid-size family sedan offered a lot of standard features at a reasonable price. It had a body designed by Pininfarina and was available with an optional 150HP engine. This sporty, front-wheel drive sedan was named European Car of the Year in 1988. Spurred on by a positive reception at home, Peugeot decided to bring the 405 sedan over to the United States market.
There is a car show held once a month in Scottsdale where people gather to drink coffee and show off their high-end exotic cars. I skipped right past the rows of Ferraris and Porsches to go check out this 1984 Toyota Celica GT (yes, seriously).
I took one look at the car and could tell right away that something special was going on here. For one thing, it’s a lifted car! Aside from an AMC Eagle or a Subaru rally car, you don’t often see cars with this much ground clearance! I snapped some photos and looked around for the owner who was nowhere to be found.
This year, for the two year anniversary of Generation-High Output, I want to do something special. I am going to tell you a story about me and my car that happened not too long ago.
It all started with a dream I had about walking out of Metrocenter and having trouble finding my car in the parking lot. Just as I was starting to panic- fearful that someone had stolen it, a hand reached out from behind me and held an ether-soaked rag over my mouth.