Last week it was confirmed that Toyota USA would be moving from its home of 57 years in southern California to new digs in Plano, Texas.
Is Toyota making the right move?
On the one hand, there are dollars to be saved and Toyota will be closer to its manufacturing plants in San Antonio, Mississippi and Kentucky. On the other, it will be leaving the car culture mecca of the US and the only place thus far that has a thriving scene devoted to classic Japanese cars. There are hundreds of other factors at play, and the fate of the Toyota USA Museum is still unknown at this time.
What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a toy. Click through to see the winner of the last QotW, “What’s the greatest nostalgic Toyota?”
The winner of last week’s QotW was pstar, who made a compelling case for the ever popular AE86.
There are really only 3 contenders for this, and they are predictably obvious.
The 2000GT of course: as the most valuable Japanese production car, one of the most beautiful cars made, and the fact that it was the singular car that heralded Japan’s arrival into the world of carmaking credibility. But it is just too rare, none of us will ever own one, and probably a lot of us have never even seen one in person.
Then the A20 daruma Celica. The beginning of a sporty coupe dynasty. Wildly popular in Japan and all the major export markets. This car did in Europe for Japanese cars what the 240Z did in the US. And it reinforced the 240Z in the US, those 2 cars together are responsible for anybody thinking of Japanese cars as anything but appliances. If you were making an event poster for anything JNC-related, you could never go wrong with daruma artwork. The Z almost lacks credibility in comparison, so many of them have slot mags and fuzzy dice, or whatever junk passed for style in 1970s California.
And finally the AE86 Corolla. The A20 Celica was the beginning of a sporty car dynasty, the AE86 was the end of one. The glorious pinnacle of the RWD Corolla coupes. A line that incidentally, though marketed as more “economy” and less “GT” than the Celica, actually always surpassed the Celica for sportiness and performance (in top trim levels of each model, at least) for the entire time that they both occupied the showroom floor. There’s too much to say about the AE86: it has one of the all-time best sorted chassis, came with one of the first 16V DOHC engines, and probably the first very reliable one, a 7500 rpm redline in 1985, and thats something still uncommon in cars in the 2010s. It has awesome styling. It had an international following before the internet age. It comes in a huge collectible but easy to remember set : Levin/Trueno; Coupe/Hatch, Zenki/Kouki, GTS/SR5. It wears 2-tone beautifully, at least as good as any other car ever. And for all that, it is a Corolla. The best Corolla ever made. The best iteration of the best-selling car in history.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!