Curbside Classic: Toshiba Digital CRT – Hang On, There’s Also a Corsica In There Somewhere

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Clearly, it’s not a car , but I mean, it is a classic and it’s laying on the curb- well, on the edge of the side walk anyway. Can you not remember how common these were, before the days of flat screen TVs? I can remember almost every self-respecting home adorned its living room with an example.

 

Of course, the bigger they were, the more respect your home deserved. When my wife’s brother moved to Australia with his family, his GIANT Toshiba Bomba was duly bequeathed to my wife and me. Try hurtling one of these up or down a few floors- you’ll get new appreciation for life. And a painful spinal cord.

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This example looks to be in good shape. Obviously, this means nothing until it’s connected to the mains, up and running with a link to an antenna, or some other source of broadcast.

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There are some I/O ports, along with buttons to operate it should the remote get lost (which it probably has). Oh wait- what’s that reflection? Told you there was a Corsica in there.

That’s right- just across from the Tosh’ and in true CC style, was this one of (now) a handful Corsicas:

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Now, I know the Corsica was reviewed here on CC a number of times, but this post deals with some facts concerning the Corsica in Israel, where these photos were taken.

I’ve slightly addressed the car market in Israel here, but now let me elaborate a little about the position of American cars in Israel. For many years, they were marketed here as some sort of “cheap” alternatives (they weren’t really that cheap) to luxury cars. After all, they had everything which counted towards that: Power steering, A/C, electric windows, they were mostly automatic, and mostly big, certainly compared to the European or Japanese cars. After all, on the Israeli market, even an American compact car such as a Dodge Dart was bigger than most “foreign” cars (and those were imported to Israel bare-bone, with very few options).

This had been going on up until Mitsubishi entered the market in 1989, its importer very cleverly selling the Lancer and Gallant “fully loaded”. Mr. Israeli suddenly got all his creature comforts far cheaper than any American cars present on the market and by the late 1990s, the rest of the Japanese manufacturers where all here, selling their cars along the lines of Mitsubishi’s formula (later the Koreans took over, but that’s firmly into the 2000s).

Returning to the Nighties- back then the import of GM products to Israel was curiously divided between two major importers; One imported Chevrolet, Buick, SAAB and more, and the other imported Pontiac, Oldsmobile, GMC and Opel. I forget which imported Cadillac and Isuzu, but you get the picture- at one time, you could buy either a GMC Safari or a Chevrolet Astro, GMC Sonoma or Chevrolet S-15 and of course, Pontiac Tempest or Chevrolet Corsica, at different selling points with different warranties, serviced at different service garages, with no connection or knowledge share between them (well, not officially anyway). All this changed when GM stepped in (early 2000s) and laid down the law- unite or else! So came to the world the current importer, UMI, which holds the import rights to all of GM brands, including the Korean divisions (but excluding Opel, which in 2011 was taken away from UMI following its neglect of this brand. Since then, the new importer has done wonders for them in Israel, but I digress).

So, what we see here is probably one of the last Corsicas to be imported to Israel, I’m guessing this from the painted grill, which on earlier examples used to be black:

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It’s been sitting there for about a month now, and you can tell by the dust and the front tire, slowly losing pressure.

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It obviously has seen better days, the clear-coat at the top surfaces has gone and that rust isn’t going to diminish.

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Inside? An ode to plastic is how I would describe it. Truly ghastly. But it holds on, somehow.

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That right side mirror probably wasn’t there when the car was new. Still, could be worse. It was obviously driven here, so it might have a better future ahead of it.

At this point I’m reminded by the Corsica my brother in law had. It was about seven years old at the time and felt as if it was about to dismantle itself any moment;

The interior rattled vigorously, the seats lost any support they ever had, the ride was insufferable, and the doors closed with the feel of a guillotine. Eventually, it did one decent thing and set itself on fire following a short circuit from the cigarette lighter socket.

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Hopefully this posted example brings more joy to its owner. I’ll leave you with one more photo of its rear- just imagine it rolling away from you and towards the sunset…: