Welcome to the final part of the Japanese half of this edition of T87’s Singles Collection, where we will look at the three JDM OEMs we’ve not seen as yet. We should start this post off with a Subaru from an alphabetical point of view, but this scruffy late ‘70s Suzuki Jimny SJ10 in period-perfect faded orange just had to be at the top of the heap.
This early ‘70s Fronte Coupé GX was also pretty amazing. Its owner was busy giving it a thorough clean when I saw it, even though it looked like it had left the factory last week. The later Cervo was based on this model which, although named Fronte, is rear-engine/RWD.
The 4th generation Cervo (1990-98) was the final one, barring a brief re-birth of the nameplate in the mid-naughties. The Mode was the sporty/girly variant – some were available with a turbo 4-cyl. and permanent AWD. This one is more of the FWD / 3-cyl. kind.
Unfortunately, the owner of this 2nd gen (1984-88) Alto Works RS-R went just a little overboard on the vinyl wrap. Kind of makes the car disappear behind the manga and other BS. Which is a darn shame.
Well, well, well! Seems like someone has a Jeep fetish but wants to keep their expenses low. Stick the appropriate badges on a Jimny Sierra (along with the yellow Yanase [car importer] sticker, for good measure) and voilà: instant baby Jeep!
Moving on to Subaru with a stunner of a maroon SVX. My only reaction has to be: “Wow.”
Funny how it took me a couple years until I started finding these 360s – but now that I have, it’s like they all want to get photographed at once! This is the first Young SS variant I’ve caught. The mighty air-cooled twin in this Subaru provides 36hp – in other words, 100hp per litre! Ferrari, eat your heart out.
I run into mid-‘90s kei cars on occasion, but a red hot Vivio is always a sight!
Before we hit the Toyota main course, a tiny amuse-bouche in the form of a Takeoka Abbey Carrot, looking very neat in its shiny black paintjob and chromed wheels.
So it’s come to this: the Toyota section. Let’s start on a powerful note with the A70 Supra, because those are iconic. And because I found more than one.
Black seems to be a pretty popular colour for A70s. Not sure if that was true back then or if people like to respray them in this hue.
Just like aftermarket steering wheels and rims have become a de rigueur addition to these… Still, they do look the part.
Just as iconic as the Supra: the AE86 Corolla/Sprinter twins. These are extremely popular and show up on these Singles Collection posts with alarming regularity, but they are inescapable. This Corolla Levin liftback was impossible to ignore, try as I might…
As was this wonderful Sprinter Trueno notchback – a true survivor.
While we’re wading deep in the two-door Toyos, let’s check on the MR2s. One per generation, starting with the wedgy O.G. of the breed.
The second generation W20 (1989-99) is the one that is most commonly seen – they lasted a long time after all. Well, this one isn’t too long for this world, but you know what I mean.
That’s what I mean. They made a lot of these and there is a solid fan base over here.
The 3rd gen MR2 looks more like a wannabe Porsche than anything else. For its part, the Twingo looks like a chubbier Honda Today. I found this silver duo more compelling as a photographic subject more than the cars themselves, honestly. That’s my excuse for shoehorning it in this post. So there.
Shame about those rims, but otherwise – WOW. I just love these older Celica Liftbacks.
Speaking of liftbacks, this is the first such E70 Corolla (1979-84) I’ve seen in a couple of decades at least! We used to have the wagon version when I was a kid – this one is much more alluring.
Nope! Nope, nope, nope. All kinds of wrong.
I mean, all those hoses poking out of the grille… Poor X30 Mark II didn’t deserve this.
Going back to Toyota’s Ur-sports coupé with this S800. I believe we’ve encountered this particular one before, but I for one cannot get enough of these, so here it is again. One day I’ll find one that’s standing still!
In many ways, the Soarer is the antithesis of the S800. Where the older car is tiny, bulbous, noisy and very rare, the ‘80s luxury coupé is beefy, angular, quiet and still pretty common. At least, this second gen Z20 is.
But this time, the usual Z20 sightings took a (cramped) back seat to the gen-one Z10 (1981-85). This one was actually rather indiscreet due to whatever the owner did to the exhaust. Which is lucky, as it alerted me to its presence.
This one was a lot quieter. And that two-tone paintwork was much more pleasing to the eye.
Enough with the coupés, let’s transition to the saloons by way of vans, trucks and wagons. Because why not?
It’s not every day that one runs into a 1982-85 TownAce in such condition, I can tell you. But there were more intriguing Toyota heavies about…
I’ve seen a few Japanese Army (sorry, “Self Defense Force”) vehicles about occasionally, but never had the chance to immortalize some – until now. So behold the famous Toyota BXD10, also known as the Mega Cruiser, the firm’s take on the Humvee. But it wasn’t alone…
It was followed by a Toyota Type 73 AWD truck, complete with mini trailer (some sort of cistern?). These are entering their 50th year in production, which might be some sort of record. They are powered by a 4-litre Diesel 4-cyl., whereas the Mega Cruiser has a 4.1 litre turbo-Diesel.
Yet another aftermarket nose for the Probox – certainly better-looking than a stock one!
This is a Toyota wagon of some sort (2nd gen Caldina, 1997-2002), but I certainly didn’t take the picture because of the car. Just another WTF moment in Japan.
Nothing in the Toyota range can beat the X70 Mark II wagon in terms of durability and desirability, in my opinion. Which is why I keep finding these and posting them on CC.
Here’s where we branch out to the saloons and take a gander at the 1984-88 X70 Mark II Hardtop. I found a better one to document more closely, so it’ll have its day on CC soon.
The X80 Cresta, on the other hand, has had its CC post already. But there’s no harm in squeezing another one in, is there? (Insert “That’s what she said” joke here.)
Toyota made only 1073 Origins in 2000-01, apparently. Yet I just seem to run into them all the time.
Honestly, this might be the best retro-styled JDM car ever made. Nice interior, too.
Only one solitary Crown was deemed worthy of your attention, this time. This is a 7th generation (1983-87) S120 Royal Saloon “hardtop“ – somewhat modified, but obviously dear to someone. Found another one that was located in a more accessible area, so it’s on the docket for CC sometime…
I’m still not keen on these T40 Coronas – at least, not the front end, which is butt-ugly.
But the rest is good enough, I guess. Especially in this condition.
To end this post on a high note, let’s part ways while ogling at Toyota’s prestige model, the legendary Century.
A number of sightings took place, starting with this sweet VG40, i.e. a late model first generation car, probably from the early ‘90s.
The other Centurys that caught my attention were all of the G50 variety. These were made between 1997 and 2017 and are the only V12-powered Japanese cars ever sold on the civilian market. But they are reaching banger status nonetheless…
Some are even used as taxis now! This is not the first one I’ve seen, either. Sure beats the standard-issue Crown Comfort cabs fond all over the archipelago.
Pity this hearse was partially covered. What a way to go though, eh? Or you could opt for the Lincoln, if you find the golden pagoda Century a bit over the top…
Here’s one I wasn’t even aware existed: unlike the first gen Century, which included a production limo variant, the G50 was only sold with a standard wheelbase. Or so I thought – obviously, a few stretched cars must have been made, aside from the specials they did for the Imperial Palace. Quite a sight!
Finally and while we’re on the subject of over-the-top and gilded conveyances, I’m not sure what this is exactly, Toyota or otherwise. But it’s hilarious and someone will be able to ID it, I’m sure.
That’s it for the Japanese cars – tomorrow, we shall begin to explore the many automotive wonders of the mystic West.
That last car is a hideously modified Nissan Cima or President from the F50 generation, which we got for a few years in the US as the third-gen Q45. The 2002 model with gattling gun headlights.
There’s no accounting for taste, I guess.
I love your posts!
Here’s a more tasteful one, as eyewash. 🙂
“The 3rd gen MR2 looks more like a wannabe Porsche than anything else.”
I 100% agree. I’ve failed to make the distinction between the two on more than one occasion.
Nice, Im seeing a fair few Toyota Crowns recently so get pics while you still can, those shovel nose Coronas are rare here but common when I lived in southern Tasmania plenty still around there including wagons and utes, my VW loving english mate had one of those microscopic Subarus 40,000kms since removed from the box mint but very difficult to get parts for and flimsy like you wouldnt believe, a scary device in traffic. Somebody where I work has a similar Caldina to the one you found, turbo 4wd all the fruit but no giant birdsnest on top his looks better, great selection as usual keep em coming.
The shovel nose (and boxiest car ever) Corona was the first Japanese car that really put them on the map in the US as a Volkswagen Beetle alternative. According to Wikipedia the 1965 model marked a return of Toyota to the American market after withdrawing there temporarily in 1961. I don’t think they sold hardly any cars here on the first try. They were pretty common, at least in California, where Japanese cars were definitely initially much more accepted than elsewhere in the US.
Im not sure but I think it was 68 that RT40 Coronas ran at Bathurst and won their class, clocked at 90+ mph on Conrod straight, they like the 510 Datsuns werent all that fast in the grand scheme of things but under race conditions they ran all day driven hard, and consequently sold quite well.
I absolutely enjoy your posts, and they are one of the inspirations for my upcoming first trip to Tokyo next Spring.
Love these posts! Great pics. Love the ‘Zukis, and the Celica, Corona and Origin especially.
I’m also a fan of the SVX! And that yellow with stripes is the quintessential colour for a 360 Young SS.
I’m pretty sure every Cervo of that generation was badged as Cervo Mode, and the Alto Works although yes is based on the second-gen Alto, is the first-gen Works and launched very late in that Alto gen’s career.
I believe that colour was very common on the A70 Supra, and if Gran Turismo is a reliable source, was the only colour option on several versions of said Supra.
Sports 800 is pleasing as always, and it is a wonder you find so many unruined AE86s.
I’m very much into whatever is on the roof of that Caldina. Feels a lot like something one might relax inside in a calm and quiet garden.
I also love the Origin, and agree it’s amongst the best the retro era had to offer.
As others have said, that last one is a Nissan Cima (or less likely, President).
I really do enjoy these updates, keep them coming!
Just, _wow_ .
So many interesting cars and you’re a great photographer .
Hard to choose one out of the lot, prolly the RT40 Toyota for me, I think they look better in colors, particularly the lights pastels on offer back then .
I’d love to get a T40 coupe but I only see them once in a blue moon anymore, always dent free in some far off junkyard .