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Toyota Starlet P8. Our lifesaver again

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It is September 24, 2020. The ringtone of my old loyal Samsung takes me out of concentration. Robin from the garage calls me way too early. Because: the earlier, the more awkward. The reason for his call is in my Delta. Robin hasn't said anything yet, but I already know enough. Not much later I am baffled, and apparently they are at the garage too. Robin mentions an amount of € 3.500 for repair costs. Something with a water pump, an intake manifold and a Turbo. Long live the downsize diesel I think. The outcome of the diagnosis leads to an imminent farewell. However, luck in an accident is just around the corner. And listens to the name Toyota Starlet.


That little darn Toyota Starlet. Regular readers know him by now. Every now and then I will keep you informed about the Starlet 1.3i Sport (P8), which enjoys hero status with me. In the weekend following the diagnosis, he takes me back to the past. For those who didn't read it, we had one at home in the early XNUMXs Citroën GSX. It was good for fond memories. The memoirs were the roses on the dump, because it was qualitatively speaking Citroën a problem child. And not just a little bit.

When the GSX temporarily gave the pipe to Maarten for the umpteenth time, it was called the lifesaver Citroën 2CV4, you may know the story. With 435 cc under the hood we drove to grandma de Mooij. She lived in beautiful Haarlem. Anticipating 120 kilometers there. And a few days later anticipating 120 kilometers back. But we got there, without any problems. In short: the flashing weakness for the underdog on the road was finally poured into my barrel on the A6 in Flevoland. In 1982, the 2CV4 was still a pure indictment against any form of prestige, luxury and so on. I liked that, and besides, the Duck did what he had to do.

That feeling will return on Sunday 27 September 2020. We are about to drive from Leeuwarden to Naarden. On to my fine brother-in-law and dear sister-in-law. As usual I check the oil and coolant level. Redundant, the 2 EE engine does not consume a drop. The only thing I fill is the windshield washer reservoir. Our oldest daughter stays at home, my wife, the youngest two children and our dog Micky settle in the Starlet. If the car hadn't been that good I would have called it an adventure. Now we are ready for old-fashioned driving pleasure, which becomes stronger because it is cozy on board. Just like in the 2CV4 back in the day.

On the way we will of course encounter many beautiful things. I am sitting in an old cart, and left and right we are overtaken by the modern age that still displays a lot of fashionable automotive luxury and prestige. The more the better, I think. The greater the counterbalance of our Starlet, which is childishly simple to keep up with the traffic, and with all its so-called anti status radiates intransigence. Not for a moment am I afraid that the Starlet will stop. It is a 1995 Toyota, then you know it: it will survive many modern cars.

The little Japanese represents little value from a financial point of view, is old, not completely classic and therefore he is in a kind of vacuum that makes him the underdog. Except when it comes to reliability, he is the boss of everyone. Cost? Yes you do sometimes, which is not surprising with a car that has passed the 25 years. With only 246.000 on the clock, he will gladly make his services available to you. To then drive around the world smoothly, smoothly and with 1 in 17 (Total Excellum, recommended). The trip to the mediated Naarden reminds me of the past. And now I think it again: secretly this is one of the nicest ways to be on the road. With that creaking radio sound that makes the ride even more enjoyable. And the same goes for the way back, I'm looking forward to it again.

More than three and a half grand in costs do not go to the Lancia. Never once. Part of that plus something else goes to an older used car with reliable credentials, I'm already working on that. And another part benefits the Starlet, which needs a cosmetic facelift. I know people whose hands are itching to take it. Like Anne, who gets the promise from me. Because the Toyota Starlet is fun. Good is. And the refurbishment mentioned deserves. Because you can build and rely on the technically flawless cart, we have been leaning on him for three and a half years, he offers the pleasant security of have something up their sleeve. That is also why there will always be at least one Toyota in my name. And if it is up to me, that's the Starlet. But even if he wants to retire tomorrow, he still remains a hero.

Never before have I felt more sympathy for a car. And thanks to that in several ways memorable trip to Naarden vv it has only become stronger. Cars can comfort. Our Toyota Starlet is a master at it.


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11 Comments

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  1. I also had a Toyota Starlet (after a Carina, Corolla and again a Carina sedan). Certainly the means for this!
    JR-78-SL was the kentejen and it was a great car!
    After 6 years, when he was 10, he was exchanged for another car! But I still remember the license plate, you can imagine what a good impression this car has always had on me!

  2. Sounds familiar. I bought a Peugeot 1994 XRD in 309 with 95000 km on the clock. When this car was torpedoed and declared a total loss, it had almost three tons on the counter. Apart from normal maintenance, three glow plugs have been replaced in the meantime (the Peug saw a chance to start literally one and a half spark plugs at minus twenty) and a ball joint. That was all.

  3. Same story with a Honda Logo CVT from 1999. Regular maintenance and every year without any problems due to the MOT. Not exciting, but very reliable….

  4. In 2012, quite suddenly I no longer had a lease car, but I did have a job with more than 200 kilometers a day commuting. I chose a 26-year-old Mercedes 200D at that time with 276.000 kilometers on the clock for the price of 2950, ​​- euro including a fresh MOT.

    If I had bought a brand new car in 2012, I would have spent less time with it and had less fun than with that ancient diesel. Last spring I got rid of it on a counter reading of 616.000. Never thought about it, in those entire 340.000 kilometers. And never a strange surprise at the garage. Done all turns myself. Repairs: apart from the normal wear parts, only a repaired seat upholstery, a new welded and painted wheel rim, a new fan motor and wiper motor. At 500.000 new injector needles, injection lines and distribution chain with accessories, that was the most expensive. The car made me gold, because I drove an average of 12 cents per kilometer. I now drive a 250D automatic, which is nicer and slightly faster.

    The moral: nothing beats old technology.

  5. After several large German and American luxury vehicles decided to buy a Toyota Urban Cruiser as a 2nd car. What a pleasure, we regularly say goodbye to our contemporary German reliability when we have decided to “just” hit the road with the Cruiser. Drive and steers great and feels very solid. And what is not there is not possible ……

  6. Another tip. Dacia Dokker, 1,5 (Renault) diesel. The same one that is in a Mercedes A or B. Talk about antihero. No modern frills on board that can break.

  7. Well you're talking about a TOYOTA !!!!!!! One of the best cars in existence. I myself have the luxury of a CELICA zzt23. Have it for almost 7 years now and I am still very happy with it.

  8. After many previous cars (which went way too short for me) I am also very satisfied with my more than 30 year old Starlet P8 with the same 2EE engine, the red color is unfortunately a bit faded, but the quality of this simple Japanese technique is really great . I bought it when it was 4 years old and now that it has already passed its 30 years, I still have a lot of confidence that it can last for years. No with this trolley it is a thing of the past that you had to look at another trolley every 10 years.
    YES, this happy driver could really count on 100% reliability all these years and NO I don't work at the Toyota. If someone drives behind my old cart and starts to laugh, I think: yes, laugh, my cart is paid, don't use a drop of oil and the maintenance costs I can laugh about again.

  9. I enjoyed Erik's fascinating and beautiful way of telling for a few minutes again.
    Years ago Toyota did not make the most exciting cars but difficult to match in terms of quality.
    The Strarlet seems to me to be a car that immediately gives you a good feeling when you get in.
    Nice and basic, just a little bit back in time and above all reliable.
    Erik still many nice and safe kilometers in the starlet.
    Yours faithfully,
    Folkert Alta

  10. I have his little brother the 1000S from 1977. Or is it his nephew. Or should you call him the grandfather.
    I rescued it in 2007. It was a barn find.
    For € 125, it became mine.
    Restored and sprayed and given to my ex-daughter-in-law. Who does nothing with it.
    That hurts.
    I would like to take it over, but then it needs a 5-speed gearbox. Yes, it should fit out of a Starlet.
    Who has such a bin. Then I still want to enjoy that bouncy cart that has taken so many pleasant and less pleasant hours of work.
    Hans Visser

    • A K50 gearbox (jargon) for a Starlet is a picture puzzle Hans,… I can possibly help you with it, but you will have to be patient. And not every K50 gearbox fits, .. at least if you want to keep the poker in the right place.

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