In my last post I claimed to have avoided the obssession category regarding motor vehicles. I will leave you to judge.
When the excitement of riding the motor-bike was outweighed by the daily trial of getting wet, cold and generally over-exposed, I began to hunt for a car. I was seduced by the practical magnificence of a station wagon in the eminently fitting shape of a Toyota. It was a Cressida GL which had already done 115000 kilometers but I took the risk and was rewarded by more than a 100000 additional kilometers of fault-free motoring, coupled with the most silent engine I have ever not heard – the 18R.
Boring cars designed by committees I hear you say? I owned 3 Toyotas – two Cressidas and a Camry – and in the 400000 kilometers I drove in them only the Camry stopped when it should not have and that was because of an old battery, which was my fault. Not exciting cars perhaps but I will never forget the sheer magic of that first drive in the Cressida as the moon was rising.
The next Toyota I bought was a Cressida 2.4 GL station wagon.
Spacious, powerful but very wallowy on the road this car was incredibly reliable but I wasn’t very fond of it, somehow. Maybe it was the puke brown upholstery and the plastic brown dashboard that left an aftertaste but I can’t fault the general reliability.
Years later I bought a Toyota Camry 2.0Si. Again totally reliable and uncannily silent. I had to look at the rev counter to see if the engine was idling.
The car was vast and a bit under-powered with a tendency to struggle with its automatic gearbox up steep hills but otherwise very relaxing to drive; not an engaging drive, being a little distant from the outside world. There are some disadvantages to a lack of noise feedback from the engine. I think this was a 1992 model and I am sure if I had kept it we could still be riding it and have saved a whole bunch of money!