Wednesday 31 May 2017

Little Red goes the burgundy reg.

A handful of photos from, oh.. I dunno.. around ~7:13pm on the 19th of March, 2017.
Give or take.

How? Why? Needlessly specific? Why are you showing me this just now?

Well. This is a photo-set I took specifically for my Club Registration application, later the same day I'd discussed it with the bloke in charge of these registrations within the club. Kept things fresh. 
To anyone reading this who doesn't happen to be in Victoria, Australia; a 'club plate' or "Club Permit" is a limited-use registration for classic vehicles - just about anything that's managed to last at least 25years, and is a member of a car club in on the scheme.
You get to drive the car 45 days a year (that's nearly once a week) while sporting some heinous burgundy plates. The point being? Ohhh, it's cheap.
When a year's full-registration is up around the $750AUD mark nowadays, having the option to drop that down to $150-or-less on something you barely drive anyway.. well it's just hard to say no. 
Yet I'd resisted for so long (and still do on two other eligible vehicles). There's a handful of downsides (fiddly registration process, fixed plate sizes/combinations, club registration label for the windscreen, tied to a club, whatever), but the main thing? The plates. To mention for the second time in this post; they're.. yeah, they're hideous. 

That Sunday evening's effort - the basic unedited photos following VicRoads (my State's registration department) angle instructions: date-stamp function on the camera? Pah - this'll do!

Raised a whisker, and sitting on a set of 1460 Watanabe F8F's..

..the original 'teardrop' alloy spare though.

Late 1987, and one-hundred and twenty-seven thousand AW11's into the 160,000-odd produced.

Running an airbox instead of the usual open throttles.

All as usual in here.

423,352km. Thirteen-hundred or so since October.

..and that's that.

Photos and forms were sent through, and approved a couple weeks later. Success.
Next step was the roadworthy-certificate.
Nothing fancy here, so off it went for its $170-odd inspection with fingers crossed. A couple express-posted engine mounts and a balljoint later, I had my certificate!

Off to VicRoads I went.
..*sigh*.. again, success!

80-H(ero)? Yeah, that's good enough..

..and inside that Club Permit Logbook.
This is very simply filled-out every day the car is driven. Easily cheated no doubt, but the scheme is generous enough that 99% would never have to bother.

..seeing I've had these plates since the 12th of April, and haven't so much as screwed them to the car..? Yeah, I think I'll be fine...

Friday 19 May 2017

Steve Tercel.

So due to the absolutely raging success of the previous Instagram-tease-to-hooray-it's-everything post..

A look inside the 1986 AL25 Toyota Tercel (4WD SR5) spotted at a wrecker last weekend. Other than the already-nabbed upper off-road guages and gearknob, things are complete and original in here... and give a pretty good idea of just how cool a place it would've been 31years ago. Black/grey with wooly diagonal-design inserts, fabric-upper door trims, grab-handles on the quirky-looking bucket seats, and a strange toothy pattern on the roof..! A fun place to pedal the pedestrian 3A-C four... and hey, in 4WD mode (pulling that smaller lever between the seats to the rear) with what's effectively an oddly-gated 6spd manual..! This one was sadly quite clean (157,000km/100,000mi) and other than a bit of fade, sporting an interior that would've/could've/should've come up a treat. Yet unfortunately that ship has sailed. Hurts to see good original cars wrecked regardless, but when there are SO few left on the road..? Argh. #toyotaaustralia #amitoyota #toyota#teq #トヨタ #al25 #toyotatercel#tercel4wd #classictoyota#oldschooltoyota #3ac#japanesenostalgiccar #1986 mentioned in this morning's post: the 4WD Tercel's Z54F 'six speed' - an interestingly simple setup that uses a super-tall *true* first gear (available to select when the FWD-4WD lever is pulled to the rear) as a low range. #amitoyota #toyota #teq #トヨタ #al25 #al25g #toyotatercel#tercel4wd #sprintercarib#toyotasprinter #classictoyota#oldschooltoyota #3ac #z54f#japanesenostalgiccar #1986

1981 Soccer Bowl Champions? Notre Dame? Nondescript plain-white polo? I trio of I-don't-quite-think-they're-Japanese fellows "cheerfully encountering" an I'm-fairly-sure-that's-Japanese AL25 Toyota Sprinter Carib (that's the Japanese-market equivalent of yesterday's Tercel) in this colourful 1983 advert. Relevant yes, sure; but please, zoom manually... get a good look at the head-rest-less folded-seat relaxation.. and my god, that large-pattern plaid trim. What a place to be. #nasl #soccerbowl #notredame #toyota#teq #トヨタ #al25 #al25g#toyotatercel #tercel4wd #sprintercarib#itschocolateforbeatniks#toyotasprinter #classictoyota#oldschooltoyota #3ac #z54f#japanesenostalgiccar #1983

 ..let's do it again.
As mentioned in the posts above; I came across this little gem at the wreckers recently (mid-April, so already more than a month ago now) and HAD to have a good crawl over it. I very rarely see these things on the road, so given the chance for a really good look at an unmolested example? And a high-spec SR5 variant at that? Chuffed. I pounced..

So yes. Again. What is it..?
1986 AL25 Toyota Tercel 4WD SR5 - a world-market equivalent of the Japanese Sprinter Carib launched in 1982.
For Australia, this was the higher-specced model in a two-tier lineup (Deluxe, SR5) sold from late '83 through to its replacement's (the Corolla 4WD) introduction in late 1988. Toyota Australia never bothered with any other variation of these second-generation Tercels (what's essentially a smaller, front-driving Corolla, from a time when Corollas were rear-drive); with this model, this generation, the only time the name has ever appeared on the Australian market.

This particular 1986 AL25 Toyota Tercel 4WD SR5 looked painfully original, and was essentially complete when I came across it on this not-so-sunny Sunday. Plonked on its belly, waiting for its turn on the jerry steelie-stands..

 A damn crime I tells ya! Look at that patina..

Seriously loving all the model-specific badging Toyota did on this model..

..and that was '4WD' exterior badge number four. Count them. Here? That's 'SR5' number three.

A cheerful-looking afro'd chap.
I sure know a lot more about thirty-year-old Japanese commuter vehicles than I do world religions..

..more and more of the nicely detailed, model-specific parts.

If the badging on the front and rear weren't enough, another "TOYOTA" on the outer side of these rear cargo-area boxes. Again.. I absolutely adore this stuff..

 A view from the inside. Not sure what that little recess is for; but all of it.. that seemingly-unnecessary ribbing on the top there.. it's all fantastic. And done in plastics that've stood up to decades of Australian sun. Nicely done..

Recreating a view I'd always remembered from car magazines as a kid.

Fantastic fabric/colours. The great detailing continues - there's SO much to love in here.. those half-fabric door trims..

 ..and strange toothy-pattern in the headlining.

Original Toyota air-conditioning decal on the glovebox.

 Owner's manual and service booklet.

I don't know if it's a market-specific detail, but the inside cover of the service booklet always carries the original sale information.
Selling dealer was Castlemaine Toyota, which a quick Google shows is still there, on the same site. It's ~2hours drive north-west of where I took these photos all these years later. Not as brutally-close end-to-end as some other cars I've come across, but seeing local cars (original reg, books) always has be wondering if they'd ever even left the state..

Wandering around to the driver's side: a view of those tremendous Prelude-esque front seats..

 ..Honda's Prelude sure didn't have these grab-handle 'ears' though!

Toyota AM/FM/Cassette double-din unit with manual tuner and sideways-loading cassette.
Without scrolling through tens of thousands of photos on my phone, I think this may be the same/similar as units I've come across in the Tarago (Toyota Van) and Cressida..

The Tercel's Z54F 'six-speed' manual and 4WD-lever described in the Instagram post at the top of the page.

Finally, a view of the longitudinally-mounted 3A-C; a distant cousin to the 4A-G in the tail-end of my AW11.. in 1500cc single-cam form.
Its mounting position here actually quite interesting, seeing in the base Tercel/Corolla II vehicle it's only driving the front wheels.

*whispers* "..3A.. TOYOTA.."

..and yep, ohh.. that used-but-not-abused patina. C'mon, work with me here!


Friday 12 May 2017

Autobahn Midnight: The 1989- E33A Mitsubishi Galant AMG.

A closer look at a couple (Instagram) posts from last week that had turned out to be surprisingly popular. Maybe popular because they were surprising? I don't know. Either way, there's a lot more Galant fans out there than I'd thought!

"...but where's the four-wheel-drive? The turbo'd 4G63? The VR-4 badges.. and group-A-'Evolution' homologation reason-to-exist that'd make this that temendously-relevant step back from 1998?" Not here.. and in this case, I'd hardly care. It was this AMG-enhanced (yes, that AMG) variant that sat above all other sixth-gen Galants when new; with that subtle bodykit, 170PS NA-tune 4G63, and MMC-badged potential to irritate AMG-Mercedes owners (in the years before Mercedes took it upon themselves to dilute the hell out of the brand): the 1989- E33A Mitsubishi Galant AMG. Autobahn Midnight.  
#itsawanganmidnightjoke#withablackamgbadgedmitsubishi#arghforgetaboutit #mitsubishi#mitsibishimotors #mmc #galant#mitsubishigalant #e33a #e39a #4g63#galantamg #amg #mercedesamg#tccav #japanesenostalgiccar #1989

...swinging 'round for a view from the rear; the shouty AMG logo emblazoned yet again on the model's bespoke - and otherwise subtle - multi-piece bodykit. 
#mitsubishi#mitsibishimotors #mmc #galant#mitsubishigalant #e33a #e39a #4g63#galantamg #amg #mercedesamg#tccav #drivetastefully#japanesenostalgiccar #1989

As I always try to keep the posts/topics flowing along (since many aren't keen to see something in their feed for days and days...), I then moved on. 

But there's more..!

Well, not a lot more.. but one or two others I'd taken that day, at the TCCAV February meet. 

There's another from the same three-quarter - now standing...

...and a creeper shot through the slightly-opened windows. 
A little more modified inside than it is out (various bits of audio gear, trimmed Recaros, etc; vs. the wheels and exhaust), but essentially all there, and all very tidy. I have no idea how long I'd have to wait to see another, so as always - beggars can't be choosers!

Now at this point - regardless of whether it's Instagram or a faff-tastic blogpost - I'd move onto a few brochure shots, or a magazine advert; something from the period/manufacturer that would be relevant and interesting, showing how it was presented when new. 
Yet no dice. 
I was genuinely surprised at how little advertising there seems to have been at launch. I skimmed through a heap of magazines from the time (late 1989), and nope.. nada. Yeah, there's adverts for Galants.. and adverts for other products featuring Galants. But they're other variants, or (not so surprisingly) using the faster, rallying, VR-4 poster-child. 

So failing that, let's just look at some technical bread-and-butter from the time:
From the late-1989 introduction, third from the right.
I'd mentioned it in the original Instagram post above, but again, look at the price compared to the VR-4. Without the turbo performance or AWD grip, Mitsubishi must have been putting a lot of weight on the AMG name..

Showing the original wheels.

..a much larger view of this promotional shot.

..what would've been the original...

...and in B&W, but keeping it's backdrop: a view from the rear.

From the 1990 and 1991 books. 
The model looks to have been very gently revised some time in late '90 or early '91. There's new wheels at the very least, and the model is now split into Type I and Type II - the latter introduced as a stripper lower-priced (around 500,000 yen less) alternative. 

I'm not sure if the AMG variant continued right through to the end, but 1992 was the end of the generation regardless. Three years of AMG-badged Galant fun. 

AMG of Germany. A name synonymous with the ultimate in automotive construction in Europe. The work of these professionals enhances the overall quality of automobiles that have already attained outstanding recognition for excellence. AMG's tuning philosophy is that of a perfectionist, and the company's advanced technologies are fully reflected in the Galant AMG 4-door sports.
AMG designed aerodynamics-enhancing body parts, original body paint and so on to make the Galant AMG an astonishingly bold presence. The cockpit and cabin area combine to create a magnificent space punctuated by quality amenities. Unparalleled driveability is the result of exhaustive tests on the autobahn. However you look at it, this 4-door sedan reveals exhilarating quality. The fine-tuned Galant AMG. The marriage of Japanese and German technologies and senses places it at the top of the 4-door sports car class.