Author Topic: the last of the Good Old Girls  (Read 58 times)


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the last of the Good Old Girls
« on: January 29, 2019, 05:58:53 PM »
Nothing to do with Lister engines except that I like ‘em for the same reasons people like their Listers:  they’re tough & built to last; plus they’re simple & easy to work on; and their reliability has been proven over and over . . . .

I’m speaking, of course, of the last of the Old School “Toyota Tough” Toyota Camrys.  This is the SXV20 station-wagon model made from 1998 – 2002, with the tough-as-nails 2.2-litre engine, the manual gearbox that no-one has ever seen the inside of and the sort of load-space that a six-footer can sleep in with a bit of headroom left

I have owned probably a dozen of these over the last decade – my kids have stolen three or four off me as they have needed cars – it’ll be grandkids doing that shortly . . .

The two I have at home have 330,000 and 340,000 Ks on the clock and still seem to rumble along OK

They are Japanese-designed cars built in Australia to compete with the dinosaur Ford Falcons & Holden Commodores – so they’re more-or-less full-sized wagons.  Australians have used them as taxis for years and some have done to-the-moon-and-back mileages

I regularly do a 900-K round trip on weekends and keep an eye on the fuel consumption just out of interest.  Unlike the Falcons & Commodores, they are frugal – scampering along at a steady 110 km/h just harvesting the low-speed torque of the engine and with the old girl loaded up with gear they will regularly return 6.1 litres per 100 Kms – that’s 45 MPG in the old money

I have been looking for one to replace mine as they get old and come to the end of their working lives.  I talked to my friend who is a service manager at Toyota and she said I would be better served by continuing to own these old girls rather than buying a new Avensis wagon or the like (I need a wagon, and regularly carry big loads & tow a trailer with it)

I found one the other day – a 2002 wagon (the non-ABS model as I like the simplicity) owned by some old gent who has recently retired from driving after having put just 70,000 Ks on it in 16 years.  He even kept the factory servicing up to date until 50,000 Ks.  It drives like a new one, really.  Everything works perfectly.  The spare tyre is one of the original five new tyres it came with.
 Even the electric retractable antenna still goes up and down – I haven’t seen one with that working for years

It’s kinda the Toyota equivalent of a “barn find”

You know – it might outlast me