Hard to beat a Toyota
A 91 Celica convertible sat in a Chevrolet used car lot. The white body was in good shape, the engine ran fine, the original convertible top was in remarkably good shape along with the rear plastic window. The power top went up & down flawlessly. Upon the test drive the transmission performed normally, but the front C/V joints revealed their wear by clicking in either left or right turns. The car pulled to the right slightly. The factory rims were quite gouged & beat up looking along with mediocre tires. The A/C didn't work either. The bottom of the eng/trans was quite dirty & oily. The interior while not worn, was dirty & musty smelling. The sticker on the window said $2495. A deal was struck at $2100. TreadQuarters replaced the C/V joints & did a 4 wheel alignment for $326.00. Pep Boys had a set of 6 spoke 14x6 wheels for $175.00. Another $325.00 for a set of 215/60-14 white letter tires from TreadQuarters really made the car. After cleaning the bottom of the eng/tranny I discovered a leaking pressure hose coming from the P/S pump. $37.00 for a replacement hose from AutoZone took care of that. Total investment: approx. $3000.00.
For a 12 year old car the Toyota was holding up well. When I replaced the plugs & distributor cap right after purchase I was amazed to discover the original units were still in the car. The Nippondenso spark plug electrodes were worn down to nubs yet the engine was running fine. The car still had the original red (somewhat brown now) antifeeze in it. Same with the belts. Obviously the previous owner never had a need (I feel fairly sure it was a one owner car) to tune the car up. The brakes are still original. To shorten things up: The interior cleaned up well with a good scrubbing, mustiness went away. The paint responded well to a polishing compound & waxing. A new set of speakers in the doors brought the C/D player to life. Everything sans A/C works. The 2.2 engine is adequate in performance though rock solid in durability. The car handles well & the seats are comfortable.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th December, 2003