1971 Toyota Corolla from North America - Comments

6th Aug 2012, 12:44

A lot of ad money went into building the myth that older Japanese cars were reliable. I never saw any evidence of that in the real world at all. We had several older Japanese cars that were made in Japan. None of them were any good. Constant repairs and breakdowns. We refuse to waste our money on any more. Our Fords and GM cars have been perfect.

7th Aug 2012, 10:28

I find it amazing that the same record-skipping anti-import comments have somehow also found their way into a review of a 40 year old car! Seriously - give it a rest!

10th Aug 2012, 07:55

If they owned some then, why do you feel they cannot comment? Gas was so cheap then. Great time to be driving the big block domestics.

11th Aug 2012, 01:09

Comments on a 40-year-old car are totally relevant, if the 40-year-old car was a piece of crap.

11th Aug 2012, 11:15

Funny, I owned a 1971 Ford that rusted out so fast I would hear parts of the body fall off whenever I hit a bump (and that was with 23,000 miles on it). I owned a GM, that by the time it reached 12,000 miles, went through 2 rear-ends, a starter, a fly wheel & a fuel pump, just to name some of the major problems. My sister had the exact same model, that at 16,000 miles the camshaft went, and we took good care of our cars, as I was in the business. My dad had a 1974 Datsun truck that he owned for 13 years and was still going strong. A few years back, a friend lent me his Honda Accord for a few days when my car was broken down, and I was amazed to see 324,000 miles on the odometer.

Another friend of mine (my best friend actually) has a late model Ford product that has given her nothing but trouble, & she is afraid to drive it out of walking distance from her house. She spends more time at the shop on her days off than anywhere else.

You may continue to boast about the great GM & Ford products, but the fact is they are no better or worse than any other make, and there is nothing wrong with Toyotas & Hondas BTW.

With your attitude, I would hate to be a neighbor of yours who happened to own an import - which by the way, we all have the right to own if we so choose. I happen to own a Jeep (and are loyal to Jeeps), but all of this anti-import propaganda would not prevent me from buying any make I so desired to purchase.

If you happen to get a bad domestic, will you admit it? Deny it? Or somehow blame the Japanese automakers for your misfortune?

I was in automobile business for nearly 40 years. I dealt with mostly domestics, but there were times when I worked for dealers who also sold & serviced imports, and the imports were not inferior to the domestics. In fact, Toyota built, and continues to build some fine automobiles regardless of your assertions.

When I walk my dogs through my neighborhood, I see many driveways with both imports & domestics in them.

Any claim that those people are somehow disloyal to their country for driving an import is just plain wrong in my humble opinion.

I also find it really difficult to believe that you own NOTHING that was manufactured anywhere but in the USA. Unless you do not own a wristwatch, or your watch is over 40 years old, you needn't look further than your wrist to find something imported in your possession.

Also, you must have a really old TV, stereo etc. if you claim to own nothing imported. What about a VCR or DVD player? Do you not own either?

Finally, I won't even get into the amount of imported content of your vehicle.

12th Aug 2012, 11:08

I also agree that a person just has to buy what suits their needs. It's a global economy and a global marketplace. There are many things that I can't find in my town, the businesses don't carry them, the customer service is bad, and it takes them forever to order anything. Why do I owe them any loyalty? It is they who are supposed to owe loyalty to the customer. I can go on-line and order it from a store out-of-state, where it gets here overnight at half the price. Hometown loyalty rings hollow when it's subsidizing poor or overpriced products and inefficient service. They need to realize they are not the only game in town and step up their game, or go under.

Which of course brings us to the US auto industry. From the late 1970s to 2000s, they had the political power to resist change and pressures to improve, directly flouting the basis of American capitalism that espouses competition improving quality and efficiency. By the late 2000s, their power had waned to the point that they were no longer "too big to fail" and being forced into bankruptcy was the best thing that ever happened to Chrysler and GM, because it forced them to do what their directors were too squeamish to do -- recognize reality that they were not the only game in town, improve quality, improve efficiency, and now they are finally making some nice vehicles after a 30-year hiatus. Ford saw the writing on the wall sooner, but in response to the same pressures from quality Japanese products.

When I pay 30 grand for something, I expect to get my money's worth, not support inefficiency, substandard quality, and an inertia of innovation. You read Lee Iaccoca's biography and you see that GM routinely accepted parts from contractors with 15% failure rates. They had no reason to improve because people still were buying their cars, and the dealers would make money by doing warranty repair work. The greedy businessmen were happy, everybody was happy but the consumer, and why care about them because they're merely stupid sheep to extract cash from. Is that who you're showing your loyalty to? Thank goodness that stiff competition from the Japanese and Koreans shook Detroit up before they went the way of Trabant. My money buys the best product that suits my needs, not a vote for patriotic jingoism.

As someone else pointed out, I drive a Ford SUV, my wife drives a Honda Fit. Both have their purpose and are good at what they do. I like my Ford a lot, it's been great. When it wears out, we have decided that we need a small pickup for light duty hauling (sheets of plywood from Lowe's, landscaping stuff, bicycles, kayaks). Well, guess what? I would have preferred to give my business to Ford because of my good experience, but they have abandoned the small pickup market, as has Dodge, and I haven't seen a Chevy Colorado for quite a while on the lot. That leaves the Toyota Tacoma, a fine vehicle with a great reputation for reliability that I'll buy if a test drive is favorable. No, I don't want a Chevy Silverado or Ford F-150, they are too large for the narrow, twisting roads and streets around here. You see, they don't meet my needs. If Toyota is offering a product that suits me, that's what I'll buy, and if enough people do that, the marketing gurus at Ford and Dodge might realize they are missing out on a market segment and start offering small pickups again. If they don't feel it's worth it, then I guess they won't miss my one vehicle purchase and everybody will go happily on their way. I give loyalty where it's earned, and a business needs to show me a little loyalty, too. If they don't, then let 'em go right the hell out of business and somebody better will take their place. That's the free marketplace.