Thursday, 13 July 2017

AE82 TWIN CAM SECA: the multi-valve hunter and the search for the dual overhead cam..

The not-as-desirable variation of one of my all-time favourites, spotted on a run to a local wrecker a few months back:

February 1987 AE82 Toyota Corolla Twin-Cam Seca.
Top-of-the-line for Australian-market Corollas in 1987 (local production 1985- , worldwide fifth-generation production 1983-), with the 'Seca' long-hatch body-style putting this variant ~$1000 dearer than the equivalent Twin-Cam hatch, and $2000 above the most expensive sedan available: an auto-optioned (4A-C powered) CS-X.
This particular car was a bit of a sad sight at the wreckers. Although not the more desirable hatch (and without looking, I'm SURE that's not just me..), it was still a 4A-G Twin-Cam corolla.. and every bit a blast to drive. Low-ish kays, unmodified and in solid, original condition: an easy weekend's work could have had this looking a million times better.
But oh well. Wasn't to be.
I got to the car seemingly quite early on, with only a few of the Twin-Cam specific bits missing. The steering-wheel? Not a chance - that was likely pulled by some lucky bugger as the forklift put the damn thing down!
Still, there's enough there for me to give the curious few (whether you were in a market that never got these new, or simply don't remember them!) a good look over one of these things. A thirty-year-old Toyota hot-hatch with what is (IMO) one of their best engines. I'm a fan.

Quickly making my way around the car. First stop, the (CS-X and above) gunmetal 14x5J alloys. For those that wondered what a roulette wheel would look like as an actual wheel.
I want to play in that casino..

The better side. Shame I didn't take a front-left 3/4 for the leading shot!

Not quite the tremendous "TWIN CAM 16"(!) emblazoned on the entire lower-doors of the early non-Seca hatch...

There may have been a phone-call or two from SEGA regarding Toyota's choice of font..

Genuine (possibly still dealer-fit for locally-built cars?) Toyota Air-conditioning. This was one expensive Corolla in its day...

Ahh, the "COROLLA" boot garnish. I have a thing for these little pieces of trim! You just wait...

One of the parcel-shelf strings has obviously come loose, so just appears more skewiff than it should. Clean carpets and trims anway - I don't think this carted too much!

Full-size alloy spare wheel.

Moving inside..
Ignoring the damage it has unfortunately received at the wreckers, this was one very clean car. The original seats and fabric are in great shape..

..also ignore the lifted rear seat base here (done to every car at the wreckers), as look - ooh, open velour headrests!

The Twincam16 wheel has quickly grown legs. The gearknob? Not so lucky..

198,207km (123,000mi) is not enough. This genuinely had some proper enjoyment to give..

The adorable vents either side of the cluster. It's hard to get a scale here, but these things are just rad..

Original Toyota Philips AM/FM Cassette. Don't even begin to think I left this behind..!

Back out and around to the engine-bay; it's time for a look at what's giving this car its name..

Likely doesn't need an introduction, but again; Toyota's venerable 1.6litre, twin-cam, 16-valve, 88kW (in Australian trim) 4A-GE.
Reliable. Efficient. Fun. They last and last, and love a rev. Awrgh.. it shouldn't be here.

..and only 198,000km? Let's take a sticky-beak to see how it has fared:
Urgh. What a waste.

Finally, back out and around for a look at how this little Toyota screamer hangs onto the bitumen..

Rack&pinion steering, F+R swaybars, independent suspension and disc brakes all 'round. Every bit as good as you could've wished for on a sporty hatchback in the late 80's.

And we're done!

In an attempt to squeeze-ev-ery-penny out of things I've already written: a quick re-cap of my Instagram posts on this car..
AE82 (E80, fifth generation, 1983-) Toyota Corolla Seca rear hatch garnish. Plucked from a red Twin-Cam at the wreckers a fortnight ago, then polished within an inch of its life; it now joins the random-rear-garnish collection. Next up? BG Mazda 323(Familia) sedan.. 
..and shifting the spotlight to a random detail likely LONG since forgotten (by absolutely everyone, everywhere): the tiny air-vent on the passenger side of the E80 Corolla instrument cluster. Seriously, aw.. 

Yep. I got that garnish. Collection bolstered...

Friday, 30 June 2017

A barn-find Mazda of sorts - Sindy's Miata!

..the 'of sorts' being used for a combination of:
a. it's not really a Mazda.
b. it's not actually a barn.
c. it's not really a 'find' when it was never lost - it's a 25-year-old plastic replica of a 30-year-old Japanese sports-car, designed for a little girl's doll - yeah, it doesn't see much action these days..
d. it's a 25-year-old plastic replica of a 30-year-old Japanese sports-car, designed for a little girl's doll: nobody here gives a flying f...

But today we are. Right now we will. Because I took a whole damn impromptu-photoset of this thing in a friend's garage last weekend, and bloody hell.. a 1/6 scale plastic replica of a much-loved sportscar with a plastic doll jammed in it.. well that just makes me smile.

Sindy's 1993 "Surprise SPORTSCAR" - a 1989- NA Mazda MX-5.. or Mazda Miata.. or Eunos Roadser, depending on which market it was you first came across the little Mazda roadster..

Thanks to a quick bit of googl'ing (ahh, cheers again internet!), I can tell you that what you're looking at was produced in the early 90's for Hasbro's 'Sindy' - an (English) knock-off of Mattel's likely-better-known 'Barbie'.
Whether Mazda knew anything about it.. yeah, I don't know. There's likely nothing really negative about it for Mazda either way; good for subconsciously converting little girls in to Mazda customers decades-on, and a hilarious skeleton-in-the-closet for those "track-day bro!" MX-5 owners when these cars finally became acceptable/cool/appreciated.

I was more than a bit surprised by the detail on this thing anyway. The random accuracy. On a toy designed as an accessory for a doll? Wow. I'm impressed. I reckon I had toy cars - designed with no other purpose than being a smaller reproduction of a car - that were worse than this!

The most obvious sway from a more accurate replica being those wildly chunky tyres on the eight-spoke (there's one for the trainspotters!) 'daisies'. Slammed, spacers, and 235's on the factory 14x5.5" alloys; Sindy's got taste - It looks tough!

I don't think she'd left the driver's seat in a while..

..oh, let me just fold those (NA-update) mirrors for you. Genuinely killer detail..

To get a better idea of what this thing looked like new, I jumped onto good ol' ebay in the search for an original un-played-with example.. or one that hadn't sat perched on a garage shelf for the last bloody decade!
Incognito-mode activated (wisely, as I don't particularly want ads/suggestions/emails on sweet Sindy accessories deals..) and away I went:
18pounds Buy It Now out of the UK, here; yet if you're keen to spend an extra 20 for whatever reason...

..there's this one - also not surprisingly in the UK.

The second listing (kindly!) gives us a good look at the original box art too..

Yeah, I had no idea that's how the side decals worked. Here's me thinking it was just faded to all hell..
..but no(!), you wipe it with a frosty sponge for it to appear, then with that love-heart-shaped number to activate subtle-Sindy mode. It's logical.

Be sure to look out for Surprise Jeans Sindy and Paul and the Surprise Scooter too! "Ask your parents for their credit-card details!"

And we're done.
Learn something new every day..