It is September 24, 2020. The ringtone of my old loyal Samsung takes me out of concentration. Robin from the garage calls me way too early. Because: the earlier, the more awkward. The reason for his call is in my Delta. Robin hasn't said anything yet, but I already know enough. Not much later I am baffled, and apparently they are at the garage too. Robin mentions an amount of € 3.500 for repair costs. Something with a water pump, an intake manifold and a Turbo. Long live the downsize diesel I think. The outcome of the diagnosis leads to an imminent farewell. However, luck in an accident is just around the corner. And listens to the name Toyota Starlet.
That little darn Toyota Starlet. Regular readers know him by now. Every now and then I will keep you informed about the Starlet 1.3i Sport (P8), which enjoys hero status with me. In the weekend following the diagnosis, he takes me back to the past. For those who didn't read it, we had one at home in the early XNUMXs Citroën GSX. It was good for fond memories. The memoirs were the roses on the dump, because it was qualitatively speaking Citroën a problem child. And not just a little bit.
When the GSX temporarily gave the pipe to Maarten for the umpteenth time, it was called the lifesaver Citroën 2CV4, you may know the story. With 435 cc under the hood we drove to grandma de Mooij. She lived in beautiful Haarlem. Anticipating 120 kilometers there. And a few days later anticipating 120 kilometers back. But we got there, without any problems. In short: the flashing weakness for the underdog on the road was finally poured into my barrel on the A6 in Flevoland. In 1982, the 2CV4 was still a pure indictment against any form of prestige, luxury and so on. I liked that, and besides, the Duck did what he had to do.
That feeling will return on Sunday 27 September 2020. We are about to drive from Leeuwarden to Naarden. On to my fine brother-in-law and dear sister-in-law. As usual I check the oil and coolant level. Redundant, the 2 EE engine does not consume a drop. The only thing I fill is the windshield washer reservoir. Our oldest daughter stays at home, my wife, the youngest two children and our dog Micky settle in the Starlet. If the car hadn't been that good I would have called it an adventure. Now we are ready for old-fashioned driving pleasure, which becomes stronger because it is cozy on board. Just like in the 2CV4 back in the day.
On the way we will of course encounter many beautiful things. I am sitting in an old cart, and left and right we are overtaken by the modern age that still displays a lot of fashionable automotive luxury and prestige. The more the better, I think. The greater the counterbalance of our Starlet, which is childishly simple to keep up with the traffic, and with all its so-called anti status radiates intransigence. Not for a moment am I afraid that the Starlet will stop. It is a 1995 Toyota, then you know it: it will survive many modern cars.
The little Japanese represents little value from a financial point of view, is old, not completely classic and therefore he is in a kind of vacuum that makes him the underdog. Except when it comes to reliability, he is the boss of everyone. Cost? Yes you do sometimes, which is not surprising with a car that has passed the 25 years. With only 246.000 on the clock, he will gladly make his services available to you. To then drive around the world smoothly, smoothly and with 1 in 17 (Total Excellum, recommended). The trip to the mediated Naarden reminds me of the past. And now I think it again: secretly this is one of the nicest ways to be on the road. With that creaking radio sound that makes the ride even more enjoyable. And the same goes for the way back, I'm looking forward to it again.
More than three and a half grand in costs do not go to the Lancia. Never once. Part of that plus something else goes to an older used car with reliable credentials, I'm already working on that. And another part benefits the Starlet, which needs a cosmetic facelift. I know people whose hands are itching to take it. Like Anne, who gets the promise from me. Because the Toyota Starlet is fun. Good is. And the refurbishment mentioned deserves. Because you can build and rely on the technically flawless cart, we have been leaning on him for three and a half years, he offers the pleasant security of have something up their sleeve. That is also why there will always be at least one Toyota in my name. And if it is up to me, that's the Starlet. But even if he wants to retire tomorrow, he still remains a hero.
Never before have I felt more sympathy for a car. And thanks to that in several ways memorable trip to Naarden vv it has only become stronger. Cars can comfort. Our Toyota Starlet is a master at it.