car engine modification

Must-Have Mods For Your Toyota Tercel Engine

If you’re the proud owner of a Toyota Tercel, you know it’s a great car. But even the best cars can be improved with the right modifications. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the must-have mods for your Tercel engine.

A Cold Air Intake

One way to improve your Tercel’s performance is to install a cold air intake. This mod will help your engine to breathe easier, resulting in more power and better fuel economy. The cold air intake engine mod improves performance and fuel economy by reducing the air intake temperature. The cooler the air, the denser it is, and the more oxygen it contains. When your engine sucks in this cold dense air, it makes combustion more powerful, thus allowing your engine to run more efficiently. Aftermarket cold air intake is available in different varieties, it would be best to do your research to find the best one that suits your needs.

A Performance Chip

If you’re looking for a simple and affordable way to improve your Tercel’s performance, then consider installing a performance chip. A performance chip plugs into your engine’s computer and adjusts the air/fuel mixture and ignition timing to create more power. Many chips also allow you to adjust other parameters such as shift points and rev limits. This is an easy way to extract more power from your engine without making any major changes.

A Cat-Back Exhaust System

Another great way to improve your Tercel’s performance is to install a cat-back exhaust system. This mod will replace your stock exhaust system with a larger, freer-flowing one. This helps your engine to breathe easier and produce more power. It will also give your car a nice aggressive sound. There are lots of cat-back exhaust systems on the market, so be sure to do your research to find one that suits your car the best.

Add A Turbocharger

If you’re really serious about increasing your Tercel’s power, then you may want to consider adding a turbocharger. This mod will force more air into your engine, resulting in more power. It’s a fairly involved mod and should only be attempted by experienced mechanics. But if you’re up for the challenge, it can really pay off in terms of increased performance.

Add Nitrous Oxide Kit

Adding nitrous oxide to your engine is another great way that increases power. Nitrous oxide is a highly combustible gas that, when injected into your engine, can provide a significant power boost. It’s important to note that this is a very powerful mod and should be used with caution. If not used properly, it can damage your engine. So, if you decide to go this route, be sure to do your research and consult with a professional before attempting it.

These are just a few of the many mods that you can do to your Tercel engine to improve performance. Be sure to do your research and consult with a professional before attempting any of these mods. And most importantly, have fun and enjoy your Tercel!

cars line up for a show

Joining A Car Show And Having The Time Of Your Life

If you’re a car enthusiast, then you know that car shows are the place to be. Car shows offer a great opportunity to join your car with other enthusiasts and show it off in all its glory.

They can also be a great place to learn more about your car, meet new people, and see the latest mods and trends in the automotive world. If you’re looking to have some fun and show off your ride, then make sure to check out a car show near you!

What Are Car Shows And What Do They Entail?

A car show is an event where automobile owners display their vehicles for public view. Car shows can be held indoors or outdoors, and they usually involve a variety of different activities, such as competitions, demonstrations, and exhibitions.

Most car shows are open to the public, and anyone is typically welcome to attend. However, some car shows may be invite-only or have specific requirements for entry. For example, some car shows may only allow certain types of vehicles to enter, such as classics or exotics. Others may require that all vehicles be registered with the show in advance.

Why Should You Join A Car Show?

Joining a car show is a great way to show off your vehicle and meet other enthusiasts. It’s also a great opportunity to learn more about your car, as well as the latest trends in the automotive world.

If you’re thinking of joining a car show, here are a few things to keep in mind:

– Make sure you read the requirements for entry carefully. Some car shows may have specific requirements for vehicles, such as type or model.

– Register your vehicle in advance if required. This will ensure that you can participate in the show without any issues.

– Bring all the necessary paperwork with you, such as your registration and proof of insurance.

– Be prepared to answer questions about your car. Attendees at car shows are often curious about the details of different vehicles.

– Have fun! Car shows are a great opportunity to meet new people and enjoy your passion for cars. Don’t forget to prepare for your car beforehand so you can really show it off.

What To Expect At A Car Show

When you attend a car show, you can expect to see a wide variety of different vehicles on display. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet other car enthusiasts and learn more about the latest trends in the automotive world.

If you’re thinking of attending a car show, here are a few things to keep in mind:

– Dress comfortably. Car shows can be held indoors or outdoors, so dress accordingly.

– Wear comfortable shoes. This is especially true when you want to take a look at the other cars in the show.

– Bring cash. Many car shows have vendors selling food, drinks, and souvenirs.

– Be prepared for crowds. Car shows can attract large crowds, so be prepared for long lines and crowded spaces.

– Have fun! Car shows are a great opportunity to see some amazing cars and meet new people.

Tips For Making The Most Out Of Your Experience At A Car Show

If you’re planning on attending a car show, here are a few tips to make the most of your experience:

– Arrive early. This will give you more time to see the cars and meet the people.

– Bring a camera. Car shows are a great opportunity to take some amazing photos.

– Talk to as many people as possible. Car shows are a great place to meet new people and learn about different cars.

– Be respectful. Remember, you’re there to enjoy the cars and the people. So be sure to act accordingly.

– Have fun! Car shows are a great way to spend a day surrounded by cars and car enthusiasts. Just remember to relax and enjoy yourself. After all, that’s what it’s all about!

Car shows are a great opportunity to join your car with other enthusiasts and show it off in all its glory. Car shows can also be a great place to learn more about your car, meet new people, and see the latest mods and trends in the automotive world. If you’re looking to have some fun and show off your ride, then make sure to check out a car show near you!

classic Toyota

10 Reasons Why The Toyota Tercel Is A Great Car

It’s been more than two decades since the last Toyota Tercel was ever produced. However, even if the production of such a vehicle has long been stopped, it is still one of the most-loved vehicles. The Toyota Tercel is a great car for many reasons. Here are just 10 of them:

Fuel Efficiency

The Toyota Tercel is fuel-efficient, which makes it ideal for city driving. It’s also perfect for long-distance travel.

Lots of Storage Space

The Tercel has a lot of storage space. This makes it perfect for families or anyone who needs lots of space for their luggage during vacation or road trips.

Easy Maintenance

Toyota has always been known for producing high-quality vehicles that are easy to maintain. The Tercel is no exception. It is a reliable car, with very few moving parts, which makes it easier and less expensive to maintain compared to other cars in the same class.

Affordable

The Toyota Tercel is one of the most affordable options on the market today. This makes it ideal for any budget or size family. You can find Tercels that are older and used, but still in great condition, at bargain prices.

Perfect For City Driving

This vehicle was made specifically for city driving–its compact size allows you to easily navigate through crowded streets and through tight parking spaces. There are also many urban areas in the world where public transportation is not reliable, so having a car like the Tercel can be very helpful.

Reliability

The Toyota Tercel has always been known to be a very reliable vehicle. It’s hard to find another car that is as sturdy and dependable as the Toyota Tercel. This makes it the perfect choice for people who want a safe, secure ride.

Safety Features

The Toyota Tercel comes with numerous safety features that help protect you and your passengers while on the road. These include airbags, seat belts, anti-lock brakes, and more. Safety should always be one of your top priorities when purchasing or renting a vehicle, which is why the Toyota Tercel stands out from other cars in its class.

Low emissions

The Toyota Tercel has always been a low-emissions vehicle. This means that it is better for the environment and will help you save money on fuel costs.

Familiar Design

While the design of the Toyota Tercel may be dated, it is still a very familiar design. This makes it easy to find parts and accessories for this car, even if you don’t have a lot of experience working on cars.

Final Thoughts

The Toyota Tercel is a great car for anyone looking for an affordable, reliable, and fuel-efficient option. It’s perfect for city driving and long-distance travel, and it’s easy to find parts and accessories for this car. Even though the production of the Tercel has long stopped, it is still a beloved car that many people can’t get enough of. If you are looking for an affordable and reliable vehicle, consider purchasing or renting the Toyota Tercel today.

Toyota cars

5 Popular And Efficient Cars From Toyota

Toyota is one of the most popular manufacturers of cars in the world. Toyota has been making cars since 1937, and they are known for their quality, efficiency, and reliability. So what are some of the most popular models? Let’s explore!

Toyota makes a wide variety of vehicles that include sedans, sports utility vehicles (SUVs), crossovers, crossover utilities (CUVs), trucks, and even electric vehicles. This article will discuss 5 Toyota models that many people know and like because of their efficiency.

Yaris Sedan

The Yaris SE is one of the most popular and efficient cars from Toyota. It is a small car. It gets an estimated combined city/highway gasoline fuel economy of 34 mpg. The Yaris Sedan comes with many standard features such as stability control, traction control system, advanced airbags, and a standard 5-year/60,000-mile basic new-car warranty. It also comes in 8 different colors.

Corolla Sedan

The Corolla is another very popular car from Toyota. It has many advantages such as an advanced front airbag system. It includes both driver and passenger dual-stage front airbags with seat belt sensors. Plus, side curtain shield airbags with a rollover sensor for head protection.

There are also some standard safety features such as anti-lock brakes (ABS) with brake assist to help provide maximum braking pressure in emergency situations. There is also brake override that cuts engine power. This helps prevent crash damage when the accelerator pedal is pushed and the brake pedal is not pressed. The Corolla gets an estimated combined city/highway gasoline fuel economy of 28 mpg. It comes in 6 different colors.

Prius v Wagon

The Prius v is a popular car from Toyota because it’s fuel-efficient. It gets an estimated combined city/highway gasoline fuel economy of 43 mpg. The Prius v wagon has 7 standard airbags: the front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, driver knee airbags, and driver-side inflatable knee bolster. The Prius v wagon is available in 6 different colors.

Highlander SUV

The Highlander Hybrid gets an estimated combined city/highway gasoline fuel economy of 30 mpg. It comes standard with a traction control system, stability control system, anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), brake assist, and smart stop technology. The smart stop technology shuts down the engine if the vehicle comes to a complete stop while driving on a surface with no movement. This conserves more energy. The Highlander comes in 7 different colors.

Tacoma 4WD Double Cab V6

The Tacoma is a popular car from Toyota because it’s tough. It comes standard with the STAR SAFETY SYSTEM, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control System (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Smart Stop Technology, and Brake Assist.

The other features include the front driver and passenger SRS airbags with seat belt pre-tensioners and force limiters for driver and front passenger seats. For rear passengers, there is also a rollover sensor in the vehicle to help protect them if the vehicle is about to roll over. It gets an estimated combined city/highway gasoline fuel economy of 19 mpg (US) based on the 2013 model year. It comes in 3 different colors.

mechanic checking the internal engine parts

Is Your Toyota Tercel Due For An Engine Rebuild?

People have different opinions about the Toyota Tercel. Some absolutely hated this car while others liked it, not because of it’s features but because it is reliable.

Do you own one or are you eyeing to buy one for yourself?

As a used car, Toyota Tercels are great. They won’t cost too much and they can take you from one destination to another. Just don’t expect too much because they may not look as flashy or go as fast as other sports cars even when you modify it.

The Nostalgic Car

Nevertheless, many have grown into loving this car because it is a great first car to own. Just like me, many of you may have fond memories of using this car back in our college days.

Thanks to it, we have unforgettable stories we tell when it gets stalled in the middle of nowhere. But hey, we survived and it takes us back to all those fun memories.

Just like other cars, the reliable Toyota Tercel can be worn out too. One of the things you may need for this vehicle is an engine rebuild.

Why You Should Rebuild The Engine

Engine rebuild is done primarily due to two reasons. First is the wear of the engine bearings and the second one is due to a problem with the piston rings seating.

The bearings on the engine allow the moving parts to move freely. To lessen the friction, the engine oil lubricates the bearings. The bearings are made to last and could perform well even after thousands of miles of travel. However, they may still eventually be worn out. If the car is not properly maintained, the wear and tear of the bearings is exponentially accelerated. One way to notice that the bearings are worn is by hearing a loud knocking sound.

As with piston rings, they could also be worn down. When this happens, they cannot efficiently seal the cylinders. This is also known as a “blow-by”, which happens when the crankcase oil escapes because of the worn out rings. The oil is burned in the cylinder with the fuel mixture and also produces excessive smoke in the exhaust.

What Happens In An Engine Rebuild?

In order to rebuild and restore the engine so that it works well again, there are a few things that happen. The first one is the removal of the lower half of the engine. This part is passed to the shop where it gets disassembled and cleaned. There, it also gets assessed about it’s current condition.

With an engine rebuild, the internal parts of the engine could be replaced depending on their condition. Some of those that may need replacement are the bearings, piston rings, and sometimes the pistons.

Along with the checking of the internal parts, the cylinders are reconditioned as well. This helps make sure that the new piston rings can seal it properly. Afterwards, the engine is reassembled then placed back into the vehicle.

Do You Need An Engine Rebuild?

Oil Consumption And White Exhaust

There are a few signs that tell you that the engine already needs to be rebuilt. One of the most common ones is the unusual oil consumption. Along with this is the white color of the exhaust.

When the piston rings are worn out, oil gets into the cylinders where the fuel mixture is burned. Oil in the cylinders will produce a white exhaust. If oil is being burned, there is a huge chance that there isn’t enough to properly lubricate the engine.

Knocking Sound

A banging or knocking sound is indicative of engine bearings that are not properly lubricated. When this happens often, they will get worn out, damaged and fail. As they fail, you’d hear more of the knocking noise. Once the bearings completely fail, the engine will stop working.

Presence Metal Flakes In Engine Oil

Whenever you change the oil in your car, you should also take a look at the oil you removed before disposing of it. Metal flaked on the oil indicates that you already need an engine rebuild.

Metal flakes mean that there is friction between the metal parts, which should not happen in a properly lubricated and properly functioning engine.

Sometimes, the cause of the metal on the oil is warped parts. When they are of different shape, they won’t fit well and move cohesively with the other parts. That causes the metal friction between the engine parts and produces the metal flakes.

 

car coilover

Modifying Toyota Tercel Coilovers

Toyota Tercels are great vehicles on their own. Some might argue that they wouldn’t need any modification. However, modifications are quite popular for this vehicle.

If you do choose to go and modify your Tercel, it is important that you do it well. For today, we are going to focus on coilovers. We’ll help you figure out what you should look for in case you want to change your Tercel’s coilover.

What Do Coilovers Do?

Coilovers have something to do with the suspension of your vehicles. More people like it as compared to springs. These can be used to enhance the suspension system. Coilovers are made of a spring that is coiled around a shock absorber. This helps to absorb the shock while driving on the road.

With the right coilovers, you can lower the center of gravity of your Toyota Tercel. Additionally, it will also help stiffen the chassis. The effect would be an improvement in control and cornering.

New coilovers can also make your car look better as it has a sportier aura. However, the best part is improving the performance of your vehicle.

Guide To Selecting Coilovers

There are lots of different brands that provide aftermarket coilovers. There are also different types. Selecting one could be a challenge. However, it can be done. These are some of the things you need to look for when selecting coilovers to buy.

Spring Rate

The springs play an important role in your suspension setup. It will determine the ability of your vehicle to bounce or absorb bumps. Those with higher spring rates are more difficult to compress.

Whenever your car accelerates, turns, or brakes, the body of the car moves. By minimizing the movement of the body, the handling is also improved. It also helps with spreading the load across the four tires while cornering.

Most of the aftermarket coilovers you’ll find have stiffer springs. That is a good thing because it improves handling.

Adjustability Of Spring And Valving

Coilovers are usually modified to help lower down the Toyota Tercel. This will produce a lower center of gravity to further improve performance by reducing body roll. One of the important features to look for would be the ride height, damping and spring preload adjustability.

With adjustability, you are able to fine-tune your vehicle depending on your application. Usually, most would replace it with stiffer springs especially if they want to use it not only for everyday street use. However, it is important that you also match the damping with your spring rate to prevent your ride from being bouncy.

Top Mount

Another thing to take note of is the top mount. Usually, the top mount used by OE manufacturers is only rubber bushings. This deflects more but is also known as the main cause of suspension precision failure. The rubber chosen is softer for better energy deflection. Those with a stiffer rubber would reduce the energy deflection and improve longevity.

Some may also have a pillowball bushing, which does not move at all. Some choose this kind of top mount because they are more able to feel the steering and suspension of the vehicle.

Monotube

Coilovers come with either a twin-tube or a monotube. A twin-tube coilover has an inner and an outer tube. The inner tube will hold oil, valve and piston shaft. On the other hand, the outer tube holds the nitrogen gas and the damper oil. The twin-tube is more common for OEM suspension because it improves ride quality and provides more suspension stroke.

On the other hand, with monotube dampers, both the gas and shock are in a single tube. A floating piston is what separates the gas and the liquid. With this design, the gas is compressed quicker. Monotubes are great because you can use them either way up. They are better at heat dissipation and at damper responsiveness.

Toyota Tercel MKII At A Personal Collection In California

Toyota Tercel MK2 Driver And Mechanics’ Review

A Tercel probably won’t be winning any drag races,  but ask any mechanic and they’ll tell you about their begrudging respect for the Toyota Tercels of yester-year. Lucky for us, we have a bonafide auto mechanic, tow truck driver, and friend in the form of one Shane Ruiz writing for us on behalf of a towing company in Tampa Bay Florida to give us the lowdown on arguably the most most popular Tercel model – the MKII…


The Toyota Tercel was developed with a pretty specific goal in mind and to fill a somewhat of niche spot in the Toyota lineup. The Tercel MK2 was built in 1982 up until 1988, and it was aimed to fill the spot between the all-known Toyota Corolla and the Toyota Starlet. On one hand, the Toyota Corolla from that period features the forever popular AE86, found in popular culture everywhere from music videos, to movies, anime, and computer, along with other variations of the same chassis which already made the Toyota lineup diverse. On the other hand, the Toyota Starlet is a small hatchback, smaller than the Volkswagen Rabbit. So, what does this mean for the Tercel?

The Tercel filled the spot for innovation, mainly, along with concept and prospect to develop a slightly larger and somewhat more comfortable car. The Tercel was the first front-wheel drive car developed by Toyota, as such they pushed interior room, fuel economy, maneuverability, and overall comfort to the limits of that time and budget.

Why would you want a Toyota Tercel MK2?

Not many people know about the Tercel. Everyone knows about the Corolla, that’s for sure, but the Tercel is a pretty unknown name in the current day and age. As such, rolling at a stop light in a Tercel will attract a bunch of eyes to you due to people not knowing what that car even is. It doesn’t look out of place and unfamiliar, in the end it’s still an old Toyota, but something is definitely weird about it and not in a bad way.

Another very interesting quirk is that the engine, codenamed the 3A, is vastly used in the Japanese market of the time, on a variety of cars such as the Toyota MR2, but outside Japan it’s used only on the Tercel. This allows you to see some actual Japanese engineering without too many changes to the overall purpose of the engine due to selling it in a different market, compared to other engines. This also brings a very reliable engine to the table, many current owners and previous owners showcasing 200,000 miles.

Interior and exterior

The Tercel comes in many forms, probably staple of the cars of that time. You can find it in either a 3/5-door hatchback, a 4-door sedan, or a 5-door station wagon. Not as many as the Corolla’s but still plenty. As far as colors go, it has a large variety of paint jobs which span across a variety of years and body styles. As an example, gold Tercels MK2 are built in 83’ only, while two-toned paint-jobs are only available for the four-wheel drive station wagon. As far as design goes, it certainly looks vintage but not old, showcasing plenty of design choices that are having a resurgence today, all while avoiding choices which could date the car heavily such as round headlights. On the interior however, the design choices seem retro with a touch of futuristic.

The seats are mostly two toned, which is staple of the 4WD model, which showcase a different pattern on the seat itself and solid colors on the seat’s bolsters. The dashboard is somewhat futuristic, or more precisely the clusters. That was the intention at the time anyway. This is even more apparent on the 4WD model, which has some analog indicators where the current infotainment system is which show you various pitch and roll angles and if the 4WD is engaged or not, which during the night glow green and makes the whole dashboard look like it came from a jet fighter.

Engine and mechanical particularities

4 Cylinders Of Fun - The Toyota Tercel MKII Under The Hood

4 Cylinders Of Fun – The Toyota Tercel MKII Under The Hood

The Tercel MK2 in the US comes with a singular engine choice, mentioned above. It’s codenamed the 3A and features 4 in-line cylinders with a total displacement of 1.5L mounted longitudinally. It comes mostly in a front-wheel drive format linked to a 3-speed automatic, 4/5-speed manual, or a 6-speed manual in a four-wheel format.

This interesting engine has an output of 63 hp, not a lot by any stretch of the imagination, but such a low output usually indicates an engine which isn’t particularly stressed. The 4WD 6-speed isn’t really a 6-speed, but mostly a 5-speed with a crawler gear, which makes the Tercel a pretty capable off-roader right from the get-go. The regular suspension format is available, a MacPherson strut in the front and a torsion beam axle in the rear.

Driving experience

The driving experience is as expected from a car such as this. A very composed and relaxed drive which along with the low-ish torque available offers a very capable car, for something which is by now almost 40 years old. The car was developed as a comfortable cruiser, and it achieves it without too much fuss, with a forgiving suspension and soft seats.

On the road, Toyota managed to develop a very specific characteristic, because up until the Tercel almost every front-wheel drive car was very understeer prone, but that changed with the Tercel which is very similar to a rear-wheel drive, being able to oversteer if you really want it to.

Final thoughts

The Toyota Tercel is peculiar and very niche. It isn’t a Corolla, nor is it a Starlet. It isn’t luxurious but it isn’t low quality by any stretch of the imagination. It set a bunch of trends which by today’s standards seem pretty common and irrelevant.

The Tercel was a pioneer, a pioneer which is, for some bizarre reason, forgotten. All of these conclude to an interesting car, a piece of history you might say, all while being surprisingly available and affordable.

1984 Toyota Tercel At An Outdoor Show In Yorkshire UK

Preparing for Your First Car Show

While COVID-19 has put a bit of a damper on things, in normal times, there seem to be as many car shows and exhibitions in any given years as there are types of vehicles – including, would you believe, Toyota Tercels!

Most of these shows are just for fun, the perfect excuse to meet and hang out with like-minded people. However, many exhibitions involve trophies and judging participants’ cars. Preparing for your first car show can  be as much of a challenge as getting ready for a race.

With that said, knowing what to expect is half the battle. To put you at an advantage over other classic cars, we have compiled a list of display tips to help you prepare for the exhibition.

Make transportation arrangements

When you’re planning for your first car show, driving your classic car is out of the question. Not only does every mile add up, but it also brings the risk of an accident, maintenance issues, and further depreciation, all factors that make driving a risky proposition.

A better alternative is for you to make transportation arrangements to protect your investment but also to ensure that your vintage car is intact and arrives at the exhibition in pristine condition. Choose a reliable transportation service, opt for a flatbed tow truck with and a enclosure (if possible) to protect your vehicle from the elements,  and be sure to verify whether the carrier has the proper insurance that is active and current before shipping your car (get this in writing or an email!)

We’ve got to give a shout out here to our friends at Timber Towing And Recovery in Minneapolis for their help in the past lugging our Hatchback and 4-Door ultra clean Tercels to the Classic Car Show in nearby Anoka, MN the last few years.

Prep the bodywork

Your car’s bodywork is the first thing judges are going to see so you want to make a good impression on them by polishing your vintage car’s appearance. Start by checking for dent, scratches, rust, or any blemishes. Just to be safe, you can take your car to a body shop so you can get a professional’s perspective.

Through their evaluation of the vehicle, they will be able to tell you if they notice anything you might have missed. In addition to that, you also want to look for any missing components and make any small repairs or adjustments if needed.

Prep the exterior

Our Preferred Wax - NU Finish (16oz Bottle)

Our Preferred Wax – NU Finish (16oz Bottle)

Preparing the exterior of your car is a crucial step as well. Even if you’ve given your vehicle a fresh wax, if you don’t take the time to wash and prepare the exterior, you risk being written off early on in the competition.

Your classic car will require the utmost care, so don’t think about taking it to a car wash because that might damage its value and dull the color of the paint job. So use the best cleaning materials, preferably ones that the manufacturer recommends, and pack those cleaning supplies with you when you go to the show.

While there’s plenty of good waxes out there, our go-to wax is Nu-Finish.  I’m sure they’re all great, I just happen to like the fact that there is a very slight grit to the wax and it does a good job in hiding the micro-scratches our cars have endured over their 35+ years.

Prepare the interior

Now that your exterior is spotless, you want the interior of your car to match it. Not only will the judges be looking at the car’s exterior, but they will also be examining the interior and how well-maintained it is.

The cleaning supplies you need vary based on the materials you need to clean, so do your research beforehand. Clean from top to bottom then from front to back, wash the carpet, floor mats, and don’t forget about the trunk.

4 speed car

Toyota Tercel: The Last Of The 4-Speed Cars

There was a time when you could add plus points to your cool factor by simply owning a car with a four-on-the-floor. For decades every cool guy had to have a 4-speed manual transmission car. Every known car manufacturer had them, from the Volkswagen Beetle to our favorite, the Toyota Tercel.

But alas, those times have passed. However, it is still cool to look back in time in the ’90s.

The Last Of The 4-Speed Cars

The era of the 4-speed cars was ending back in 1996. The once cool 4-speed vehicles were now being replaced by 5-speed once. One of the last 4-speed cars you can get back in 1993 was the Hyundai Excel and the 6th Gen Pontiac LeMans.

By 1996, the Toyota Tercel was your only choice if you’d like to get a 4-speed manual vehicle.

Why Would You Get A 4-Speed Tercel?

The Toyota Tercel is a reliable, no-frills car. It is a basic car and is absolutely the cheapest new car Toyota sells. Although the 4-speed manual transmission came as the base-grade for the Tercel in the 1996 models, buyers could still upgrade it. An additional $700 could get them an automatic version. Alternatively, they could also pay for an additional $1070 to get the DX version that has a five-speed manual transmission.

For two more years until 1998, the Tercel was still made available in the market. However, the versions for sale were only those with a five-speed manual or a 3- or 4-speed automatic transmission. The Tercel was fitted also with a 1.5 L engine with 93 hp and the fuel economy of this car was great.

If you’d prefer a bit more comfort, you can get the one with air conditioning but it’ll cost you an additional $900 more. As for music, the base Tercel didn’t have any radio or cassette system included. You’d just have to sing to yourself for entertainment.

The Most Forward-Thinking Toyota’s Ever Made

The hallmarks of Toyota as a leader in the auto car industry consist of quality, reliability, and longevity. While Toyota isn’t known for its rash or impulsive decisions, it has produced a fair number of gems over the course of its existence. Some of which have ended up gaining a lot of popularity and acclaim from car enthusiasts.

Below, in chronological order, we list 5 of the most brilliantly unusual Toyotas ever made, so read on!

Tercel (1978)

1978 Toyota Tercel Advertisement in Japan

1978 Toyota Tercel Advertisement in Japan

As the inspiration to our website’s namesake, and to put a spotlight on just how revolutionary this car was to the Japanese auto industry, I wanted to highlight first Toyota’s Gen1 Tercel.  First introduced in Japan in 1978, then in Europe in 1979, then in the U.S. in 1980. This is a subcompact car that helped catapult the Toyota brand into the upper echelon of Japanese car manufacturers thanks to a superior quality and handling capabilities.

The first generation of the Tercel was characterized by its 1.3L and 1.5L engines, 3-speed automatic transmission, and ⅘ speed manual transmission. It came in a 2/4 door sedan and a 3-door hatchback.

But what set the Toyota apart was it’s drive-ability.

Prior to the Tercel, the Corrolla was Toyota’s most popular vehicle, but the rear wheel drive and lack of rack-and-pinion steering as used on some of their more sportier models, gave the Corrolla the reputation as a particularly difficult vehicle to drive.  Hoping to correct this perception Toyota added a modified rack-and-pinion design, a more centrally-located center of gravity, and a tighter transmission.  This gave the Tercel a decidedly “sportier” feel with much more stability on turns.

So sure-footed was the Tercel that many drivers used the car as their primary ski vehicle thanks to it’s propensity to handle the tight turns and snowy conditions in the mountains.

2000 GT (1967)

1967 Toyota 2000 GT

1967 Toyota 2000 GT

Released in 1967, the Toyota 2000 GT was one of the few models that first gave Japan the competitive edge in terms of designing cool, fast, and advances vehicles. With 150 hp and a 2.0L straight-six engine, this car is capable of speeds superior to 135mph and is, to this day, considered to be the greatest Japanese car of all time.

It’s easy to see why – just look at how freakin’ cool it looks!

Only 351 cars of this model were made and the selling price was $7,000. The 2000 GT didn’t sell instantly because of its higher cost (compared to Porsche and Jaguar that sold for over $6,000), but also due to its unproven reputation. This car put Japan on the map as an esteemed leader in the Autocar industry.

Supra (1978)

1978 Toyota Celica Supra

1978 Toyota Celica Supra

The Toyota Supra is a sports car that was introduced in 1978 with the initial four generations being produced from 1978 until 2002 and the fifth-generation resuming in 2019.

The style and design were mainly inspired by the Toyota Celica, though the Supra is much longer and wider. With 110 horsepower and a 2.6 inline-six engine layout, this car was meant to compete with the very popular Datsun (now Nissan)  Z-car. The Supra received a drastic makeover in 1982 and more upgrades subsequently in 1986 and on.

Mega Cruiser (1995)

1995 Toyota Mega Cruiser

1995 Toyota Mega Cruiser

The Mega Cruiser is a heavy-duty SUV introduced by Toyota in 1995. This large and robust vehicle features four-wheel drive and is the biggest 4WD ever produced by Toyota.

The resemblance with the Hummer H1 is very striking, particularly in terms of design. Most of the vehicles manufactured ended up being used by the Japanese military, prefectural police, and fire/rescue departments. Though there were a few sold to civilians (133 units to be exact).

Scion xB (2003)

2003 Toyota Scion XB

2003 Toyota Scion XB

Scion xB is a compact car that was mainly targeted towards youngsters. The initial van was a subcompact, came with a 5-door hatchback, and weighed less than 2,400 pounds.

It featured a straight-four engine with 108 hp (81 kW) and 105 lb-ft (142 N⋅m) and was mainly designed for the United States market to be sold under the youth-oriented brand of Scion.