Sunday, August 10, 2014

I Love Old Japanese Coupe

I started my Tomica collection beginning with Foreign series because I prefer continental cars then. My appreciation for old Japanese cars started from Tomica too. Old Japanese cars which were common on our roads are gone due to the high maintenance cost of our road system. Japanese cars in the 70s and 80s are more interesting compared to current day models. Can you imagine that there are 30 to 50 variants for just a single model? This is due to different body style, engine specifications, trim levels and sometimes limited edition models. Take Toyota Crown for instance, there is a 2 door coupe, 4 door saloon, 5 door station wagon which you do not get for today's successor. Germans are still continuing this tradition today for most of their range of cars. I picked from my box of Tomica in random for 2 door models of individual models. Nissan Cherry E10 series(known as 100A in Singapore) are a common sight in Singapore then. I find that it was a ugly little car and the F10 series were still running on our road in the early 90s. The Cherry has a 2 door and a 4 door variant in Singapore. There was also a coupe and a wagon made for the Cherry.

The Nissan Pulsar eventually took over the 100A in Singapore. The coupe aka EXA was the cooler version of the Pulsar range. There are also 3 & 5 door hatchback, 4 door saloon made. Singapore had only the 5 door hatchback and the EXA Coupe. My cousin's family was still driving the very last unit of the 5 door hatch and had to scrap it in 2008. They replaced it with a Corolla Altis.

Nissan Gloria is an identical car to the Cedric. Gloria is actually a sportier Cedric but was badged differently. The Gloria had a 4 door saloon and 5 door wagon too. The Gloria name was discontinued 10 years ago. If you want to buy a Cedric or Gloria, you will have to look at the Fuga or the Infinity which are the successor now.

Corona used to be hot seller after the Corolla in Singapore until it was discontinue in early millennium. The Camry took its place in the mid size saloon segment. 4 door saloon and 5 door wagon were made for the Corona too in the those days. These were the common body styles then.
Mark II was a mid size sedan and it was positioned to be above Corona and Camry. Coupe, saloon and wagon were made. The above was the 3rd generation Mark II, In Singapore, it was known as the Cressida.

The above is the 2nd generation Mark II. There were a total of 9 generations Mark II made. The 10th generation was renamed to Mark X.

Looks may be deceiving. The Colt Galant was considered a "supercar" of the early 1970s. Saloon and wagon were made and the top of the range is the Colt Galant GTO. The Colt Galant GTO did not have sufficient time to make a name for itself during the Singapore Rally of the early 70s. 1973 was the last year we had our very own Singapore Rally. Beside a Honda F1 which took part in the 60s, the race was dominated by Minis, Cortinas, Lotus, Alfa or Jaguar. In the early 70s, a few Japanese cars took part in the race but they didn't have ample time to prove themselves. A Mitsubishi Colt Galant 1300 4 door saloon was also a first prize lucky draw for spectators who bought entry tickets one of the years. Besides a Galant GTO, there is also a Celica 1600GT and a Bluebird SSS competing for a short period of time. Not many people knew that part of the race. I know it because my colleague told me this valuable information. I was surprise that he knows Colt Galant and he explained that he attended the race without valid ticket and his brother bought a Colt Galant GTO then. He said that the car was cool as the interior was built like a cockpit. The dials were located on top slightly above eye level. Not many GTOs were released in Singapore at that time. By the way, my colleague also bought a AE86 Trueno in the 80s. Japanese cars were so much interesting then, consumers were really spoilt for choices.