Hooniverse seems to attract the best and the brightest, and here is more proof. We received a detailed communication from Raphael Orlove, and you may recognize him by his username raphaelinberlin. Mr. Orlove has an interesting site of his own called Autofrei, and he dropped us a line after I put this posting up. So sit back, relax, and catch up on some musings of our very own raphaelinberlin….
I’ve written extensively about Toyota’s curious years through the 1980s, when voluntary export restrictions really set the company down its path towards blandness, all the while producing all kinds of interesting niche vehicles along the way. I wrote a fuller history on my site in relation to a 1985 Camry I saw on the street as well as in an article on a late ’80s front-drive Corolla GT-S I spotted. Sometimes you really have to embrace the boring, soak in it, cover yourself in the blandness of it all, but that might be a little much for the more enthusiast vibe of the ‘verse.
Still, if there is anything on the automotive fringe, it’s deep adoration of the most utterly invisible, dull cars. There is really only one candidate for the most invisible car in the world, the one you are the least likely to remember or even notice when you walk past one on the street, and that’s the ’87-’91 Camry, which I wrote a piece on. I also covered a lot of other old Toyotas that perhaps fit into what other hoons might more readily qualify as interesting, but the best article of those, I think, would be a piece I did on the late ’80s front-drive Celica. Traditional knowledge goes that when it switched from rear wheel drive, Celicas stopped being lustworthy or interesting.
However, not only have 4th gen Celicas become wonderful examples of what is for so many working-class Americans a real sports car, but the fourth gen Celica, as it turns out, was styled after the 1960s Panhard 24-series, which is pretty interesting in itself and worth a mention.
The 4th generation Celica posting is one of the best I’ve read. Take a look for yourself.
I really do have plenty of articles up on the site on old Toyotas, from a first-gen Cressida, a first-gen Celica Supra, and a couple beater Puerto Rican AE86s. If any of these sound interesting, or even sound interesting in how extremely uninteresting they are (I assure you there is something wonderful even in a 1990 Cressida), just let me know.
Well Raphael, you have us hooked on you keen insights and distinctive writing style. The AE86 in Puerto Rico is a great read, and you can check it out here.
He also sent a link to all of the other Toyota postings, and you can take a look at them here. If you want to see more of Raphael musings, check out his site Autofrei. You won’t be disappointed.