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Old Faithful – A 1970 Toyota Corona

3 min read

Everything is subject to depreciation. What use to be new, quickly gets old soon as the excitement is gone. And after it was driven to the moon and back, it becomes just another ordinary possession in one’s life. As interest suddenly shifts to something newer and more reliable, those tired old rides we once had gets passed on to its next care taker, and the cycle continues until it one day ends up parted out and abandoned.

The RT40 series is the 4th generation Corona that came out from 1964 to 1970. It was virtually the car that put Toyota on the map. It was introduced to the public almost simultaneous with the 1964 Japan Olympics, an opportunity that Toyota took to showcase to the world how successful they had become, rising from the ruins of World War II. The Corona was the market competition of the Pininfarina designed Nissan Bluebird, which is kind of ironic, as Pininfarina himself also assisted in the design of the RT40 Corona. This Corona has been nicknamed the “Barikan” when it first came out, which is Japanese for electric razor, as its grill which looks like razor blades makes the RT40 very distinct from the cars of its contemporary.

RT40s were very common cars in the Philippines during the 60s and 70s, yet they were not really considered desirable cars back in its day, in fact many of these Coronas ended up becoming taxi cabs. Except for a few that fell in the hands of true car aficionados, most of these old Toyotas were simply forgotten over time.

But then there is the exception to what is customary. There are some things in life that are way too good to let go. You may call it a love affair, an heirloom, the sentiments behind it makes it a significant part of a family, handed from one generation to the next, as parting is never an option.

Like any other car, Jordan Sayson’s 1970 Toyota Corona was at one point brand new that has gotten old over time. But unlike the typical course of other automobiles, this car was kept in the family since the day it was acquired – 50 years ago.

For Jordan, it was the new car his Dad purchased that once took the family all over when he was a young kid. It has always been there as far as he remembers as he practically grew up with the car. Eventually, the key of the Corona, together with all his childhood memories attached to it was handed over to him as a graduation gift in 1987. And like any other car of its age, wear and tear becomes evident. That however was taken as a feat by Jordan because it gave him the chance to learn to work on it himself, a hobby that became his lifelong vocation as Jordan now owns his auto shop Pit Stop Sixty Five in Cebu City.

Jordan kept his Corona in an all stock condition. The car is still equipped with its original 1.5L 2R motor hooked to a 4-speed manual gearbox driving the rear wheels.  Although it’s original interior may show a little patina, Jordan’s RT40 is a true time capsule, it almost looked like it just rolled off the showroom in 1970. This shows how meticulous Jordan was in maintaining the car over the past few decades.

It is not surprising to see old cars today being restored back to its former glory as these cars are well valued and highly respected these days. What is amazing is that long before people started appreciating these cars, Jordan had been passionately going against the current as he was painstakingly taking care of the Corona back when many would just consider it as a worthless worn-out ride. While most people think it’s nothing but an old car, for Jordan, it’s a lifelong relationship that he plans to keep for years to come so it can be passed on to and hopefully be given the same affection by the next generation. I guess it simply proves the fact that the true worth of a car is not always how much money was spent on it, but how much value one puts in to it.

Keep the old car passion alive.  Drive your oldies with pride. Happy Lumang Oto motoring folks

Lumang Oto

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Old Faithful – A 1970 Toyota Corona