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Bryan
Hagerty Employee

Modern supercars owe a lot to this little Toyota

Remember the ’90s? Pauly Shore was surfing middle America, 401k portfolios were diverted to Beanie Baby futures, and the world’s most risk-averse automaker built an economy car with butterfly doors ... Read the full article on Hagerty.com:

 

https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/modern-supercars-owe-a-lot-to-this-little-toyota/

 

12 REPLIES 12
Solosolo
Intermediate Driver

Brilliant piece of engineering and design. I love it.

CarciergeGlenn
Intermediate Driver

Cool little cars, plus bonus:  Toyota reliability.

 

jbarone01
Pit Crew

The doors on those cars (butterfly type) and the Gull Wing doors (such as the Mercedes SL-300 from the 50's, Bricklin from the 70's, and the DeLorean DMC-12 from the early 80's) make a car look unique.  That makes the car more interesting. 

And that is why I am so happy with my 1982 Delorean.  The Gull Wing doors on the DeLorean literally only need 14" of clearance to open.  Very nice in a tight space.  And when we take the Stainless Steel clad DeLorean to local parades, we drive with both doors open to wave out both sides of the car to the crowds (which go crazy over the Gull Wing doors). 

Nice article about this ground breaking Toyota model; always learn something new when I check out your stories. Fast forward to today and Tesla has a similar door arrangement on his Model X (But they call it a "falcon wing" door because it is articulated in center to open with less vertical clearance).  Just surprised more car makers have not started using this excellent type door configuration. (Butterfly, Gull Wing, or the Falcon Wing).

Lightning1
Detailer

Manufacturers float new ideas all the time. This could have been a good one. Some marketing exec probably decided it's chances are slim of catching on in the US and stopped it. Too bad

greenhue
Pit Crew

just look at what has become the car we now have to drive compared to this. You can see the engine and no 15 inch screen in the middle. If only I could focus on not crashing it I would get one.

antijam
Pit Crew

Be careful if your garage has a low roof.....
Ed_Turbo
Pit Crew

I am glad they did not bring this to the US market. This would compete with the Geo Metro.

 

That being said, this is not much to rave about (sorry Geo Metro fans). 

Maestro1
Instructor

This car should be built again. It's unique and adorable. I can live without the Aromas and the Stereo nonsense but the rest is fabulous. Well done, Toyota.

Tim
Instructor

Que será is Spanish, not French.

 

I actually thought someone else would have mentioned this before me.

Sajeev
Community Manager

It's actually neither Spanish, nor French.  It's apparently English with a French-like spelling: 

 

All evidence indicates that the saying originated in England. It first appears—with the unique, French-like spelling of “quy serra serra”—in an English manuscript of the 15th century, with a somewhat enigmatic function (Sec. 5.1). In the 16th century it was adopted as the heraldic motto of an aristocratic English family (Sec. 5.3), with the Italian spelling that was to be its predominant form for 400 years. Alongside that emblematic use, it begins to take on an expressive function in the speech and thoughts of fictional characters, as a manifestation of an individual’s fatalistic attitude toward a specific situation—occasionally in the 17th century, and later with increasing frequency, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries. In some of its instances, the saying appears with a translation or paraphrase; but in others—even some of the earliest ones—it appears on its own, suggesting that the reader may have been expected to understand it without semantic assistance.

 

Quote is taken from: https://langnhist.weebly.com/queSera.html

roadio55
Intermediate Driver

At first glance I thought it was a Paseo. I'm not surprised they share many components.

ChrisC
Pit Crew

Rumour has it that the Sera came about since the daughter of Toyota's chairman wanted one.

Sera is the third person singular of the French word "to be". Apparently it is also Turkish for greenhouse.

The car in the photos isn't entirely original - the rear parcel shelf has been badly retrimmed (they tend to split/warp under sunlight, the wheels are nonoriginal and the sills are a right mess.

Around 300 came to the UK as grey/personal imports. At one stage they could be found in scrapyards but values are now going up.

Left hand drive conversions have been done but they are not easy.

They are based on the Toyota Starlet and parts availability is still good. Although they have faults, eg door struts and thermostats, the standard of engineering/attention to detail is very high for what was a low volume product.