M A N O J I T A L I Y A


Often the safest and easiest available mode of transport is cars. They come in different colours, shapes, sizes and passengers’ capacity. We categorize them according to the unique feature that they offer. Like sedan, coupe, sports car, station wagon, hatch-back, convertible, sport-utility vehicle (SUV) model, minivan, pickup truck and much more etc.  When you opt to go for buying a car, it all depends on the budget and sometimes approach. Cars exhibit your social status, especially in this modern world of status-quo. People opt for cars according to their needs and requirements. I am in particularly writing with a reference to an old car (Toyota Starlet) that I had bought some time ago and my experience was really very substantial. But first briefly defining here the categories for an overall idea and understanding;

Car Categories

Sedans are the most common form of family cars. They are considered to be categorized under luxury car because of their shape and form. They are mostly four doors with a longer hood and back storage trunk.

Coupe mostly come in 2 doors and have a latch window or trunk on the rear where the spare wheel and some luggage can be kept.

Sports Cars are mostly designed like coupes and may have a rear trunk. Sometimes the rear glass works as a flexible window that can open up with a latched lock system. They are really hot looking in design and convertibles roofs are also often a feature.

Station wagons are like Sedans but have an extended roofline with an attached hatch door installed at the rear instead of a trunk cover. Station wagons are mostly 4 doors, large and have extended seating capacity in different models.

Hatchback comes in both 2 doors and 4 doors with the back rear glass working as the flip up hatch door. They are considered as the compact version of the sedans.

Convertibles are cars that have a roof that retracts and fold to change the overall look of the car. It leaves the passenger cabin open.

SUVs are also referred to as Crossovers. They are an addition to the traditional line of Sedans, but the difference is SUVs tend to be taller and boxier than sedans. The seating level is elevated and has more ground clearance than a car. They look more like a 4 door huge coupe.

Minivans unlike their name are huge and bigger sedans with a larger capacity for cargo. Efficient for big families travelling intra-city wide. You can describe them as tall boxes with wheels and facilitated with sliding side doors for laid-back access and a rear hatch that opens to a large cargo area. One of the common feature is that they have adjustable seats in their second and third rows. These adjustable seats can be removed or even folded into the floor to create a huge open cargo space.

Pickup Truck is no more a slim long vehicle with a two passenger cabin and a long open trunk for loading. They now come into vast size categorized under full size and mid-size.  They come both in 2 and 4 doors and can be also defined as huge Crossovers with an open back cargo bed.

 The Toyota Starlet featured

General description and the exterior

It belonged to the second generation, which was first introduced in February 1978 in Japan. A hatch back model, this was the time when the super minis were rising in popularity all over the globe. It was one of the first models that was extensively sold in Europe and U.K. in particular. I had the 1979 model, which was red in colour. The engine was a 1000 cc, and it was a five door hatch back model similar to this 3 door hatchback model as shown in the picture. 

As far as I analysed, it is one of the finest cars ever produced by Toyota Motors because of its positives, like seating capacity for 5 members of a family. As stated above, its engine capacity was below 1000 cc, so it did not consume petrol in large quantity. A 40 litre tank with an average mileage of 10-12 kms / litre. The car was overall spacious with a 5-speed manual gear and the outer body was very strong. It had a front-engine layout with a rear-wheel-drive as its basis. It was not a very long car around 145 inches long and 60 inches wide. Height was about 54 inches high and the wheelbase was about 93 inches.

Unlike today’s cars, which have only the shape of a bumper made of fibre, mostly. This car had a good front shape with round lamps and steel bumpers. The rear also looked well with big lights that had all three in selections embedded into one. It had the stop signal with reverse option and the direction indicator for each side.

The Interior defined:

The beauty of the interior was its simplicity and straightforwardness. Unlike today’s complicated car systems, it had direct buttons or handles with signage for its usage.

For e.g. the wiper handle on left of the steering wheel had all the images and text to highlight the use of it. Similarly, the indicator handle on the right side was also marked properly. Also called the 60 series, Toyota Starlet was the first passenger car to use a rack-and-pinion steering. I had this standard Deluxe model referred to as DX but other models of this car are also available in the market to this day though rare like GL, XL, S, Si, Sprint, SE and Lisse according to the options offered by that particular model. The overall dashboard looked simple and nice, with a standard radio option installed in the centre. The steering wheel, which was of course round, two spoke with one honking option on each end had enlarged push buttons. It embossed neatly Toyota Starlet emblem in the centre on the rectangular cover of the steering wheel to give the mark of Toyota Starlet.  The two meters perfectly fitted apart in one common uplifted box to enhance the dashboard look. One being the Speed meter and the other inclusive off the engine temperature and fuel consumption indicator. The hand brake precisely installed between the two front seats to be used at times of emergency. Last but not the least a glove compartment with acceptable capacity on the extreme right with an automatic latch option for opening and closing. It had the heater option but was left out with having the cooling option inside during the hot climates. This is the only deleterious bit that I can recall regarding it.

The changed version

In 1980, they slightly changed the Toyota Starlet to give a facelift by including square headlights instead of the round shaped. Incorporation of a slant nose front end accommodated the second facelift in the 1983 model, and a lower hatch opening. Toyota Starlets are becoming more difficult to buy because of their ageing and the body parts getting rusted. If you are looking to buy one then, you will need to head hunt hard through various online sites to get a good car. There are many online selling sites that deal in classic cars but at a huge sum. So you may have to travel miles out of the city before you get hold of a really magnificent piece through a broker or showroom that deals in such beauties. But they are getting that classic status as many are now being converted into track and rally cars with powerful engines installed. Addition of alloy rims and wide tubeless tyres glorifies its overall looks. Thus becoming a valuable collector’s car series of all times.

Pleasure of driving

In a nutshell, it was a killer on the road, lovely looking car with a pleasure to drive because of its steadfastness and strong road grip. Even now, after 43 years later, you can see these classics converted and running with the same commitment, enhancing the joy of driving and satisfaction.

Author Bio:  Olivia is a content marketer who works for Affiliate Marketing – A Discount and Coupons Providing Platform. A writer by day and a reader by night; She is striving to make the most of the new opportunities that comes in her way


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