November 23, 2009

"My Toyota Is Fantastic".

The above sentence was printed on the rear windshield in the first new car my father was able to purchase in Sweden.

After struggling through the pain of many used and often unreliable cars, in the late eighties my parents again found themselves in the position of being able to afford buying a brand new car. It was a Toyota Carina II. To this day my father thinks of the car fondly and recalls it as one of the best cars he ever owned.

As I already did not live at home at that time, I mostly experienced the car on the many trips abroad I took with my parents in the late eighties and early nineties. It was that car that took us back to Czech Republic for the first time after the fall of communism, it was the one which drove us through Berlin after the fall of the wall and it was in this car that I drove south with my parents, to the Mediterranean where the picture above was taken.
It was also my fathers Toyota that I drove as the first car with my father during the time in which I took my driving license.

Taking my driving license was pure hell. It was the worst and most costly experience I recall ever in my life. I had to borrow money to get it and and I failed the written test once and the driving test twice, before obtaining the license on my third try.
The license eventually cost me nearly as much as my current car. It was a terrible ordeal that caused me a lot of anguish and distress, but that is another story all together.

With that said though, I was lucky enough to have it once I moved to the US, where (as I learned very quickly) having a car was absolutely vital. The first year while living in North Carolina, I drove a red 77 Ford Thunderbird, which belonged to my friends. Driving this magnificent car was an experience of a life time, which I have described previously.

Once I moved back to Denmark, after having the privilege of driving my own car for almost ten years, I knew I could not go back to be using the public transportation system. I simply had to buy a new car. And this time around, just like my father did before me, I decided to buy a new Toyota. The reasons were many, but most of all the decision was based on price. Toyotas are inexpensive in Denmark, or reasonably priced at least. The Danes do not produce their own cars and furthermore, the state taxes the cars. To each car price, between 100-500% is added on taxes, depending on the make, the size, the fuel usage etc.

My Toyota Yaris, the first model from 1999, is an amazing machinery in every way. It is reliable and practical. It gets me where I need to go using almost no gas; during normal usage, I need to refill it only once a month. With its small size I can park it anywhere. It is a joy to drive, whether in the city, in the country side or on the highway. I have even driven it safely through a snowstorm, where other luxury makes found themselves unable to continue and ended up in ditches. It handles well anywhere and I love its manual transmission, that makes every drive so much fun. Small, yet very spacious and very safe. Even though soon ten years old, it looks and feels like new.

I love my car and I simply can not imagine my life without it. Yes indeed, My Toyota Is Fantastic!


MsTypo said...

I loved my Toyota too! Her name was trinity. Toyotas are such well made cars and they last forever. The only new car my parents ever bought was a blue Toyota Celeca in 1981. My brother was still driving well into the mid 90's.

Nessa said...

It's such a pretty green.

Thanksgiving MeMe

steviewren said...

I had a fairly new Ford Explorer when I got divorced. I was thankful it everyday, because I there was no way I could have paid for a car. It was 11 years old and had 213,000 miles when the transmission started slipping. I decided I had to buy a car before that one left me stranded. I wanted something reliable and long lasting and affordable on my salary. I got a used Toyota Corolla. When I had my wreck last summer that little car protected me. My car hit the cement median and flipped but I was unhurt. God watched over me and that little car did its job well. Of course I bought another Corolla. So, I'm a fan of Toyota.

Sumandebray said...

Toyota makes nice cars. I loke it. My previous car was a Camry and I liked her very much but had to part with her when we left Kuwait.
Talking about driving license ... it was quite an ordeal to get my licnese in Dubai. after having so many years of driving experience. I had once written about that experience in my blog

Rajesh said...

What an experience. My first car was Toyota and I just loved it

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Might I add that it is adorable and I love that green!!!

Hubbie drives a Toyota and sings its praises regularly!!

Reading Tea Leaves said...

My first car was a Hillman Imp and it lived up to its name - it was cosy shall we say!

I've never had a Toyota but yours sounds great and I like the green colour!

Jeanne x

Keith said...

I've owned one Toyota in the past. I usually have Fords. I can remember taking my driver's test. I failed the actual driving part the first time. I was so humiliated. Having a car here is very vital. There's really no way to get around without one.

Brian Miller said...

used to have a toyota it carried a lot of memories...if not for ice and a light pole i would still be driving it. loved my nissan xterra too.

Diane said...

My first new car was a Toyota, too! A little red Tercel and I loved it... I drove it FOREVER... it's probably still running somewhere :)

Holly said...

I got a good laugh out of your blog today! (Thank you,...I needed it.) From your sad little tomatoes all alone on their vine in your "Colors of November" post to the fact that Your dads car actually read "My Toyota is fantastic" on the windshield. Your quirky and amusing personality really shines through in many of you posts even when that is not your intention. (I mean this in a very good way,...I hope that's how it comes across.)

Honestly though, I have known very few people who ever owned a toyota and didn't just adore their car!! Maybe I need to get myself one.:)

Rosezilla (Tracie Walker) said...

My Mother's first (and last) new car ever was a Toyota Camry and she loved it soooooo much. (I can relate somewhat to the driving license experience. I passed the written one with no problem; but the driving test was a nightmare. Finally on the fourth try I just, barely passed. It isn't that expensive here tho. Just humiliating).


Great quote, and so true. Thanks for sharing it. We all need a little "reminder" sometimes. Your car is GREEN. You know what the say about people who choose green cars? They're naturally genius! ;)


sprinkles said...

I've never had a Toyota.

I currently own a Chevy Cavalier which is 8 years old. It was the first brand new car I've ever bought and may be the only one I ever get.

When I first bought it, I hated the color. It's an orangey-red and was too orange for me. Now I've come to love it and don't even notice the orange anymore, I just see it as a red car.

A few years ago I thought about trading it in for another one but decided I really like my car and don't want to get rid of it.

It's nothing fancy but it works for me!

Jeannette StG said...

Can't remember if I've seen your model here (have to ask hubby). Did you learn to drive a car in Europe? Because I hear from everyone that they spend oodles of money before passing the drives test.

Having been in East. Europe during the communistic era, I can understand the wonder, awe and excitement of your parents and you to come back to their stomping grounds, without having to pass guards with riffles.

Sorry, on my art notes I made 2 typos in your name (and I don't like it when people do that to my own name), but didn't want to remove it, because I thought then you may not be able to find my reply to you:)

Stacey J. Warner said...

I drive a Volkswagen Jetta 2001, black, named grumpy.

I love this car...I've driven Toyotas also both are GREAT cars.

much love

Unknown said...

yey for toyota. we drive altis, and one day i want to drive a yaris.

great car!.

I Am Denise Katipunera

Absolutely Ladylike said...

My dearest Zuxana!

I totally understand your point and warm relationship with your car. I think Toyota is one of the best brand and I wanted to buy a Toyota Yaris 10 years ago but that time I couldn't effort it so I ended up with a Daewo Lanos :-) Which I love just as much as you love your Yaris.

I still have my car in Hungary and I miss it so much but I couldn't bring it with me here in China and even if I could I would never drive here. It's absolutely dangerous and I consider myself as a good driver :-)

Somehow your car becoming your second home...just imagine the feeling when you sit in your car in a cold winter day and it will bring you wherever you want, nice and warm + listening music is just top of the cake.

Still one of the thing I look so much forward every time when I go back to Budapest is to sit in my car and drive...

The part about your driving experiences with your father especially made me smile cause I did that with my father too in a LADA lol :-)

And the driving license...well I failed 3 times in the technical part (not sure about the correct English expression). I've had every exam I needed but I was soooooo lazy to learn the technical part of the exam...I strongly believed in that if I will ever be in trouble on the roads there will be a gentleman who will help me out so I don't need to learn the technical part. LOL.

Well there are thousands of thoughts and memories coming up reading this post of yours...I just wish we could have a nice coffee together one day and just talking, talking, talking...

Much love: Evi

Ps: also one of my best experience in life was driving alone from Budapest to Norway...what a trip that was. Just me and my car. Loved it!

Absolutely Ladylike said...

Ps: Sorry for miss spelling your name darling! It was too late when I noticed...Uff...

Claus said...

Toyotas are hugely popular in Guatemala, and known as reliable, gas-efficient and affordable...or like you said, at cheaper compared to other brands. The Totota Yaris is so popular!!, and currently the most sold I think. There is one everywhere you see, which leads me to believe they are indeed good cars.
I have a license, yet I don't drive. My mom takes me places, or friends, or I take public transportation. I find it relaxing, and not too stressful, as Guatemalan traffic - except maybe around Christmas time - is really heavy, especially at the hours I would have to drive around. I insisted on learning how to drive, though, in case of an emergency. There should always be someone to rely on in case of need, wouldn't you agree?

Blogaire said...

Our love affair with the car is well documented. We certainly become fond of our own almost as if they were a pet. I always think of a car as a piece of architecture and am fascinated by different shapes and makes and models. (Men also have a habit of referring to their car as a "she"!).
My father always drove a Ford and I don't think he was too pleased when my older brother bought his first car - a Toyota Corolla. But Toyota's (indeed all Japanese cars) are very reliable and well built, and your Yaris is very stylish as well Zuzana - and a nice colour. I hope you get many more years of happy and safe motoring from it (her?).
p.s. The Japanese people have difficulty in pronouncing words with the letters "l" and "R" and it is unusual but many if not all of their earlier models had these letters in their name(corolla, carina, crown..). I am nearly sure it was "tongue-in-cheek" - a little joke!

Zuzana said...

great, so god to meet another Toyota fan.;) And Celicas are so super cool, owning the 80’s model was my dream when I was a teenager.;) xo

yes, indeed, amazing cars with amazing records, they are just the best.;) Glad you agree.;)) And thank you for your kind words.;)

thank you.;) I like the colour too;) xo

wow, what a story, I am so happy that little car did indeed protected you. I am happy to be in such a great club; a lot of you seem to be fans of this make.;) Always happy when you stop by, dear friend.;) xo

yes, Camrys were very popular here to and considered a step up models from the Carinas.;) I have to find that post of yours and read about your license nightmare.;)

yay, you are back! I hope you feel better! Great that you too like Toyotas.;) xo

thank you, glad to hear that your husband is a Toyota fan too.;) xo

Hillman Imp, I better google that, I have no idea what make is that, but it sounds very cute.;) Always happy when you visit, dear friend.;) xoxo

Fords are good makes too, but way to expensive here.;) I agree with the humiliation, I was humiliated and angry. And sure enough, living in NC without a car was not possible.;))

aw, ice and light pole, but I am happy you survived, sounds scary though.;) Glad you too have fun memories with Toyotas.;)

ah yes Tercel, it might have been the predecessor of Yaris.;) Always happy when you stop by.;) xo

I loved your comment! I love the way you think about my posts and the way you see me through my writing!:)))) I am always so happy to hear that you enjoy my poor scribbling and I find your words so refreshing, my dear, Holls.;) xo

yes, Camrys are beautiful. Yes, humiliating it truly was, not to pass that stupid test.;) So glad that is all in the past, I am sure you are too.;)) xo

glad you like my quote.;) Never knew the fact about green cars, sounds truly good to me.;) Hope it is true.;) xo

yes, the cars we own become our friends.;) After a while we do not see their funny colour or the way they look, as long as they serve us well.;) Always a joy to see you visit.;) xo

yes, I did get my driving license in Europe (Sweden).;) No to worry about misspelling my name, it is a strange spelling anyways.;) Thank you for your always kind comments.;) xo

I love that you named your car grumpy, that made me smile.;))) xoxo

glad to meet another Toyota lover, and yes, I can recommend Yaris from the bottom of my heart.;) xo

your comment was a beautiful read, with so many sentiments that ring so true… I am very impressed that you drove all by yourself from Hungary, wow!
Your kind words always brighten my day dear friend and not too worry about my name, I misspelled it a few times that way myself.;) xoxo

I know what you mean, at time sit is nicer to be a passenger.;) I think small cars are always very popular in big cities, as they are easier to park.;) I am always SO happy when you stop by my dear friend.;) xoxo

so true, yes indeed, our cars are our everything, they make sure we get where we want to go safely.;) It is funny, as I usually give my cars male names.;))
I did not know that funny fact about the Japanese, I so enjoyed this comment, dear friend!;) xoxo

G said...

I love the colour of your car and the way it stands out in the snow. I often think of your description of driving back from work, the way you see the ocean on your journey, the turning up to your white house on the hill... it's all so atmospheric and it sounds very charming. I think you've made a good life for yourself, my friend. :)

Zuzana said...

what a very kind and generous comment, it made me smile...
Especially as I thought exactly the same about your life, after visiting your place today.;)

Unknown said...

I have loved cars since I was 6 years old, so of course I enjoyed this post very much. I have a friend who is a picture framer in Kentucky who helped me custom mat and dry mount a couple of old car ads with photos of relatives who actually owned them. Funny...associating my relatives with cars they drove! :D) This is a great car, Zuzana! Use it and enjoy it!!!

Zuzana said...

what a great idea- having pictures of family members with their cars; I do not think it is strange at all.;) I think a car make says a lot about a person actually. Now I wonder what car you drive.;)