And I’m being serious here. If any of you have ever looked at an old Toyota Hiace (Toyota “Van” in the US) from the 80’s and 90’s, in all its angular and absolutely diabolically ugly glory, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
|They should have called it the Chariot, like on Lost in Space. Then shot it into a black hole.
(Image via cargurus.com)
First of all, can anyone explain to me how that aesthetic disaster made it past the first stage of development? Anyone? No? Didn’t think so. The Hiace looks like something I’d scribble onto a napkin at Wendy’s as a joke for my buddies to laugh at, but apparently one of the brilliant engineers thought this vehicle was comparable to the artistic prowess of the Mona Lisa or the statue of David.
Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not anywhere close to either of these and it belongs on the wall of shame at every Toyota factory on this planet. Hell, we should also shoot flyers into space warning extraterrestrial life not to make the same mistake that humanity did by allowing this vehicle to be built.
But I digress….
Yes, Toyota used to build some damn ugly cars. That’s not a secret. But how about now? Have they cleaned up their act? I would assume after the team that drew up the diagrams for the Hiace was exiled to Siberia to ponder the atrocity they cast onto this earth, Toyota hired some talented guys for a change, because the cars they’re coming out with now are actually pretty nice.
That little Toyota Camry is an mpg machine, the Corolla is alright too, and the Prius is actually one of the better looking hybrid cars out there right now. Once the prices drop a bit, I’d actually consider owning a Prius, because I’ve always wanted to bring my Macbook to Starbucks to pretend to type up a novel while sipping on a coffee with a fancy name, I just don’t have a hip enough vehicle to do it.
One final but solid point: Toyota used to have a lineup of vehicles that were as ugly as sin itself, but they have cleaned up their act and now produce some nice looking cars. If I told you that I wanted to purchase a Toyota ten or twenty years ago, you would have laughed in my face and stole my car just for being a jackass. But now, I could actually have a meaningful discussion about Toyota, end with a thought about buying a Corolla or something, and not have to run away from a car snob mob holding torches and pitchforks.
Isn’t the modern car scene awesome? You bet it is.
Owned (nearly) by cheap tires…
I have 4 of these BF Goodrich tires on the Corolla. For a year or so, they were great, at least compared to the OEM tires. Right now though, I can’t leave a stoplight without spinning them. (This is not an engine issue – no Minister of Cool V-8, no turbo – less displacement than a bottle of mountain dew). There is 90% tread left, but no traction left. Seriously. Black ice. Water on black ice. Continue reading “Craptastic”