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Basic information of my car:
1990 Toyota Corolla E90
Since I was young, I have read many car magazines, and one of the most popular car brands was Toyota. So that was the first brand that I learned about cars.
I took my driving license during the late 80s and at that time, I always wanted to have a Toyota because it symbolizes durability. One of the most famous models during that era was the Corolla E90. The Toyota E90 was introduced in 1987 and was the sixth generation of the Corolla sub-brand. It was also the first exclusively front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive car as the rear-wheel drive option was dropped.
The E90 was developed by the then newly promoted leader Akihiko Saito. He proposed that this new generation of Toyota should have good performance, ample room for all members and also delight the drivers in the overall driving experience. In addition, he wanted the car to give people a high-quality travel experience.
Therefore, this generation of the Toyota E90 has been re-designed completely to deliver a higher comfort and luxury feel than the other cars in the same era. Unfortunately, during that time, I was just a newly graduated and had no chance to own one. By the time I could afford one, it was time to have an MPV rather than a saloon because I had too many kids that needed to be transported between places.
Fast track to the year 2020, when all my kids grew up, and I started to have an idea to have an extra “classic” car that is a manual transmission. I visited a few second-hand car dealers and found this one good example of the E90 parking there. It is a 1.3L 5-speed manual transmission corolla with its first registration date of 2 January 1990. I test-drove the car, and everything was in good working order, but it has no power steering. After test drove it for a few rounds, I bought it immediately with a total cost of RM7,000.
One of the reasons I bought this car was because I felt that I could travel back in time to the 90s and feel young again.
After I bought the car, I did a few things to make it better. First, I send the car to my workshop to install a set of power steering to make the car easier to drive. After all, I was no longer strong enough to drive a car without power steering, especially during parking. I have changed all the headlights and taillight plastics as they have aged. I have also done the interior refresh, updated the wiring system, fixed the central locking, and installed a reverse sensor, something that I cannot remember was that popular in the late 80s or early 90s.
So far, I have done about 6000km with the car. This is a car with no ECU, no ABS or ESP, no light and rain sensor, no electric windows, no electric side mirrors, no memory seats – everything is pure mechanical but yet I enjoy every moment of driving it – the feeling of a pure mechanical car is hard to describe. My children in their 20s also enjoyed going out with it, giving them a different driving and travel experience.
You won’t be able to drive this car fast – maximum about 100/110km per hour. You won’t be able to do a fast cornering. You won’t be able to see it very clearly during heavy rain. But every time I drive it, I pretend I am in the 90s and back to the day when I was youthful and full of energy. Although simple, this Toyota is a car that gives you the joy of driving a pure mechanical vehicle.
There were some rusting issues here and there, but I genuinely believe those issues can be resolved with a suitable investment to put in them. Maybe if you are in the late 50s or 60s, you may recall when you first got your hand in a Toyota and the excitement you had. It stirs up some precious memory about driving, in my case.
Pros of this car :
- Pure mechanical
- Easy to maintain, no computer
- Cheap maintenance cost
Cons of this car :
- A little bit rust
- 1.3L engine power is not that much compare to today’s standard
Total Score: 5 ( This is not a car that talks about performance, features and rides comfort anymore )
Performance : 3
Quality & Features: 3
Ride Comfort : 3
Fuel Economy: 4
Price & Cost : 6
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