WHY AM I SELLING THIS!!
The Falcon is here
! (My New TOFU
as some like to sceptically call it on the Forum). But I don't need the 5th Car now. 4 is our limit. One has to go. I try to rationalize with my bro to sell the 2002 Qualis (having done nearly 1.25L kms). But he is so much in love with that truck that he refuses point blank to part with. Aisi gaadi kahaan milegi bhaiyya? Papa ki nishani hai. Papa loved it!
So my trusted workhorse of 7 years, The Brilliant TOCO (lolz.. Toyota Corolla
) it has to be... Decided to start this Long Term Ownership Thread to preserve it for posterity, so that I can have a look at this thread and sigh! sigh! Circa 2002
Our last vehicle was the Esteem which had just been sold. We had just procured the Honda City and were loving every moment in it. But, extensive traveling was now in order, so the first Toyota vehicle which had recently been launched and undergone it's first facelift had been setup to be procured. Yeh gaadi hai yah dabalroti ka dibba!
My father had said at that time. Mujhe yeh diesel viesel ki gaadi nahi samaj me aa rahi beta. Are you sure you want this? Diesel to Ambassador hoti hai beta!
Papa, its a Toyota! Magar yeh breadbox?
So the story went something like that. He was mighty skeptical to procure that vehicle but went along with my wishes to buy it. On his first drive back from the showroom (Ghaziabad) to Meerut, he said to me - Andar se kaafi badi hai! Aur bilkul car jaisi!
Half my money was recovered by that one sentence of his. And what a breadbox it turned out to be that my bro is still not letting go of it. Circa 2004
April 2004 - My Honda City (1.3 Exi) of 3 years was 'feeling' old, oddly. Driven it just around 40K kms during that period but still it has begun to rattle and roll on our pathetic West UP roads. Time to upgrade it was nearing. It was sold off and lookout for new cars started. We only had the Optra's and the Elantra's as an option that time in the mid luxury segment besides the Corolla. The Corolla had recently been launched by Toyota and it was 'the largest selling car in the world' at that moment. The Qualis was making us smile everyday, so it really was a no-brainer when we opted for the 2nd Toyota in the family.
It was booked 06-05-2004 and delivered to us on 12-05-2004. It costed me Rs. 10,35,809/- ex-showroom (Ghaziabad). Add to that an Insurance figure of 37,449/-. The 'unbelievable
' figure is that of the Road Tax
I had paid at that time of just Rs. 4800/- for lifetime. 10K was paid extra for the premium number. So it worked somewhere around Rs. 10.90 L on road
at that time for the 1.8E (H2 model - Fabric Seats with Manual transmission but fully loaded)
was checked even then and it was Built 04/04 on the engine plate and exact date and time was 26/04/2004 23.40 hours
(YES, I was particular about this even at that time and NO, I had not heard about TeamBHP then). The colour was ridiculously named as 'Champagne Mica'. Gold to me it was.
The dealership experience in those days from Toyota was just Fantastic. Uttam Toyota was their only dealership in UP (I presume) and it made us feel uber cool. The deal was sweetened by Toyota's offering of a Compaq Pressario Notebook worth Rs. 75,000/- FREE with the Corolla
. YES, those days even Toyota had to resort to these tactics to sell their products. They even started giving a Citizen watch free + this laptop after a few days of my purchase and I even complained to them at that time. Those schemes never really came back from T after those initial years. Premium Original Toyota Fabric Floor Mats were given complimentary. My only grouse was the 700 bucks worth of Muffler Cutter
that I never got from them... lolz, but that is another story already discussed on the Falcon thread.
The car was fully loaded for it's time. It was the first time I tasted AUTO A/C and what an auto it was. Nearly the same unit still does service on the present Toyota Models including my Falcon. 6 CD changer was something crazy at that time, and it was a nice party trick to see the single slot eating away 6 CD's in one go. Where in the heck, did those go inside? Do they fold? lolz. It was a 2DIN so those days it meant it had a cassette player included. It, sadly, didn't play MP3's at that time (another grouse, which I complained to them in writing) and had a manual pull type Antenna, but this was compensated to some aspect by a nice Panasonic OE cassette adapter that I procured to play my ipod. And that works brilliantly till this day.
First drive and I said to myself- Oh my God! This is a racing Car!
Those day's this kind of pickup was phenomenal. And till this day, I am in love with its brilliant 1.8 16 valve VVT-i Engine, which incidentally still does duty on the current Altis with minor changes. Like Warren Buffet says - “Never fix a problem that doesn’t need fixing
”, so Toyota never did.
It still gives me a FE of between 11-13, and that's more than my Santro gives in the city, and it's cheaper to maintain too than the said vehicle. Usage pattern is mostly for Delhi-Meerut runs and that's nearly city driving nowadays with the snarling traffic. Never left me stranded. Never failed to start. No clutch change till date. 1 battery change. 3 tyres changed (1 burst) and that's about the costliest expenditure I did on this beauty. 40K service costed me around 7K and that was the costliest in it's history. Break pads were changed locally for 700 bucks (3K at Toyota A-S-S) and that's the only job not done at the A-S-S. That is the story of the T brand name.
For overall build quality, fit and finish, interior design, space, quality and comfort, I will let my pictures (taken today) of a 7 year old vehicle do the talking. Its an ergonomically 'perfect' car. I never felt the 'harsh drives' that some say it has. It is as pliant on the highway as it is at home on the bad bad roads of the Wild West (UP).
The double barrel headlights are brilliant, so are the fogs. The gearshift and transmission is top notch, though it does stick between 2nd and 3rd rarely (once in 6 months) when I'm fast shifting. No niggles, squeaks, parts problem faced till date.
The Dealership (Uttam Toyota, Ghaziabad) has deteriorated to a shadow of it's original self, as I had mentioned in the Falcon thread, but then some brilliant ones like 36 Toyota, Faridabad and even the Grand Toyota, Meerut are coming up.
I don't know why I have sold this (advance received). People stop me from doing this madness and return the deposit!!
Enough said, let the show begin; All photos taken today (i.e. 10-09-2011), after having owned the vehicle for nearly 7.5 years, and till date I have done NO 3M detailing etc. on the vehicle, NO Teflon Treatment, NO Under-body Treatment, NO Interior Cleaning by any professional. Only Formula 1 Carnauba Waxed once every 3 months and self maintained. The head-on view
The Classic Rear
An interesting view
The brilliant double barrel projector (type) headlamps
The wide spread Fogs
The Fantastic and Classic Chrome Front Grill and T logo. Still looking as brilliant as when new...
The Left & Right Back Light with the 'Corolla' and 'T' monikers
The Boot Chrome Plate, shiny as ever
The 15" Alloys with the Bridgestone Potenza's
The HUGE boot. Space is useful to the fullest. Has swallowed all my needfull on all long journeys without complaint. Has a Boot Light which automatically turns on/off with boot opening/closing
Full Sized Alloy Spare Wheel - No shortchanging in the essentials from T, ever
The Side Mirrors, Electrically retractable and adjustable. Another party trick in those years, now quite common. But they still bring a smile to my face for their flawless functioning even after 7 years of rigorous use.
The solid chromed stainless steel door handles.
Driver Seat manual adjustments (including height). Note the remote fuel and boot openers, nothing special
The Driver Side Door, with pockets (no bottle holder - bad), No welcome lights (though provision is visible), brilliant 3 zone upholstering, very nice wood finish colour and still solid as ever controls and inside door opener is visible. Also note the Front speaker.
The Chromed Inside Door Opener - built to last, not a dullness in any chrome part
A close-up of the Central Locking and Power Windows Controls. Notice the high quality velvet fabric inserts on top. I miss these interiors on my 'hard' Falcon.
The Front Passenger side door
And the Tweeter neatly placed on its top
The brilliant Steering. Looking rich as ever. Has controls for tilt.
Close-up of the leather quality on the steering. No wear and tear.
The functional Centre Console. I like the wood finish colour, contrary to popular belief. Notice 2 storage slots below the A/C controls. One is for CD's and the other is an ashtray which I use to store the fuel bills as I detest smoking. Lolz... This is a NO SMOKING Thread. Also visible is a chime slot on the side and barely visible is the dead pedal for the driver. Ergonomically 'perfect'.
A close-up of the 6 CD Changer + FM + (now obsolete) Cassette Player
The Chiller of an AUTO A/C. Was blown off by it in 2004 to see such a brilliant cooling unit. Still functions as good as new without any maintenance. There's a A/C Filter slot behind the glove box. I have replaced that by a stainless steel mesh (self fabricated at my factory) to prevent rats from entering inside the car, for which this model of Corolla is notorious.
The Driver Side Sun visor. Both have vanity mirrors (unlike my Falcon where only the Passenger Side one has it). Notice the ticket/card holder which is present on both visors.
The Passenger side Sun Visor with the Vanity Mirror (opened)