Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Project Boring

From this distance it looks OK. Not so much closer - and you can't smell a pic.

 Foolishly, perhaps, I’m embarking on Project Boring.

Foolishly, because under current work arrangements I'm only home every second week to do stuff, so this may be a lengthy project.

Why the title? Toyota Camrys are boring. That’s indisputable. But they are built like brick outhouses and examples of this one (1996 CS 2.2 litre) will go on forever.

How do I know this? I’ve restored one before, and my No 2 son who believes that all you need to do to maintain a car is drive it, put fuel in it, and occasionally remove accumulated junk from the boot and interior, hasn’t killed it yet.

That particular example has done about 200000km commuting around Adelaide after I drove it down a few years ago.

Hence I’ve bought (for $750 – down from the ask of $1000) another example that used to be white.

It has only three unmolested panels (bonnet, roof and boot lid) and three different brands of tyres (mysteriously mud and snow specified) of obscure origin. The mud and snow capacity will be useful next time it snows in Toowoomba.

The tyres are branded “Sonar SA 603”. Anyone out there heard of them?

The interior is well loved, and the headlining sagging. The window tinting has gone motley, so that looking through the rear window in low light conditions gives everything a mellow blotchy sepia tone. The windscreen has a litany of cracks, mostly in front of the driver, which renders it unroadworthy.

New tyres and windscreen (all up about $600) will bring it past the magic $1000, but that’s cheap motoring. These things have been known to go 300000km before getting expensive.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that it’s covered only 112000Kms in the hands of an elderly lady who can no longer drive, so her son (who runs a motel) sat the car outside reception with a “buy me” sign on it.

After driving past numerous times, curiosity got the better of me, and the rest is history. I’ve driven it around a little bit, and very carefully, and found that it’s quiet, tight as a drum, and comfortable.

I wouldn’t want to be seen behind the wheel – its appearance is embarrassing – so a cosmetic restore is a priority. At the moment it has wheel trims, but of two different styles. Ensuring that the same style is on one side gets around that. You can’t see both sides at once.

Blogging the restoration will keep me motivated. After this post, all reference to the Camry will be posted here on my lapsed MX5 blog..

The MX5 blog has been left to fade away since I disposed of the car, and it needs rejuvenation. 

The goal is to improve the car's appearance by straightening the panels, and cleaning up the interior. I'm not expecting any major mechanical work - but all projects are unpredictable.

What to do with it when finished? I'm not sure. If I make a reasonable fist of it I may be able to sell if for say $3000. That's the market for examples with higher kms. A spare car is always handy in a family of drivers, and the Adelaide Camry won't go on forever.

It's a pity they don't have Banger racing in Toowoomba.

And by the way, did I tell you I have a shed?

If you have a shed, you must have a project.

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