PH CARPOOL: TOYOTA SERA
We meet a PHer with a seriously left-field coupe, and the weirdest doors this side of a Lambo
Owned since:September 2011
Austin Mini Cooper which I still have - though it needs a lot of TLC and some money thrown its way. A W-reg Vauxhall Corsa, Peugeot 106 Rallye, another 106 just newer and more fun, and a Peugeot 406 Coupe, possibly one of the best cars I have owned - it was so big and so smooth I wish I had kept it.
Why I bought it:
The first time I saw a Sera I knew I had to have one. I remember saying to the owner one day I will own THAT car. What with the glass roof and the dihedral doors it just jumped out at me and I was hooked right away. It turned out the owner of the one I had seen that late Friday evening is now a very good family friend. He mentioned selling it then and I couldn't afford it at the time. But I just felt I had to have it, so I did everything I could to get the money. He even mentioned breaking it for parts - I knew then I really needed to buy it. So I did.
There isn't really a lot to catch you out with a Sera - only things like the fact that everything is harder to get hold of as it was never officially imported. Body panels are especially tricky. Mechanically, however, it's very similar to an EP82 Toyota Starlet, so I'm often trawling the forums looking for bits and bobs for the Sera.
Things I love:
I love the rarity of the car, I love the fact the doors are unique, especially on a car that is so reasonably priced. It really does turn heads - I've had people in Ferraris and Bentleys at petrol stations having a good look whilst I fill up. I just love showing the car off to as many people as possible.
I don't hate anything about this car, I am so glad I have had the opportunity to own it and drive it, I just hope I never HAVE to sell it.
It's fairly reasonable, really. I drive it to and from work daily and then the odd hoon at the weekend, always getting at least 25mpg ,which I don't think's too bad for a small-engined turbo. Parts are hard to come by but not that expensive - it's just like most old Jap engines, you need to keep an eye on the oil but other than that it doesn't cost me anything. It costs a little more to insure as it's an import, but I pay about £700 with classic car insurance and limited mileage. Since I'm 23 and that's on my own policy, I don't think it's too bad at all.
The cars can be quite cheap to buy too, the most I've seen one sell for was around £4K, so not an expensive car to have.
I have been to Wales and back a few times, and to the last PH rolling road day in Surrey, but no really long journeys yet - I'm waiting for better weather, time off work and money to fill the car up.
My Surrey RR day was amazing, though - everyone there was so friendly I cannot wait to get back to try again. I got 150hp from it, and I did say I was happy with that especially since it came out of the factory with 108hp, as at the time I had some old steel winter wheels on and it hadn't had a service. But once I can afford it I'll maybe get a remap then get back down there to try again.
I'd like to save and get something like a Merc, something I can just use and not worry about.
Want to share your car with PHers on Carpool? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!