Connect with us

Automotive

Toyota People: Cameron Richards, Yaris super-fan

At 22 years of age, Cameron Richards is already a veteran Toyota Yaris enthusiast. Having bought, restored and sold a handful since the age of 14, the three-car collection he currently owns spans two generations and includes two of the rarest examples ever supplied to the UK: a Balearic Blue T Sport and a limited…

Published

on

At 22 years of age, Cameron Richards is already a veteran Toyota Yaris enthusiast. Having bought, restored and sold a handful since the age of 14, the three-car collection he currently owns spans two generations and includes two of the rarest examples ever supplied to the UK: a Balearic Blue T Sport and a limited edition GRMN.

We interviewed the Yaris super-fan to discover more about his 20-year-long trajectory from playing with a scale model to wrestling with a full-size and full-blooded Gazoo Racing special.

The 1:64 scale Toyota Yaris that Cameron has owned since he was two years-old

Can you identify how your passion for the Toyota Yaris started?

Cameron: “Yes, I can; and it’s one of my earliest memories. My mum and I went grocery shopping one day, and she bought me a small die-cast model of a Toyota Yaris from a cage full of toys at the back of the supermarket. I must’ve been only two years old but I immediately fell in love with that little silver car, and I still have it to this day.

“It actually inspired something of an obsession within me for the Yaris. Other boys grow up wanting an exotic supercar of some sort but I had my heart set on a little hatchback from Japan. Over the years I acquired quite a collection of models, books and brochures about the Yaris until I became old enough to think about getting the real thing.”

Did that happen while you were still at school?

Cameron: “When I was 14 years old, my father and I decided to get a little project car that we could do up together and sell on. After being temporarily distracted by a Honda Logo, we bought a pristine 1999 Toyota Yaris 1.0 GLS in Lucerne Silver with only 33,000 miles on the clock—a life-size version of the die-cast model I was given more than a decade before.

“The Yaris was too good to simply spruce up and sell on, so we decided to keep it and use it as a family runabout. But after a couple of years I realised that I would soon be learning to drive, and I really fancied doing that in a slightly more modern-looking, face-lifted Mk1 Yaris with air conditioning. So we sold the silver Yaris to a friend of a neighbour and started searching for my own proper set of wheels.”

Cameron’s 1999 Toyota Yaris 1.0 GLS in Lucerne Silver

And what did you come up with?

Cameron: “I bought a 2005 Yaris 1.3 Colour Collection three-door model in Thunder Grey. It was in pretty good condition but I wanted it to be perfect for my driving debut. So over the next 18 months I slowly worked my way around the car, getting the parking dents pulled out, having the rear bumper and valance repaired, and cleaning it to within an inch of its life.

“In July 2016 I passed my driving test, which I saw as my gateway to freedom. My now-immaculate Yaris became the first car that I drove on my own, the first car I drove on the motorway, and the car that helped me become a confident and responsible driver.”

Cameron’s 2005 Toyota Yaris 1.3 Colour Collection

Did that increased confidence lead you towards T Sport models?

Cameron: “That, and the fact that over the next few years I’d accumulated a decent bit of no claims bonus meant that insurance on a T Sport was now less of a problem.

“Although I really wanted a face-lifted T Sport in Balearic Blue, they’re extremely rare as the colour was discontinued in 2004. In fact, finding any T Sport with low mileage is difficult these days, but I kept on searching. Eventually, I tracked down a Thunder Grey car with only 38,000 miles—the lowest mileage of any example on sale in the UK at the time. It had a full Toyota service history and very few marks on the bodywork, so I bought it straight away and then recouped most of the cost by selling my beloved Colour Collection a few days later.”

Cameron with his Thunder Grey siblings: 2005 Yaris Colour Collection (left) and 2004 Yaris T Sport (right)

It sounds like you never stopped looking for a T Sport in Balearic Blue…

Cameron: “True, I never stopped; but in the meantime I made sure my grey T Sport was up-to-scratch and always looking its best. In the meantime, thoughts of other rare Yaris models were buzzing around my head. I was tempted by the second-generation Yaris SR 1.8 because it shares some of its exterior styling with the JDM Vitz RS, but I didn’t pursue that idea because my mum had already owned one!

“In another Yaris-based diversion, my father and I travelled to the Geneva motor show in 2017 specifically to see the European debut of the new Yaris GRMN, the car I saw as the ultimate limited edition Yaris. And when the model was eventually launched in this country, I created a document to try and keep track of all 90-or-so UK cars—their build number, where they were registered, mileages etc—in case I ever got the chance to own one.

Cameron’s 2003 Toyota Yaris T Sport in ultra-rare Balearic Blue

“Then one evening in January 2021 I was suddenly refocused back into the world of Mk1s. I was browsing through the Yaris Club UK’s Facebook page and spotted a post from somebody who had bought a Balearic Blue 2003 Yaris T Sport from an elderly customer and didn’t know what to do with it. That post really got my attention, and then when I read that it was a rare five-door model and had just 14,200 miles on the clock my eyes were out on stalks!

“The man hadn’t mentioned anything about selling the car but then a few days later somebody asked what his plans were for it. His response, that he “was going to do it up and possibly sell it to an enthusiast,” had me diving straight into Messenger with a plead to sell it to me—the ultimate Yaris super-fan. Fortunately, after a lot of toing and froing we agreed a price and a time to collect it.”

With a little over 14k miles on the clock, the interior is as good as new

And was this rare, Balearic Blue T Sport everything you’d ever wanted?

Cameron: “Oh, absolutely. It was immaculate: the seats looked like they’d never been sat in, the spare wheel and tool kit had never been used, and it still had that new car smell 18 years after production. Then the man showed me all the paperwork the elderly couple had kept. Their folder contained the original bill of sale, every invoice, every old MoT certificate, and the service book was filled with Toyota stamps. This was the car that I had convinced myself didn’t exist anymore—yet here it was and I was now its new owner.

“Driving home in it, I decided that I had to keep both T Sports—my grey one as a daily and my Balearic Blue one as a show car for special occasions.”

Did buying the T Sport affect your dream of getting a Yaris GRMN?

Cameron: “At first, yes. I’m still absolutely delighted with my Balearic Blue T Sport and will never dream of selling it. But I kept diligently saving in the hopes that one day an affordable used example of the Yaris GRMN might appear. And then, almost a year later, number 364 [of 400 made for the European market] popped up in Listers Toyota Cheltenham. It was slightly out of my price range, so I bided my time and waited for my next pay packet to arrive to boost my finances.

“The week I got paid, the price of the Yaris GRMN was reduced by £2,000. So I made my move and made a cheeky offer, which, to my surprise, was accepted as the dealership was looking at the bigger picture and wanted to hit a sales target. It was a fantastic deal—almost pre-COVID in terms of value—as used prices of these models have since increased by as much as £3,000.”

Cameron’s Yaris trajectory reached a new high with his purchase of this Yaris GRMN, number 364/400

What is it like to own three Yaris models, each of which is almost as good as new?

Cameron: “I have to say that no car holds more nostalgia or value to me than the Toyota Yaris. It is my all-time favourite car, and I feel honoured and proud to call these three my own. I think each of them are future classics!”

Thank you for sharing your lifelong passion with us, Cameron. We wish you many miles of happy motoring in them.

Source

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Automotive

2023 Toyota Corolla reviews: the first media drives

The finishing touches are currently being applied to the 2023 Toyota Corolla, which among many other changes will debut the fifth-generation of our world-leading, full hybrid petrol-electric powertrain. Members of the national motoring press were recently invited to test pre-production prototypes in both Hatchback and Touring Sports guise, including back-to-back comparisons with current 1.8-litre models.…

Published

on

By

The finishing touches are currently being applied to the 2023 Toyota Corolla, which among many other changes will debut the fifth-generation of our world-leading, full hybrid petrol-electric powertrain. Members of the national motoring press were recently invited to test pre-production prototypes in both Hatchback and Touring Sports guise, including back-to-back comparisons with current 1.8-litre models. What did they think of this thoroughly refreshed model? What were their 2023 Toyota Corolla reviews?

Below is a selection of excerpts from their online reviews, which include a numerical rating where applicable. To read the full reports, simply click on the emboldened links.

2023 Toyota Corolla reviews:

“The latest refinement benefits… particularly the 1.8 Hybrid. For 2023, it’s getting a 24bhp boost to 138bhp, for a 0-62mph sprint of 9.2sec. The point of the exercise is not so much to make the entry-level Corolla a fast car, but more to improve drivability.

“Toyota has also recalibrated the drive modes. [In Eco mode] the updated car… makes better use of the increased potency of the electric motor and waits for longer before it has the engine working. That makes the car feel more relaxed without noticeably compromising performance. At anything less than full throttle, the gearbox will build in some shift points and avoid holding maximum revs wherever possible. It helps that the 1.8 engine is a refined one, so when it pipes up, it’s not grating. Economy remains impressive: at the end of our test route, the car was indicating 57.7mpg.

This is a successful update of an already well-rounded family car

“Just as valuable in daily usage… are the improvements to the brakes. The pedal is now more progressive and allows clean limo-drive stops. The new car also uses the radar for the adaptive cruise control to judge how much regenerative braking it should apply when you lift off the throttle.”

“Exterior changes include a new mesh pattern for the front grille, fresh alloy wheel designs, and on some trim grades, new bi-LED headlights. [Inside] there are embossed patterns aimed at giving trim pieces and upholstery a ‘three-dimensional depth’, a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster (on mid-range trim and upwards) and a 10.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

“The biggest changes of all concern the powertrain. The updated Corolla’s redesigned lithium-ion battery pack is smaller yet more powerful, and the same goes for the motor unit. The 1.8-litre car… has a total system power of 138bhp, an increase of 14%. This is immediately obvious the first time you apply a generous amount of throttle. This isn’t only down to the power increase – Toyota’s hybrid and CVT tweaks have worked wonders. Toyota’s intention is for the response of the set-up to be more closely aligned with throttle inputs.

The Corolla does a remarkable job of replicating an EV-like driving experience

“At cruising speeds, the engine revs sit around 500rpm lower than before, making the Corolla more relaxing over longer distances. At lower speeds, the Corolla does a remarkable job of replicating an EV-like driving experience… making stop/start traffic a far more relaxing experience. It remains an efficient set-up – we achieved around 57mpg despite driving in an often less than sympathetic way to test the recalibrated powertrain.”

2023 Toyota Corolla reviews:

“This revised Corolla features the fifth-generation version of Toyota’s hybrid system, bringing a big boost in performance to the 1.8-litre model in particular, as well claiming improved refinement and response. The safety and infotainment tech gets an upgrade, too. Fundamentally, this remains a sharp-looking, comfort-orientated family car, with… a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain line-up that… shouldn’t be sniffed at as a stop-gap to going full EV.

“The lithium-ion battery pack has a 14% greater output, a 14% (18kg) lower weight and is more compact. The control electronics are more efficient and quieter. And the electric motors are more powerful. Put this together with a substantial amount of recalibration and the additional torque-fill now available from the gutsier e-motors… [and] the new 1.8-litre Corolla is more of a surprising transition than the overall increase might lead you to suspect.

Over a mixed driving route… the car was reporting it had been in EV mode 72% of the time. Toyota’s hybrid tech has really come of age

“The updated car is immediately more brisk. A lot of work has gone into remapping the accelerator response so it better matches driver intentions, dialling back the revs the CVT requires for a given amount of progress. It is also quieter at speed.

“The car can [also] use the adaptive cruise control gear to automatically vary the amount of deceleration you get when you lift off the throttle. This… simply means it maintains a safe distance from the car in front without you having to intervene with the friction brakes, even when slowing almost to a stop. This is so unexpectedly polished that it turns [the Corolla] into a one-pedal driving experience much of the time – something that’s usually the reserve of pure EVs.”

“Updates to the Toyota Corolla’s hybrid system mean that the latest version of the entry-level 1.8-litre engine has 138bhp at its disposal. [That’s] more than enough performance for everyday driving and getting up to motorway speeds without needing to mash the accelerator into the carpet.

“Fancy a bit of pampering? Well, forget the spa and buy yourself a Corolla instead because… it’s one of the most comfortable cars in the family car class. It has softer suspension than [some other rivals], which means it smooths off the rough edges of road ridges better and fidgets less on patchy sections of motorway.

The Toyota Corolla is a brilliant family car. It’s comfortable, well made, well equipped and remarkably frugal in real-world driving

“When you’re driving normally, you’ll find that the Corolla is a fine handling car. The steering is precise and its weight builds in a progressive manner, starting light for city driving and ending up with a heft that’s reassuring. There’s even a reasonable amount of feedback streaming to your fingertips [and] a decent feeling of composure at faster speeds.”

Learn more: 2023 Toyota Corolla revealed

Source

Continue Reading

Automotive

Sales, Production, and Export Results for May 2022 | Sales, Production, and Export Results | Profile | Company

Toyota Motor Corporation works to develop and manufacture innovative, safe and high-quality products and services that create happiness by providing mobility for all. We believe that true achievement comes from supporting our customers, partners, employees, and the communities in which we operate. Since our founding over 80 years ago in 1937, we have applied our…

Published

on

By

Toyota Motor Corporation works to develop and manufacture innovative, safe and high-quality products and services that create happiness by providing mobility for all. We believe that true achievement comes from supporting our customers, partners, employees, and the communities in which we operate. Since our founding over 80 years ago in 1937, we have applied our Guiding Principles in pursuit of a safer, greener and more inclusive society. Today, as we transform into a mobility company developing connected, automated, shared and electrified technologies, we also remain true to our Guiding Principles and many of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to help realize an ever-better world, where everyone is free to move.

SDGs Initiatives https://global.toyota/en/sustainability/sdgs/

Source

Continue Reading

Automotive

What insurance groups does the Aygo X sit in?

Since its launch in 2005, the Toyota Aygo has been widely regarded as our most accessible car. Affordable to buy and frugal to run, it meets the demands of urban and suburban life with a fun, youthful character. These qualities remain core strengths of the new Aygo X, enhanced further with crossover styling that stands…

Published

on

By

Since its launch in 2005, the Toyota Aygo has been widely regarded as our most accessible car. Affordable to buy and frugal to run, it meets the demands of urban and suburban life with a fun, youthful character. These qualities remain core strengths of the new Aygo X, enhanced further with crossover styling that stands out within the segment. But have such changes affected the model’s affordability in other areas, such as the cost of Aygo X insurance?

Aygo X insurance: What can Toyota offer me?

Toyota Insurance Services has launched a competitive fixed price insurance product for the Aygo X. It arrives at a time when cost of living expenses are rising and there is a growing demand for stability in the price of essential outgoings.

Affordable, fully comprehensive Aygo X insurance from Toyota Insurance Services is fixed for the first year. Providing customers continue to meet the eligibility criteria, the premium is then capped at a maximum of £30 per month or £360 per year for the second and third year of cover. From year four onwards, qualifying customers can continue to be covered by a capped premium, though that cap will increase by up to one percent of the retail price index measured from 2022.

This product has a specific set of eligibility criteria, plus terms and conditions that customers will need to meet in order to qualify for this product. Click here to explore this offer more closely.

Aygo X insurance: official group ratings

Depending on grade and transmission choice, the new Toyota Aygo X has been given an insurance group rating of five, six or seven out of 50. The specific insurance group for each model is itemised below.

MODEL  TRANSMISSION  INSURANCE GROUP 
Aygo X Pure  Manual 
Aygo X Pure  Automatic 
Aygo X Edge  Manual 
Aygo X Edge  Automatic 
Aygo X Exclusive  Manual 
Aygo X Exclusive  Automatic 
Aygo X Limited Edition  Manual 
Aygo X Limited Edition  Automatic 

How do car insurance groups work?

Insurance group ratings were first introduced in the 1970s to help consumers get a basic understanding of the relative cost of an insurance premium for any specific vehicle. These numbers are applied based on repair or replacement costs, the level of passive and active safety equipment, as well as the statistical likelihood of each vehicle being involved in an accident based on its power and performance. Essentially, the higher the number, the more expensive that vehicle is to insure.

Today, the number rating for insurance groups extends from a minimum of one to a maximum of 50. These insurance groups are decided by the Group Rating panel, which is an adjudicating body administered by Thatcham Research. Its members include the likes of the Association of British Insurers and Lloyds Market Association.

What else can affect your insurance premium?

Insurance providers take a wide range of additional factors into account when calculating the cost of your premium. They will ask multiple questions about you, your driving history, occupation, where you live and how you plan to use your car. This information will help them calculate your individual risk and therefore provide a figure for your insurance premium.

Learn more: Aygo X media reviews

Source

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Today's Digital.