When I'm at home in Canada, or in France where I lived for years, I rarely encounter a vehicle I don't recognize. That's not to say I know every model or year, but I usually have a pretty good idea what make a car is at least. When travelling, however, I frequently encounter vehicles I have not seen before and sometimes haven't even heard of. A quick scan around the vehicle to locate a logo or nametag is therefore necessary to learn the model name.
During a recent trip to Laos one car had me stumped though. A small white sedan from the late 1970's or early 1980's looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn't be sure. Most of the older cars in Laos were Toyotas, but it didn't look exactly like the other Toyota models I had already seen. There were a few older Nissans around, or even older Datsuns, but how to be sure? Was it even Japanese? It it reminded me a bit of a Gemini I had seen (and technically purchased!) in Indonesia, but I hadn't seen any other Holdens in Laos...
I wandered around the car, but there were no badges in the typical locations (on the grille, trunk lid, or fenders), or even on the steering wheel. It looked like I wasn't going to find out, so I grabbed a few photos and got ready to wander off. Thankfully my travel companion had a sharper eye then me, and told me to check out the front left mudflap. There, in white letters, was the name 'Toyota'.
My first guess was right. It was a pretty battered example of the Corona model, a car I had photographed on several previous occasions, again in Indonesia:
It's always a pleasure as a car fan to learn about old models I don't know, so I hope I continue to discover these 'gems' during future travels. They don't have to be beautiful to catch my attention, as this ratty old Toyota proves, they just have to be different!
Welcome! My name is Paul, and I am an old-fashioned, low-pressure, low-buck car fan with lots of automotive stories to tell!