Nov. 17, 2016
Corollas Worldwide: "my Corolla story" from Singapore
A car for the generations
Jimmy and Keith Michael share a common love of their family’s first car―a vintage Toyota Corolla KE30.
──How long have you had your Toyota Corolla?
I have had it for over 30 years.
──What made you buy the car?
I bought it because it was affordable and reliable. It has a simple 1.3-litre engine with a carburettor. No fuel injection, nothing complicated. I drive it daily and it’s still going strong.
──Share with us some of your most memorable experiences with the car.
Keith Michael (K):
When the whole family wants to go places together we manage to fit in the car and are not worried that it will stall or break down. There was an old man at East Coast who came up to me, saying: "This was my first car. I didn’t know the model still existed." Sometimes people leave post-it notes on my windscreen with their contact numbers, asking if I want to sell the car.
──How do you feel when driving it?
I get a very satisfying feeling driving my Toyota Corolla. People give me the thumbs up on the road.
It’s unique. It feels different. I have driven and sat in other cars but our Toyota Corolla just feels very different. I prefer sitting in our vintage and driving with the manual stick rather than an auto. It’s something you cannot explain until you get behind the wheel and actually drive it.
──What do you like most about your car?
I like it because it’s unique. There is no other car like it on the road. I’ve only heard of one other vintage Toyota in the West Coast area.
──How much do you spend on servicing and maintenance?
Not much beyond just normal maintenance, such as changing the engine oil. We have to source for our car parts from Johor Bahru, as they are no longer available in Singapore, but our mechanic usually helps us get them. There are more of such vintage cars in JB, as they have no Certificate of Entitlement, so these parts are more readily available there.
As for petrol, if I drive to work daily, it will cost me about $60 to $70 a week.
──How does it feel to share this passion with your family?
I feel proud that my children appreciate and treasure what I have.
Now that my brother, my sister and I can drive, we all drive this automobile.
──Have any of you wanted to buy a new car?
No, never. Not even after we have gotten married and formed our own families. We all grew up with this car. It’s a family car.
Even till today we continue to go out together as one family in this car. It brings us together.
Source: Always Toyota © 2016 Borneo Motors (Singapore) Pte Ltd and SPH Magazines Pte Ltd.