Monday, October 12, 2009

Beat on the Street: Brown Blazer Edition

When lurking around the local Ferrari/Maserati dealer on a Sunday afternoon, I hope to find something unusual. The Mercedes-Benz 500E (W124) was a nice surprise. A rust free 1980 Toyota Corolla was a total shock.

Metro-Detroit roads are dominated by American cars. At the start of the Regan administration, it was a veritable stranglehold. I remember my father being told "Buy 'merican, the job you save may be your own" at stop lights when behind the wheel of an MB 260E. While the verbal abuse has been curtailed, that attitude is prevalent on pick-up truck bumper stickers throughout the state.

If peer pressure couldn't prevent you from keeping a Japanese car in your driveway, then Michigan salt would. Toyota didn't seem to attempt rust proofing until the '90s and even that was a half-hearted exercise. Minimal rust proofing led to rear fender lips bubbling at the tender age of three. So how do you keep a real made-in-Japan RWD Toyota so pristine in the rust belt capital? Don't drive it in winter, and take your dog for walks on the big lawn infront of Cauley's on Sundays.

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