1990 Toyota Sera
With the introduction of the Sera in 1990, Toyota set its sights squarely on the next millennia. Gone were the angular, dour designs of the prior decade. If any vehicle were to break the mold of the cookie-cutter econo-coupe, it was surely going to be this car. Combining the latest in aerodynamic styling, signature butterfly doors, glass canopy, and monocoque chassis construction -- the Sera is an engineering marvel. The exterior on this example is in good condition, and the Red Wine (3J8) paint shines nicely. No major dents or dings are present on the exterior. The sleek, futuristic profile is accented by clean, five spoke silver 15" alloy wheels, light privacy tint, and standard projection headlamps.
The interior is in good condition and mostly stock. The glass greenhouse provides incredible visibility, which is a huge plus for safety reasons. With the doors fully raised, a cavernous opening displays the tan and gray cockpit. The nicely bolstered seats are in great shape, devoid of any spills, stains, rips or tears. They are comfy for long drives, and offer a great range of adjustments. The interior panels and dash are in similar shape and show no signs of cracking, and are adorned with a suite of three speakers on the dash and two in the door. Of note, the gas shock on the passenger side door is near the end of its life. The factory head unit functions fine, and a more modern retrofit would be a breeze if the next owner so desires. The factory climate control works well, and a fresh charge to the a/c has been taken care of, to ensure occupants can remain cool during the summer heat .Once the seats are folded down, so the entire rear can be used for cargo and its quite large. Power locks are standard, and besides a broken climate vent and missing change bin, the interior is good to go and has aged gracefully.
Mechanically the Sera needs nothing. The 1.5L (5E-FHE) inline four starts right away and runs well. With only 53K original miles on the odometer, this little 4 banger has tons of life left in it. The fuel economy that the Sera can achieve is remarkable, thanks to its low coefficient of drag and its meager displacement. An automatic transmission makes the most of the cars stable of ponies, and shifts through the gears are smooth and consistent. All brakes and suspension components function correctly, and can handle the speed of a US interstate. The drive train is lifted from a US spec Paseo, so finding maintenance items is a breeze. An oil service has been performed, and four new tires have been mounted and balanced by one of our trained technicians. One of the nice features for this size vehicle is the standard power steering which is uncommon for this era. In general, the thought of such a basic, yet brilliant engine and transmission encased in such wild coachwork is a monumental juxtaposition, but it works!