Running Deep : Toyota Gatherings

Running Deep : Toyota Gatherings

A bunch of very diverse friends gathering to make their way to the Annual Classic Old school Toyota run…..



All with one thing in common, yep you guessed it! For the last few years this has been going on and the gathering has been gaining strength from year to year, raising considerable amounts for MS Ireland and Suicide Aware.


Ireland arguably has one of the strongest richest Toyota followings in the world.

Whats fascinating is, no matter where you end up on our little green isle, you will find corollas, carinas, hiaces everywhere, we, especially in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s adopted the Toyota line up as reliable and simple, strong workers, with no fuss.

These are the main reasons you will a beast from those generations one in every single town, farm, and basically anywhere rural or unexpected eight times out of ten. (genuine statistic alert!!)

You can ask anyone who has no real interest in cars about old Toyotas, and they will give a similar answer. Most of the time they don’t even really know why until you point it out.

Why there is nothing from the 80s or 90’s from most other manufacturers? the reality is that Toyotas were built to last back then and im sure Toyota hate the fact that so many of these machines are still absolutely everywhere, and loved by many of us.


As I write this A friend is driving all the way to Mongolia in an 88 Starlet, because of the reliability!



So its no wonder that there is a deep love or the brand through all age groups, with the youngers making their way into starlets from the past which still exist, and every other sort of corolla hand me down you could think of.



It fascinates me how much we have adopted and manipulated every form or version out there.


So without a doubt, anytime anything Toyota is organized, there is a sea of people that appear, more so than anything else, along with Toyota being the most reliable cars of the past.

Anything they made with a little bit of performance would be an obvious item of lust, AKA the good old AE86.


Boy do we Love this platform, and why would we? Without really getting too deep into it, Our rally heritage, and then unlimited amount of backroads, and places to have a quick bit of fun,

This has to be hands down the most enjoyable Toyota ever produced.

Everything this car embodies is something that can easily sync up with any Irish car lover,


Such a simple and fun platform, but never trying to hard to be anything, a car that will put your skills to the test and make you a better driver because of it, most of all it’s a Toyota, a reliable (well most of the time) machine, with endless hours of rewarding joy.



I can never really get over how many of these we stole, in all sorts of varieties, id be shocked if we didn’t have the biggest 86 following outside of Japan itself,


There is a serious passion for most things Toyota, because well, Toyota really did make some incredible cars for a long time, probably more so than any othet manufacturer from Japan.



Celicas, Supras, MR2’s Corollas, Levins, Truenos, Chaser, Cressidas, , Crowns MK2’s soarers, Starlet Turbos, in every guise its fascinating just how much stuff they came up with over a 30/40 year span, accompanies by some of the most enjoyable engines and platform setups.

I don’t know if there will ever be a time like that again in our lifetimes, before the global economy, and the internet and all that jazz, Japan would build so many incredible vehicles for its own market,

Cars we would never even find out about, and this added to the surprise, especially when you go digging back and find all these different specs each chassis had.


These days I feel most cars are designed around some kind of board, a team with a focus group style effort where everything is built with the consumer in mind, with internet inputs which can alter a design altogether.

Take the new GTR for example, this car was heavily influenced by the rest of the world and its obvious as you see the progression from each chassis over the years, modern cars are very consumer conscious, where I feel back then, the consumer was in mind but designers just did whatever.


Maybe im wrong, but there was much more soul put into cars, even up to the early eighties.


I don’t ever think Toyota will have such a crazy line up of cars like the ones here ever again, Japans boom time is gone, and the after market parts and gold we find being that was created for these machines back in the 80s and 90s is literally insane.




The amount of wheel varieties that exist, or amount of bumpers or random little bits one could pick up for each of these models, Japans car scene as a whole right now is very stagnant in the sense that nothing new to follow on from the eighties and nineties, not comparable to what existed back then, but that’s ok.

As sad as that may be that there will not really be that many new surprises out there in the future.

We live in such an information rich, information instant world, at least we can have beauties like this to cherish for years to come.



With the magic of the internet, we are on an incredibly nostalgic buzz at the minute with old Japanese stuff from what many call the Golden Era, and many more people are really starting to appreciate cars like this.


I think if anything prices will keep going back up on anything old from Toyota and it will be great to see more and more people truly appreciate the beauties that Toyota maybe didn’t even realize at the time would end up becoming some of the most iconic cars to ever exist on this planet.

The attainable, cars people can actually afford to own someday and enjoy, I feel there is so many people out there that appreciate a good Levin as opposed to a Ferrari 355.

Id rather see some deep Watanabes on a Panda any day, and chat with the owner about random 86 stories then see a line up of super cars that in no way get me all excited as much as the humble little pop up lights of a Zenki Coupe.

Maybe im just nuts, but I know im not alone. But time and rust will try reclaim everything around us, so as more and more of these machines start to vanish, these cars will become classics (some already have), things will get more and more specialized.

It will be very interesting to see what kind of stuff shows up to a meet like this in twenty years.


The passion, the community, the people you meet, their dedication to these cars, sometimes the main driving force behind some peoples lives, everyone and anyone could be interested in cars, it gives them a sense of identity, something to call their own.


The amount of random characters I have met because of cars especially Toyotas over the years that I would not have come across in this otherwise, we take this stuff for granted all too often.





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  • AwesomeNZ says:

    What a write up! New Zealand also has a very strong old school Toyota following along with Datsuns and Mazdas. Our car cultures seem pretty similar!