Martin Ructions

Hi all, owner of mystery Echo here

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Hi,

I'm new here and joining up because I like to know about the car I'm driving, whatever it is at the time. Currently, I am on my second Toyota, a 2004 Echo this time. It would seem like a pretty generic car. But, the thing is, my Echo's backstory doesn't make sense. Here's the situation...

I picked up this absolutely schmick 2004 Echo in Nambour a couple of years ago for peanuts (I wasn't looking for an Echo but this thing looked too good to pass up). The more I find out about it, the stranger its backstory gets. Can anyone help me put together a vehicle history that makes sense given the facts?

  1. It is the base model 3-door, 1.3L, manual
  2. It had only done 83,000 kays when I bought it in January 2017 (that's less than 6500km per year on average)
  3. Until me, it had spent its whole life owned by Toyota or Toyota dealers
  4. The very complete service history shows it being serviced either on the Sunshine Coast or in Dubbo (and swapping back and forth every few years)
  5. It has a whole bunch of Toyota Team Racing options plus other sporty bits - spoiler, TTR shift knob, alloys, exhaust, spotlights, seat covers...
  6. It seems to have been lowered slightly
  7. It is in nearly as-new condition, inside and out

So, we have a car ... that was tarted-up and modified by Toyota dealers ... never sold privately ... that did very few kilometres ... that was maintained religiously ... and split its time between coastal QLD and regional NSW. And all this for the cheapest, most basic and least-special model in the entire Toyota range.

Any ideas why and how this car exists?

  • Dealer's loan car? Doubt it given it is a manual
  • Dealer parts runabout? Doubt it given the great condition and low kays
  • TTR package car? Doubt it given that TTR options were not officially offered on the Echo
  • An effort by a dealer to give the Echo some sportiness? Doubt it considering the Sportivo model existed
  • Was it crashed, put back together, dressed up and sold at a knock-down price? Doubt it considering the mechanical and crash reports I've run on it
  • A demo car that no one could shift after the Echo was replaced in 2005 and so it just kind of kicked around Toyota for 13 years? Hmmm.... maybe
Edited by Martin Ructions

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Are the TTR parts the same as what was on the TTR Corolla or MR2?  Quite possible the dealer just spec'd it up themselves to try and move some slow-selling base stock, and had it as a demo/display model on the showroom floor.  If it has moved a few times it could have been the personal car of a dealer principal (or maybe the principal's wife etc) that they kept after the new model came out.

  • Thanks 1

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Thanks Hiro. Now that I remember it, that was the vague theory of the salesman too - that it was a personal car for a dealer's wife or kid. He didn't actually know though. That'll have to be good enough for me then...

Possible scenario: it was demo that was hard to sell after the Yaris came out in '05. They tried to spec it up with bits left over from the failed TTR project, but no buyers were biting. Orphaned, it became a dealer's company car. For some reason, that dealer had to go between Dubbo and the Sunshine Coast. The dealer used the Echo for the 2000km round trip (maybe because it is super cheap to run on the highway), getting it serviced inhouse at either end as necessary. Between these long hauls, the car didn't do much - probably just sitting in the forecourt with a price chalked on the windscreen that was too high. Eventually, that price got lower and lower ... until I turned up.

 

Sound plausible?

Edited by Martin Ructions

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