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    Cruiser Hybrid 2WD - on order
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Progessing (3/14)

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  1. Tony, they did produce and sell at least 500 of those Cosworth engined Escorts (all 2 door, I think) as that was a condition, at the time, of racing them at Bathurst. The engine was a fully worked 4 cyl twin overhead cam unit. Back then id never seen a twin cam engine so I first thought if to be a V8. One of my colleagues had one of those Escorts. Ford never did fix the shaking vibration thing; among other side benefits his radio regularly dropped off from under the parcel shelf where it was mounted. No matter what he did he could never get the mounting screws / bolts to stay in. It was not a pleasant car to live with as a daily driver. And that radio was only AM. FM hadn’t been invented and cassette tape players were too bulky to be included as part of a radio unit. Those were the good old days .... I think!
  2. Thanks Tony. You sound about Fords like I do about old Mercedes. If I had a million plus to spend, I’d happily settle for a late 50’s 300SL “Gullwing” - so named for the iconic doors that lift up from the middle of the roof. Only a couple in Australia and I’ve sat in one. Memorable day! Do I have stories to tell? How are these 2? Like the day I was near the scrap compressor - crunched offcut steel into small blocks for recycling - and spied a bucket with about a dozen 4 barrel XY GT Carbys about to go down the scrap Shute. “What’s up with those?” “Probably nothing. But if the engine didn’t start up right out of the box from the US, and they suspect a Carby fault they’d put a new one on. Cheaper than employing a guy trained to diagnose and fix!” Makes sense but it still makes me weep! Or about the time I did 3 months night shift And one early morning out of boredom volunteered to deliver a package to the Chassis plant at the other end of the Ford compound. Picked a key off the board in the poorly lit car pool and discovered it fitted a fairly scrappy looking 2 door Escort. Why couldn’t it have been a Fairlane? Started it up. Did it have a muffler? Why’s it shaking so much? Forgot the engine mounts? And then the tyres squealed and the back fish tailed ... and we were off. Parked it under a street light and opened the hood. What’s a muffler doing on top of the engine? Two valve covers just visible under the “muffler” - is that a V8 shoe horned in there? Got it back to the garage without wrapping it round a tree and forgot about the weird thing that went like the clappers but threaten to shake itself to death. At the shift changeover, all hell broke loose . Panic. “We’ve misplaced an experimental Escort with Cosworth engine in it.” (Twin OH Cam, 4 Cylinder) I told them where it was but thought I’d keep quiet about the personal test drive. I never did find out howProduct Developement lost it or how it came to be in the car pool garage. At least I got to drive the car that not much later matched the big boys around Bathurst.
  3. Gary, from Melbourne. This will be our first Toyota but our 5 adult children and spouses have had a few Toyotas over the years. A life time ago I started my first “real” job as a Production Engineer at Ford in Geelong - just as the XY was was being replaced by the XA (the less said about that model, the better!) i remember about a month into my employment there was a sale of 12 month old ex company cars - all lined up between the Engine and Stamping plants. Included were 4 XY Phase 3 GTHO’s for sale all priced at $4500. If only I knew then what I know now! we had a Mitsubishi L300 Starwagon, and survived it, as our family transport when the kids were young. Except for that I’ve been a Falcon / Territory person with one long standing exception. In 1972 I fell in love with a 1955 Mercedes 220a. Not a good career move as I was asked to park it well away from the front fence ( and the viewing public) in the Ford car park! As our second car, and my transport of choice, I’ve always had old Mercs and my current car, a 1991 300E, has just turned over 200,000 ks and is about to celebrate it’s 30th. birthday. ( It still looks and drives as new!) I have little interest in Mercedes cars beyond 1993 so I trust that this one will see me out. An 8 year old grandson expects to inherit it; he told me recently that he has 10 years to go and “ you’ll probably be dead by then.” Our 2008 Territory is on its last legs so we were in the market for a replacement. Test drove most medium SUVs and had settled on a Skoda Karoq, although a little concerned about Dealer numbers and resale value. Then we drove a RAV4 in late Jan. 2021. After a 2nd lengthy Test Drive it sold itself and we ordered a 2WD Cruiser Hybrid, Graphite with Nutmeg interior. After nearly 4 months we found out a few days ago that the Factory has accepted the order for a July build. Here’s hoping that we’ll be driving our first Toyota mid August.
  4. A full size spare tyre is an option on the Petrol GL in Australia. As the Hybrid Battery is under the rear seat, the wheel well in Hybrids is likely no different than for non-hybrids. I understand that all NZ RAV4s have full-size spares. If a full size spare does fit you will lose the storage area for the cargo blind and you won't be able to set the wheel well cover to the lower position in order to provide a fraction more boot space. Youtube vids from the US indicate that it is possible to fit a full size spare.
  5. With wait times of at least 6 months, on the Cruiser Hybrid in particular, I found that there was zero haggle room. Some dealers on Carsales are advertising as "Used Cars" (with only a few hundred Ks on then) the same car as the one I ordered at up to $8000 more than my contracted price. My guess is that these are cancelled orders and instead of passing them down the que, the dealer has shifted them sideways to their used car lot. In this madness a discount is very unlikely. You may find some limited joy by contracting a Broker.

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