The Toyota AA

toyota_aa.jpg Plenty of car companies have been known to buy back some of their historic models in order to preserve their history and display them in their museums. When Toyota tried to find their first car (the Toyota AA) they found there was none left possibly due to Japan's love of crushing outdated cars for the latest model and the fact that only 1400 were build from 1936 till 1943. The next plan was to create a replica of the car but as a full set of plans were not available the replica was built from what plans could be found from over the models lifetime. Today the replica that was built for Toyota's 50th anniversary sits in Toyota’s automobile museum in Nagoya Japan. While the car may not be exactly like the one you could buy in the late 30’s to early 40’s it is pretty darn close to what the real thing would have looked like if there was still one around.

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Deutsches Technikmuseum – Berlin


The Deutsches Technikmuseum or Museum of Technology a enjoyable and educational journey with some amazing examples of German technology on show. Built in the former goods yard of Anhalter Guterbahnholf a railway yard the museum has huge pavilions of planes, trains, cars, boats a planetarium and even a brewery. The museum also features some interesting production areas where you can see actual craftsman make suitcases, rolled jewelry and printing. The museum is set over four sites all within a few minutes walk and only about 10 minutes walk from Potsdamer Plaz. The vintage car depot is a must for any car buffs, here you will see a collection of over 100 historic German cars, some very rare while others familiar. The railway yard has dozens of beautiful examples of railway stock all magnificently restored to their former glory while the aviation and space flight atrium has some very interesting military and civilian aircraft.

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National Motor Museum Australia


Situated in the beautiful wine country of South Australia lies the National Motor Museum at Birdswood. This incredible collection of vehicles traces the importance of transportation in Australia over the last 100 years. Opening in 1965 the centre is not only a museum but a research centre, a place of preservation and an important education tool for the young. The new Holden Pavilion of Australian Motoring offers 3700 square metres of some of Australia's most important motoring icons including a 45 metre long road train and some very impressive fire engines and commercial vehicles. The centre has traveling exhibitions and some of very interesting examples of important Australian automotive milestones including the a prototype Mitsubishi Magna, a prototype VN series Holden Monaro and the Torana GTR-X developed for the Sydney Motor Show a few years ago.

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Holden Camira – Supercar?

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One of our favorite car ads from the 80s was the Tron inspired marketing campaign for the Holden Camira. The Camira was Australia's version of GM's J car program and when first released was a huge success, it even won car of the year. Holden's marketing line for the Camira was "Supercar" and the early purchasers of the Camira soon found out the only thing that the Camira had in common with a real supercar was poor reliability. The issues that dogged the first model (the JB) affected sales on the whole series, so much so that the New Zealanders refused to take the follow up JD model and imported the Japanese version instead. Some people claim the later models like the JD or JE were fantastic but you still have trouble even giving them away.

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The Daewoo Royale

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As part of our series featuring old car ads we thought we thought a look at a car you may not know but looks all too familiar. The Daewoo Royale was based on the European Opel Rekord that was also produced in England as the Vauxhall Carlton. Australian's will also note the uncanny resemblance to the Holden Commodore as it too was based on the Rekord design. Many people don't realize that Daewoo has had a long relationship through a joint venture with General Motors dating back to the early 70's. In 2001 GM and its partners bought 66% of Daewoo's assets, today most of Daewoo's exports are badged engineered as another GM brand like Holden or Chevy.  The Royale was produced from 1975 untill 1991 when it was replaced by another Opel derived car the Daewoo Prince.  

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Zastava 101

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The Zastava 101 is a car built by Serbian car maker Zastava Automobili sometimes better known as Yugo. The 101 was based on the Fiat 128 that first hit the roads in 1969 with the Zastava version going into production in 1971 and also spinning off a hatchback variety not found on its Fiat cousin. While many people pointed out the more popular Fiat 128 was a bit long in the tooth when it was finally retired in 1985 the Zastava 101 is still produced today as the Skala 5 door hatch with a 55-horsepower, 1.1-liter engine on its one trim level. The Skala is available for around 4000 euro's and is popular in its home country of Serbia and a few other eastern European countries. These cars were once exported across Europe and along with its bigger brother the 45 but the Balkan war put trade sanctions on the company with NATO later blowing up part of their factory. 

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