As I was driving home from work on Monday I saw a (for me at least) rare sight. A first gen. Toyota Tercel. And this got me thinking about the sad fate of older "regular" cars. Special or more expensive older cars are often preserved or cared for more lovingly and tend to better survive age, while regular cars are more consumer objects than things of pride to the vast majority of people and thus are traded in, treated poorly, or otherwise unceremoniously disposed of, despite a lot of them having character, looks, and a style of their own.

I know it's awesome to see BMW 2002s, Volvo P1800s, etc., but why not appreciate the rarity of something like the poor Tercel above? It doesn't have a big name or any other claim to fame, but is otherwise a fantastic statement of late-70s/early-80s automotive styling and that gives it character. It's not something people really collect or would have been owned by an enthusiast, but has still endured for over 30 years, like a dollar bill thatsomehow manages to survive for more than two years in circulation.

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My point is, I think, emphasized by the Big Year 2013 Jalopnik contest. A lot of people will come with pics of awesome gullwing benzes, Mk1 GTIs, Porsche 356s, cars with history and reputation and fame. But let's not forget about the little appreciated work horses of the daily commutes for the vast majority of drivers everywhere that have somehow endured to live on more than 30 years without love and affection, and though rusty, contain their own storied history.

Here's to you, 1978-1982 Tercel!