The week after picking up the Celica was during the April heatwave (which later became known as summer!), so there really was no excuse not to be out at every chance. Evening jaunts out to Bath and even just around the local Ring Road were all useful “learning” experiences to get to know the car and what it is capable of. The straights of the Ring Road especially providing relatively sterile surroundings to explore all of 8000 of the 2ZZ engines revs. Yup, 8000rpm!
Changing from most normal cars to something that revs to that extreme takes a while to reprogram your brain to extract the most from the engine, but it doesn’t come without reward. Up to 6200rpm, the T-Sport pulls cleanly but takes a full throttle to accelerate with any real urgency. Until you hit that magic 6.2k, at which it all goes a bit mental! The valves lift; dumping wads more fuel into the engine and giving a great kick. It’s like a switch and you’re off, racing towards the redline before shifting up and trying hard to stay in the lift zone when the next gear snicks home.
Addictive is the only word for it, but because you have to work for the hit of lift, I can’t ever see it getting boring. The best (read: only) way I’ve found to describe it is:
The Easter weekend approaches and plans are hatched to visit relatives in Shrewsbury, then after a couple of days head off into North Wales to drive the “EVO Triangle” and go to Aberystwyth. Easter Monday is a glorious day, directions are printed and the car swallows the luggage with ease. For a coupe, it’s even got a big boot and handy tie down points….and off we go up the M5.
Off the Motorway at Kidderminster for the cross country blat I’d been looking forward to since joining the Motorway. Exiting Kiddie towards Bridgnorth there is a sudden noise when gently accelerating off a roundabout. Graunching and catching and squealing, no loss of power just horrendous noise results in stopping in a Co-Op car park.
Iron filings cover the Auxiliary belt and the lower left side of the engine bay. The helpful AA man politely gives me the bad news that a belt pulley bearing has disintegrated and can’t be fixed at the roadside. An hour later, a low loader arrives for the long ride home. I was highly impressed that a low loader was sent as the Celica isn’t massively low, but I was glad that it didn’t have to be towed the 100 odd miles back to Bristol on two wheels.
Next day Toyota World Bristol North recovered the car from home to them and set about fixing it. Four days later (would have been three but some toffs decided to get married) and all was well again. £328 of Water Pump, Aux Belt and pulleys adorn my engine bay courtesy of Toyota and I left with a smug smile on my face for having bought from a main dealer and one with brilliant customer service to boot!
It was another scorching day, so we picked up where we left off….On the road to Wales.