Yup that’s right, it is not a typo, the title says Toyota Cavalier. I figured I would throw this up today because of a funny story that happened to me the other day. I was at a mall on the south side of Houston when I saw a pretty riced (not in a good way) out Chevy Cavalier. The owner however the owner was super proud of his accomplishments with his car so I went up to him and started some rice talk for shits and giggles. Turns out that this guy was pretty damn knowledgeable about the ricer industry and the way he built his car was just his taste, bad taste IMO, but to each their own. He did however continue to refer to his beast as a Toyota Cavalier, which I found strange because although I am familiar with the “J-Body” Cavalier from the 90’s I knew that all of them were manufactured in the USA. So, that leads us to this Nostalgic Wednesday, the Toyota Cavalier.
Source Toyota Cavalier Guy.
“The Toyota Cavalier first appeared in Toyota dealerships throughout Japan on January 20, 1996. They were built at the Lordstown Assembly Plant, in Lordstown, Ohio, on the same assembly line as the Chevrolet Cavalier and Pontiac Sunfire. The most obvious difference, of course, being that they were all right-hand drive! The Toyota Cavaliers were shipped by rail and ship to Japan. Toyota Cavaliers were available in both coupe and sedan form. GM states that the Toyota Cavalier was “tailored specifically for the Japanese consumer” and sure enough, there were some features on the Toyota brand that were not even options on the Chevy models, including leather options, a carpeted trunk lid, folding side mirrors and more.
Toyota Cavaliers had a single standard drivetrain: the 2.4L “Twin Cam” (LD9) engine mated to a four-speed Hydramatic 4T40-E automatic transmission, with overdrive. The Isuzu (96-99) & Getrag (2000) 5-speed manual transmissions found in North America were not available on the Toyota Cavalier.
Many features were standard on the Toyota Cavalier:
Dual air bags
Anti-lock braking system
Power door locks
Leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and emergency brake handle
Rear seat with integrated centre armrest
Wider-flared fenders to cover front tires
There were many other differences on the Toyota Cavalier, including:
Cruise control was not available
The fuel door was flat, with an inside release handle
The radio antenna was integrated into the front windshield
Manual folding mirrors were added mid-1996, and power folding mirrors were standard for 1997
Toyota had aimed to sell 20,000 of the vehicles annually, or about 1,700 per month. The cars were released on January 20, 1996 and by February 19 Toyota had received orders for about 950 sedans and 850 coupes. Unfortunately, strong initial interest died off and by July 1996 sales had totalled only 6,700 vehicles. In an effort to perk up sales, Toyota’s Technocraft subsidiary introduced upgraded models featuring automatic folding side mirrors, rear spoilers and emblems. The 2.4 TRD coupes, equipped with an 11-piece TRD designed body kit, retailed in Japan for 2.29 million yen, up 240,000 yen from the standard issue Cavalier coupe, which sold for 2.05 million yen.
TRD continued with additional aftermarket support, producing a set of lowering springs. Bomex also offered aftermarket support for the Toyota Cavalier, developing body kits, a spoiler, and sleek side view mirrors. The Toyota Cavalier was available from 1996 through the 2000 model year, until finally discontinued due to poor sales.”
“In 1997 and 1998, the All Japan GT Championship (JGTC, GT-300 class) saw the #60 Kraft Toyota Cavalier driven by a variety of drivers: Kumi Satou, Minoru Tanaka, Masaoki Nagashima, Junko Mihara and Akira Watanabe. Unfortunately, this Toyota Cavalier’s best finish was 18th place in two of it’s races. ”
So, if before today you were unfamiliar with this epic 90’s collaboration of GALACTIC proportions, you now know when that guy at a local meet is spouting some jibberish about his Chevy Cavalier being a Toyota Cavalier, he isn’t completely crazy.