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Toyota Tales

Terresa had decided to keep her beloved Tiara, and in her quest for Tiara parts, she found another Tiara enthusiast half a
world away.

RACHAEL’S TIARA by Terresa Holmes & Rachael Lear

We decided to keep the little Tiara and try to restore it. We knew that acquiring parts was going to be a chore from past
experiences so David sought out to buy a parts car. He got on the computer and typed in “tiara” on a search and learned about a
few Tiaras that were for sale. But they were the bejeweled kind of tiaras that women wear on their heads. After much persistence
and time, David found a “sashablue” who was looking for a slave cylinder for her 65 Tiara and a “puddleduck” who was looking
for a repair manual for a 64 Tiara Wagon. Both postings were well over a year old so David had low expectations when he
emailed both by writing, “Do you still have your car?”

Sashablue wrote back and that she had sold her car much earlier. We were disappointed but encouraged that at least we got a
response. Puddleduck also emailed back.  She said, “Yes I still have my car and it still runs.” David emailed back and asked,
“Where are you?” “Australia” was her answer back, and the correspondence just went from there.
We learned that Rachael Lear is the proud owner of a 1964 Tiara Wagon. She lives in Manunda, North Queensland Australia
close to the Great Barrier Reef. I’ll let Rachael tell the story of her treasured car…

    “The Tiara I found was quite by chance. We had actually pulled over to inquire about a ‘for sale’ of a house. The
    woman told us it was sold, but there was the tiniest scrawled writing about a car. We were actually looking for an
    old four wheel drive but when we saw the Tiara, it was unbelievable. We paid 3 grand and she looked how she
    would of in the show room. In forty years, the taco (tachometer) only read 62,000 miles as she’d been kept under
    cover and only driven to the shops. We’ve only had problems with the fan as somehow, there only came to be one
    and in the tropics it’s just too humid. One of the hub caps are missing and the roofing installation has been removed
    as the owner said, ‘Toyota just don’t know how to make interiors.’ Another funny thing is the factory plastic is still
    on the back seat!  We call her ‘Nancy’ after the original owner and she’s actually my first car. I’ve learned to drive
    in her and I couldn’t ask for more. She’s so elegant.

    “The original owner and her husband immigrated to Australia at least 50 years ago from Germany. Nancy told me
    the story of how they pulled up in a bus beside a show room where the Tiara was being displayed. Her husband said,
    ‘That’s it Nancy. That’s going to be your shopping car!’ Nancy said she muttered under her breath how much she
    hated ceramic green but in the end it was her favorite color. She said that’s one of the reasons she didn’t mind
    selling it to me as it’s my favorite as well.

    “Her old man passed away at least nine years ago and Nancy had to give up her license two years ago because her
    legs were going and she dreaded the thought of hitting a child. Nancy was quite a character and repeated staunchly
    that a man is just too rough for the car and that it was built for only a woman. She’d been holding it for people on
    and off who supposedly wanted the Tiara more than anything. But she got sick of people pushing her about and said
    yes to me. Apparently an older man came around the next day and was quite angry she’d sold it on him. She said he
    talked too much so therefore he wouldn’t have listened to the Tiara’s needs.

    “That was nine months ago and she’s written on her service records lots of tips and information. For example,
    ‘Always take metho on long trips and a tin of veggie oil for out back towns. Benzene can be dirty or watered down,
    so put about one or two cups or one third bottle of metho in tank and it will clean benzene. For brake fluid, add
    metho and veggie oil together and all will be good.’

    “It was quite heartbreaking the day we finally drove her out of the garage she’d lived in all her life. Nancy said she
    had to stay in the house and couldn’t watch. The next week Nancy sold the house she’d lived in since she first got to
    Australia and moved into a retirement village. Now and again we think of Nancy driving with her husband around
    Cairns and the tablelands. It’s really quite a beautiful piece of history and we feel quite honored to drive in the
    beautiful old girl.

Well David and I still don’t have a parts car. But we’ve gained a new friend half way around the world and Rachael loves Tiaras as
much as we do. Thanks to the Toyota literature archives of Mike Foertsch, Rachael’s copy of a RT-20 repair manual is on it’s

Part two of Terresa's Tiara Tales originally appeared in the May/June 2003 issue of the TORC newsletter.

Sadly a few months after we ran the story, Terresa was to learn that Rachael was selling Nancy. No word as to whatever
happened. Maybe I need to follow up on this one!