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Is it worth buying a toyota ke50 for daily use?



Hey everyone! I'm going to start campus soon, but until then I work in a small company.  I'd really like to buy a old Toyota car like a ke50 because of it's classic look. My budget is about 5 lakhs. I just want some advice on how this car will be like for a daily driving, how maintenance cost will be like or if I'm better off buying a newer motorbike like everyone around me keeps suggesting?

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Classic cars are really cool to have as daily drivers. But they do not have the "just jump and drive" convenience of new cars. It will have its own share of issues. These issues will need to be sorted out if the car is to be reliable and be able to be used on a daily basis. Even then...there will be days it has hissy fits and ruin your morning by making you late.

Whether it is worth it or not is entirely up to you...

Still want one ? If yes..good....keep reading.

KE50s are simple cars that are quite easy to use and its simlicity also lends towards the car being rugged as well (lesser complicated things to break). If you are a petrol head and mechanically inclined or good with a wrench..there are many things you can do yourself in terms of simple repairs and running maintenances.

Sadly, most of the cars of the era have been fixed up poorly or not fixed up at all and are nothing but buckets of putty on wheels. However, there are also some well maintained and restored cars and the really really good ones hardly ever change hands. Nevertheless, please remember that these are cars that are nearly 50 years old. So needless to say, things like the wiring, various fluid lines are going to be worn out. Components like alternators, brake and shock, etc...would have been replaced with after market replacement parts, hopefully with good, reputable OEMs and not cheap chinese ones (which is sadly the case with most) by mechanics who knew what they were doing and did not mess around with the original setup/design of the car.

If you buy one, and want it to be reliable, you need to be prepared to do a proper "almost restoration" type fix up. How much time, money and effort you spend on the fix up depends on the condition of the car you buy. So..irrespective of what you buy, you need to plan on taking it to a competent mechanic and get some mandatory things replaced and do a proper assessment of what needs to be attended to. Even then, please remember that compoenents like alternators cannot be assessed in terms of figuring out if it will last 5 years or 5 days.

Still interested in buying one ? 

You can buy most of the KE50 types that are in decent shape and run it on a daily basis as is. However, you need to accept the risk of components failing and the car breaking down (remember what I said about the car being 50 years old..some parts cannot be assessed ?). This risk is made higher by the fact that in SL cars are dressed up for a quick and deceptive sale. So you would need to, on an occassional basis, send the car off to the garage to fix up the issues that come up (this could be at a faily regular). If you want to increase its reliability, you will have to end up redoing and replacing a lot of mechanical, electrical and body components in the car.  

There are prestine examples around that are still in its original state (with just one or two loving owners) or that have been restored quite well. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on them, upon deeper inspection you will see that these require the least amount of work upon purchase and will be more reliable as-is. Still..these cars will have old components that will give up (not knowing when) and need replacing.

Irrespective of what you buy, after you get the car running fairly reliably, you will need to tend to it with some discipline. regular checkups...attending to things on time and not putting it off...etc...

So...if you are a petrol head, then none of what I said before is a deal breaker and in fact you will enjoy the challenge. 

I am not discouraging you..but this is the ugly side of classic/old/retro car ownership. If you do buy one...what is most important is you buy the car that is most honest and not necessarily the shiniest and the prettiest...(yes...at times the most honest car might be the one that has body parts in three different colors and a huge gash on the seat).




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As a person who also bought a car to go to Campus your number one priority should be that the car should start without fail every morning, and the older the car the higher chances of it not starting, but then again most campus's (campusii?!) are online only or going to be partially online so that might be your saving grace. 

If you decide to buy one, restore it completely, don't leave anything to chance (before Uni kicks off in March I presume?). I may not be able to give a similar amount of information regarding the mechanical aspect of things (iRage, should help you plenty 😛, as he has done for me ) but once the uni workload starts ramping up you won't have time to be in a garage.  

Of course if you have a parent who is willing to drop you off in the case of a no-go day then you should be g.

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