Volvo 240, Jimny, Corsa: Ever heard of a Toyota Paseo?

  • Thread starter lbpomg95
A field in England
Wow. Exactly the perfect road car!!!! :rolleyes:
Unfortunately the best we had at the time. My little Corsa is even louder, and there's no way I would have trusted the residents of Sidmouth not to smash my beloved Volvo in the car park.
A field in England
Hold on, that's not a Corsa!

Katherine and I have just made a rather odd decision. As you may know, we sold her old Clio for £1200 in order to replace it with an automatic Corsa, which currently stands us in at about £600. Well, in the course of the last four days, that decision has been turned on its head and we completely unexpectedly went and bought a bloody Suzuki Jimny, of all things. For £1800, way above what we budgeted for Katherine's new car. Naturally, there's a little more to the story.

Simply put, it just popped up out of nowhere. For the last year or so, Katherine's been interested in the idea of a Suzuki Jimny as her daily driver, since it's actually smaller than my Corsa, or her Clio, both in length and width, while the high seating and square shape offers perfect visibility for parking. I, on the other hand, have wanted a Jimny for about six years, ever since I first drove one.

On Friday evening, I was trawling through Facebook marketplace, as I often do, to see if I could find various Corsa-related parts. Lo and behold, there was a Suzuki Jimny for sale, twenty minutes down the road. I clicked on the ad and realised it was an automatic. Katherine's eyes lit up and after some confused deliberation and repeatedly asking "are we really going to look at this?", we decided to view it.

The seller was advertising on behalf of the owner, a farmer (who didn't have time to sell it, apparently), who'd bought the Jimny for his stepson as a first car and potential work vehicle. Upon realising insurance was going to cost £2000 a year, he decided to sell, advertising for £1995. Supposedly many people showed interest but either offered silly money or didn't show up. We were the only ones who genuinely didn't mess the seller around. We looked at it, found a few issues, priced them up and worked out a price of £1800. We collected the oversized milk carton today, and took it for a good drive. What a car!

Now, enough text! Here's some photos!







As you can see, two things stand out;
-It's filthy.
-It's been modified.

The modifications are mainly for off-roading, such as the snorkel, side steps, front push bar and knobbly tyres. It's also got a towbar, immobiliser with remote central locking, and a double din touchscreen stereo fitted.

As for the car itself, it's a 2003 Suzuki Jimny JLX with the usual 1.3 litre 4-cylinder petrol engine, wheezing out around 80BHP, mated to a surprisingly smooth 4-speed torque converter. It's done 108,000 miles, has very good service history an underneath, it's more solid than I expected. I found some rust at the back of one wheel arch, and a bit behind the headlights, which is a common area. It will also need four new tyres soon, which gives us an opportunity to fit more road-biased tyres.

Our plans are fairly simple. Clean it, fix the rust, and sell all the off-roading tat. Removing the push bar and towbar will hopefully save some weight which should help the supposedly abysmal fuel economy, as well as making the poor thing a little quicker. I will also stuff some sound insulation in the few areas I can. We'll also be binning the double din, as it looks completely ridiculous and half it's features don't work. There's also a few bits of clutter and tat to chuck in the bin, like those silly wheel trims.

Katherine drove it today, as well as me, to try it out, seeing as it will be mainly her car. After 500 yards, she was completely in love with it, which is something that can't be said of the Clio or the Corsa.

So, it must drive well, then?

It is, in every measurable way, completely sh**, and we don't care one bit. I encourage everyone who's never driven a Jimny to try one. It's uncanny how such a compromised car can put such a big smile on your face. It's utterly loaded with personality! It's also nice to have a blue car, too! more to come in the new year, hopefully!
Last edited:
A field in England
The Jimny

We've had the Jimny for one day, and I've already made the first big change to it. Neither I or Katherine were sold on the Bullbar, so for the sake of four bolts and one small bracket, I removed it, and I'm certainly glad I did!




Partially inspired by a thread on the pistonheads forum where the OP has been stripping an unbelievable amount of weight from a Ford Fiesta ST while keeping it looking relatively stock, I've decided to weigh whatever I remove from the Jimny, too. It's partly out of simple interest to figure out how much this stuff added on, but also to see if the weight saving will help fuel economy and performance; after all, the little 1.3 needs all the help it can get.

It's a hefty old thing, weighing in at 18.2kg on our scale, not including the six bolts and small metal bracket holding it in. To fit that metal bracket, a previous owner had snipped a hole in the bumper grill which you can just about see. That'll play on my OCD!

All in all, I'm glad it's gone, and I think the little yoghurt pot looks much better without it. Thankfully, Katherine agrees, seeing as it's her car!
Last edited:
A field in England
The Jimny

Interior Part 1

Over the past few weeks, I have been attacking the interior of our latest purchase to clean it up. After years of neglect, it certainly needed it! I started off with a damn good vacuum clean of the carpets, with the driver's footwell being the worst, naturally. I gave it a quick shampoo as well, to try and remove some of the stains. I also cleaned the pedals, using some all-purpose cleaner and a paintbrush. The seats were also removed between photos.







The plastics were cleaned next. I simply used my vacuum with a brush attachment, before cleaning with some APC and a microfibre.



With that done, I began work on the seats, which certainly needed a damn good shampoo. I started on the backs of the rear seats. Below you can see the dirty seat on the left, with the freshly shampooed seat on the right.


Unfortunately, once I removed the seat, I realised that a previous owner had repaired some rust in the floor underneath the driver side rear seat, and sprayed over the weld with a crap silver rattle can without masking anything up. The result was a nice big patch of oil-based paint in the seat.


Without a steam cleaner, it's almost impossible to clean paint out of seats, so I had to settle for scraping off what I could and shampooing over the top. Thankfully, it's barely noticeable once the seat's fitted.


Luckily, the rest of the seats proved easier to clean, with the passenger seat being the filthiest.



In a moment of OCD that impressed even me, Katherine suggested using a sewing needle to clean the seatbelt tensioners, as they had years of gunk built up in the grooves.



More to come in the next update.
Last edited:
A field in England
The Jimny

Interior Part 2

With the seats cleaned, it was onto the less obvious bits of the interior. The sun visors had a layer of dirt which came off fairly easily with some APC and a quick wipe down.



While the visors were out, I cleaned the headlining, which had likely never seen a microfibre cloth before. I took a photo halfway through to show the difference...



The end result wasn't perfect, but still a good improvement for 10 minutes of cleaning. My next little job was changing the interior bulb, which a previous owner had replaced with an 501-style LED, which I personally didn't like the look of, so I fitted a yellow halogen bulb I had kicking around.


Next up was the alarm. A previous owner had an aftermarket alarm and central locking system fitted, which has a little blue LED on the dashboard to prove it!


As you can see, it was missing something. While tidying the car earlier, I found a little round trim in the glovebox. Sure enough, it was meant to house the LED, so I slotted it back on with some glue, and it looked a little more presentable.


My last job was the most satisfying. Whilst the rear seats were out, I wanted to remove the interior trim either side, to see if there were any nasty, rusty surprises on the inner rear arches. The trims were ridiculously easy to remove, and once out, revealed an impressively disgusting mess.


Using my vacuum cleaner and a paintbrush, I soon had it all cleaned up.




The arches themselves aren't too bad at all, though you can see a few bits of surface corrosion on the seam, and one decent little rust-hole in the corner, which isn't bad at all by the standards of a Jimny. The plan is to leave the trims out until the corrosion is sorted, and with that done, I will insulate what I can to improve the NVH a little.

I'll end this post with a little comparison of the start point versus how it looks now...




A field in England
The Jimny

The Snorkel

When we left off on the Jimny's exterior, it looked like this;


Out of all the off-roading modifications made to the Jimny, it was the snorkel that Katherine most wanted gone. Since we're not going wading anytime soon, I agreed, it does look a bit silly (more so once the knobbly tyres and towbar were gone). I found out it was mounted in two places; one being an L-shaped bracket pop-riveted to the A-pillar, along with two nuts behind the front wing. While the bracket mounts were as simple as two phillips-heads, the bracket itself remains on the pillar until I can get Shaun to drill out the rivets.

To get to the nuts behind the wing, I had to undo the top bolts and prize the wing over the front chassis to slide my hand in and get to it. Eventually, with some choice words, the snorkel was off.



Whoever fitted it also left a considerate message for us!


For now, there's a gaping hole in the side of the car, which is fine since we're not driving it yet. The plan is to put a Land Rover Discovery-style fake vent over the top to let air through and mask the expert craftmanship.

A field in England
The Corsa

A bit of a long overdue update for the Corsa. As mentioned a while ago, the Spax adjustable rear shocks were too harsh for my car, so I went back to the Bilstein B4 items. I managed to sell the Spax shocks for £110 to recoup some of the costs of the coilover kit, which made me feel a bit better about buying the kit in the first place! The car handles nicely on the current set-up, though it's still very firm.


Since then, I found a cheap cone filter on offer for £12, and figured I'd buy it for a laugh. It was easy enough to fit, and it didn't make the car any slower, so I'll take it as a victory!


I also recently gave it a much-needed clean...



The Van

The van has been crying out for some TLC lately, and unfortunately, it got the opposite of that last week.



I was parked on the side of the road at a customer's house, cleaning their car, when an Amazon van drove straight into my van, knocking out the headlight, front bumper and bonnet cable. You can also see the front wing is damaged and the bonnet is misaligned. It's been a long time since I've felt so furious. In fact the last time would be 2016, when my Volvo was bodged. The driving was so inexcusably stupid! Either way, it's booked in with them to be fixed. Here's hoping they don't bodge it...
A field in England
The Jimny

With the interior done for now, I moved on to the exterior. The previous owner had lazily slapped a bit of polish onto the car to try and make it presentable for advertising, but on close inspection the Jimny would certainly benefit from a detail, with faded headlights, polish residue on various parts of the car, and generally dull paintwork. While that cheap coat of polish has made the before/after photos a bit less stark, I've still managed to lift the overall appearance of the little truck.

A few weeks ago, I blasted the wheel arches clean to find any rust I didn't spot at the viewing, so I didn't have to touch them this time. I started with the wheels (I also removed the spare), before doing my usual process;
-Snowfoam and rinse at pressure.
-Contact wash with two buckets, grit guard and wash mitt, rinse.
-Soak with Autosmart Tardis to remove black tar spots, rinse.
-Decontaminate with clay towel, rinse. Ironically there wasn't much embedded in the paint. My theory is that these usually travel so slowly, they don't have much opportunity to pick up contamination.
-Dry with big towel.
-Machine polish. I'm still a bit of a beginner with the DA, so results weren't amazing, but it was a solid improvement for an hour's polishing.
-Buff the headlights. I used my mini rotary polisher.
-Wax with Collinite 845.

Here's the photos!









We were then greeted by some rain to test the wax's water-beading capabilities...


I then made a shameless but subtle little addition. I had a screw-on chrome exhaust tip lying around from when we still had the Clio. I decided to see how it looked on the Jimny.



I actually don't think it looks half bad!

That's everything on the Jimny finished for the time being. We recently started driving it, enjoying every minute, but the car is now with Shaun. Unfortunately it's bad news. The floor is almost completely rusted out, and there's a good few days of welding to be completed. We've decided to have it done, mainly because we've completely fallen for the car, and partly because the initial purchase price was very reasonable for a Jimny. Alongside the welding, there's a small list of things to be done before the little rot-box is complete;
  • Rustproofing, for obvious reasons
  • Tyres. We've got four Nexen HD Plus tyres waiting to replace the Insa Turbo knobbly tyres
  • Refurbish the wheels, which have been painted black with a brush
  • Insulate the interior to improve the road noise
  • Remove the towbar to reduce weight
  • Remove the snorkel bracket on the A-pillar
  • Oil change
  • Replace the stereo
  • Disconnect the obscenely loud reverse sensors
Hopefully the new tyres and binning the towbar should improve the fuel economy. A quick test revealed that the little milk carton got 33.8MPG, which isn't a terrible start, given the Jimny's reputation for being a gas-guzzler.
A field in England
The Corsa

Sorry, more Corsa! As previously mentioned, the van has suffered at the hands of an Amazon driver, so is currently away being repaired. In the meantime, I still need to work, so the Corsa has been put to work, as compromised as it is. In order to put my heavier equipment (pressure washer, water drums, etc.) as far forward as possible, I removed the front passenger seat, so the interior's looking very spartan indeed.


I also mentioned previously that I'd given the poor old thing a long-overdue wash, ready for work. Unfortunately, it was caked in mud after three days. The majority of the paintwork is in rather dire condition, what with the lacquer-peel on the bonnet and driver's side, not to mention the key-scratch along the length of that same side, as well as the assortment of car-park dents in the driver's door. However, the passenger side is oddly free from any real dents, scrapes or wear, aside from a few small blemishes caused by tree sap and bird droppings. With that in mind, I decided to use the car as a bit of a guinea pig.

See, I've not been very happy with my results when machine polishing, lately, particularly on the Jimny. So, I'd looked at a few tutorials to see where I was going wrong, and applied that feedback to my Corsa. I only tried the rear quarter panel, due to lack of time, but I was much happier with my results. Here is how it looked beforehand. Note the swirls on the C-pillar and lack of clarity in the reflection.



I used my DAS-6 Pro, a green chemical guys hex logic buffing pad, and Scholl Concepts S20 Black polish. Working on an area about 50cm by 50cm, I blotted the panel with the polish and then used the machine on the lowest speed to spread it, to reduce the chance of it slinging. I then put the speed up to setting 4/6 and polished the area for around three minutes, before buffing clean. On some parts, I polished for another minute or two, but the results were much better than I had previously achieved, though by no means perfect. The weather turned overcast, so you can't see the last few swirls remaining, but the reflection is much better...



At some point, I'll work my way around the rest of the car.

I've also made two small changes under the bonnet. You may remember the cheap eBay cone filter I fitted...


Well, it's been flopping around a fair bit, and rubbing against the engine mount. So, I decided to re-fit the bottom-half of the airbox to hold the filter up, while hopefully avoiding a small amount of heat-soak in the process.


Another small change I made was to clean and polish the throttle body. On a 1.0, it is tiny, so it was a tad fiddly. The top side was fairly clean, but on the other side of the butterly valve, it was completely caked in black carbon buildup. I cleaned it using some GUNK engine degreaser, a couple of small brushes, and a nylon scraper tool to chip away at the black deposits. After about twenty minutes, I had cleaned off most of the carbon (I didn't get any before photos on the offchance I managed to bugger it up :D), and then set about polishing. As the surface was fairly smooth already, I sanded the outer portions with some 2500 grit paper. I then got my Dremel with a small tube-shaped buffing head and, using some Autosol, gave the body and valve a few rounds of polishing. The results were crude, at best.



Once all back together, I took the Corsa out for a quick drive, to see if there was a difference. Obviously the car was never going to gain any power from having this done, but I was hoping for a slight improvement in the throttle response at least. I'm pretty sure it was a bit better, though it could've been a placebo effect. Cruising along in 5th gear at 45mph, the car usually wouldn't react much at all if you were to put your foot down. Now, it does seem to pick up that bit better. Either way, it was a fun little job, and both the Volvo and Jimny will soon be having it done!
A field in England
The Volvo


After several months in hibernation with the battery disconnected, the 240 finally fired into life once again this week, which started with an idiotic blunder. I went to tax the car, only to realise that the MOT had expired! Shaun managed to fit me in, and she passed with flying colours, so I managed to tax the old barge and get it on the road. We've been using it for the last week because Katherine's mother visited, and with the Jimny at Shaun's having pretty much the entire underside cut out and patched up, we needed something with more seats.

I finally decided to sell the old steelies that have been kicking around in a shed for five years, too. I probably underpriced them, given how quickly they sold, but I couldn't complain at an extra £50.


I also sold the set of rearward facing seats that sits under the boot floor for £55, saving a bit of weight at the rear. The only other thing I've done this week is clean the throttle body.

Seeing as it went well on the Corsa, I naturally fancied having a go on the 240. Removal was very self-explanatory but a bit fiddly as there wasn't really room to get a spanner to the nuts that retain it. On the upside, there were no hateful spring hose clamps to remove, unlike on the corsa.


Once off, I took photos of the mess inside.



As with the Corsa, I cleaned it using some GUNK and a couple of brushes.



Once they were clean enough, I used a bit of 800 grit sandpaper, followed by the Dremel and some Autosol to polish up the surfaces. Results were a little crude once again, but it was still a bit improvement.




I'll be test-driving the old barge soon to see the results...


United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Any plans to remove the side steps from the Jimny? The existing stuff you've done has made such a difference but those checkerplate jobs still look very... err, "aftermarket".
A field in England
Any plans to remove the side steps from the Jimny? The existing stuff you've done has made such a difference but those checkerplate jobs still look very... err, "aftermarket".
Katherine rather likes them, plus, they're welded directly to the ladder-frame, so err... would be a bit of a nightmare to cut them off.
A field in England
The Jimny

A long overdue update, but the Jimny's rust problem has been fixed. It ended up being even worse than expected, to the point that it wasn't really economical to bother. Too late for that, though. A few other things got ticked off, too; the offensive reversing sensors were disconnected, the oil has been changed, and (my favourite) the towbar is off!


I have no idea what the little rustbucket was towing, but either way it won't be doing anymore of it. The mounting bolts disintegrated, too.

On the way home, we realised the car was louder than ever, which wasn't ideal. We knew the exhaust had probably lost some of its muffler material at some point before we bought it (that or it was gutted), but it was more obvious than ever. We also noticed a slight pogo-effect from the shock absorbers, which we hadn't picked up on before. My theory is that the body was so rusty that it was flexing, so much that it actually made the ride a little more compliant. Now that the body is more rigid, it highlights that the shocks may be in need of replacing sometime soon. I could equally be making that up on the spot, though.

Anyway, as Katherine needed it for work a few days after we got it back, I had to rush into some emergency sound-deadening. The NVH crusade is back on! When I left the car with Shaun, I had already stripped the rear trim for him...


I had the seat out and the area cleaned in a few minutes, ready to start applying the insulation. I started with some Dodomat I had kicking around from my Corsa. I didn't use much because collectively, it's pretty heavy. So, I applied it pretty sparingly, to try and keep any weight gain to a minimum.


That was supposed to reduce panel vibration, and thus echoing and resonation in the cabin. Next was something to muffle the sound coming in. I had some self-adhesive foam to put over the top. I was little more generous applying, since it weighs next to nothing. I also made sure to overlap where I could.


I filled the few remaining gaps with some pillow-stuffing.


Then, with great difficulty, I replaced the old plastic trim.


Lastly, I lifted up the rear seat bases and laid an offcut from a memory-foam mattress underneath.


With the seats down, you can't tell it's there, and hopefully it'll drown out some exhaust drone.


It's made a world of difference, but you can still tell the exhaust is very loud, so I think it'll be getting replaced sometime in the future. There's a few plans we've got for the car now, and a few things we're considering;
-The new Nexen HD tyres are waiting to go on. I'll be respraying the wheels at the same time.
-The exhaust as mentioned.
-We may replace the shocks to see if the ride improves.
-I've heard wheel spacers made the handling better so we may go down that route too.
Beyond that, we'll just be enjoying the car and doing a little more sound insulation.
A field in England
A bit of a non-update for the Jimny, but I recently measured how much weight I had managed to remove from the Jimny since we took ownership.

  • The bullbar with its mounting bolts and bracket weighed in at 18.5kg.
  • The rear headrests (removed for visibility) came in at 850g each, so 1.7kg total.
  • The towbar weighed in at 12.3kg. The mounting bolts fell apart so couldn't weigh them, but we can assume it'll round up to 13kg.
  • The Snorkel added about 1kg.
  • The most recent thing I removed was the spare wheel, weighing in at nearly 21kg, with an extra 3.8kg for for the jacking kit and spare wheel cover.
  • The spare wheel mounting bracket was 2.2kg

All-in, this added up to a weight-reduction of about 60kg. As for how it drives now, it is much improved. When we first drove the car, it quite literally didn't accelerate. It was by far the slowest car I've ever driven. With most of the tat (except side steps which are welded on) gone, the car picks up much easier, and generally just feels a bit healthier. It's still not fast by any stretch, but it's much more useable.
Last edited:
A field in England
So, it's been about 6 months since I last posted, which means I have some catching up to do. We'll start with...

The Combo

Not a lot was done with the van for a long time. I had plenty of plans, but they got put on hold very quickly in the Spring, as previously mentioned...


Unfortunately, an Amazon driver decided to park his van inside my front bumper in what was some of the stupidest driving I've ever seen. I have a few anger management issues, so it's safe to say I was pretty infuriated. Amazon agreed to fix the van out of their own pocket to avoid insurance claims, which worked for me. Thankfully, the workshop they employed seemed to know what they were doing, so the van came back with new headlights, bumper, foglights, and bonnet cable. I really couldn't find much to complain about.

However, while the van was away, and the Corsa was being used for work, I realised I didn't really need the Combo - I could realistically use something smaller - and so the seed was sown. Once it was back, I really lost interest, and after a lot of deliberation, I recently decided it was time to move it on.
So, with that, the van needed a lot of prep! When I last posted about the Combo, it was lowered, and rather compromised, thanks to the harsh front springs. I fitted some OE springs from a petrol model earlier this year, which still lowered the front, but softened the ride a lot.


As I was selling it, I figured that being lowered would hurt my chances of finding a buyer, so I re-fitted the standard springs. The front discs and pads were also replaced, and the tracking was adjusted. Two of the tyres were nearly bald, so they were replaced, too, with the same Rotalla RH01 tyres as before. Nothing special, but they got the job done at a good price. As for the alloys themselves, they were looking in a sorry state.

They had been powder coated by Aerocoat near Great Yarmouth, as I'd had two sets done with them already, to a very good standard. However, this set looked utterly hopeless after three years. I had never kerbed or scraped them once. The paint simply fell off. Here's how they looked after being cleaned.


I couldn't sell the van with the wheels looking this bad, but couldn't justify another full-price refurbish, so I decided to sand, prime and paint them myself in satin black. Results weren't perfect by a long shot, but the wheels looked much better than before.




Next up, I had to do a little tarting up inside. With all my valeting gear removed, the load bay was in dire need of a vacuum, and a clean of the plastics.



Next up was the cab. When I originally fitted the Recaro seats, I removed the boomerang trims and part of the centre console to clean underneath, but then left it all apart for future projects. I put everything back together properly and re-fitted the boomerangs to lift the interior a little.


As for the rest of the interior, it wasn't terrible, but needed a decent vacuum and dust. I also got some cheap new mats from Amazon to make it look a little nicer, too.




I also gave the engine bay a quick once-over.


With the interior done, I started on the outside. I didn't take any photos before I started because despite being left for 6 months, it didn't actually look all that bad. Either way, I did as follows;

-Gave the wheels and arches a quick once-over
-Rinsed the van and agitated every seam or rubber seal with some APC and a brush
-Re-rinsed and washed it
-Treated it with tar remover and a fallout remover
-Clay bar decontamination
-Dried and polished with Scholl S20 and my DAS-6 PRO
-Lazily slathered on some Supagard I had kicking around

My polisher doesn't seem to do the best job at removing swirls (I'm probably doing something wrong), but the end result was still very reasonable for a 12-year-old commercial vehicle with 108,000 miles.



Once it was all finished, I quickly ran it up the road to a scenic spot for some final photos.


With all the work done, it's now advertised for sale. I will miss it, for sure, but I just sort of lost interest, and have no real reason to keep it.
Last edited:
A field in England
So, I said goodbye to the van this week. I was more sad to see it go than I thought I'd be, but I can't justify keeping it for no reason. I got £3,600 in the end, which was better than I thought I'd get, considering I paid £3,850 for it back in 2017. Such is the state of the market now. It's been taken on by a carpenter who had a newer van on a lease, but as he's approaching retirement age, he only needed a van for another two years or so. Mine was the best in budget I guess, and he could see I didn't want to let it go, so I guess he saw that as a good sign.

Either way, we're down to three vehicles. Most of the money from the Combo will go towards a mortgage (we've been saving a few years, and this little boost will help our chances hopefully), but some will go into making the Corsa a little nicer.

It also turns out I forgot to post any updates on the silver Corsa Automatic that I bought for Katherine as a replacement for the Clio last year. Once we bought the Jimny instead, I kind of forgot the Corsamatic existed for a bit.


There wasn't much that needed doing to prep it for sale. Shaun fitted the quiet exhaust as you may remember, and I put those black wheels on, and the original wing mirrors. Afterwards, Shaun gave it an oil change, MOT'd it, and had to replace the handbrake cable, costing me roughly £150 all-in, including the labour for fitting the exhaust. A friend of his ended up buying the car for £1300, which was pure luck for me, as I wasn't expecting to sell it for that much. So, the profit made was roughly £500 (taking into account selling the old wheels and exhaust), which went towards the rust on the Jimny. I'm hankering for a new project car at the moment...
Last edited:
A field in England
Another One?

Just as I had trimmed the fleet down to three vehicles, I've gone and bought another one. Apologies in advance for the wall of text. Long story short is I bought a 27-year-old coupe to take on holiday.

So, we go to Devon a few times a year. I refuse to take the Volvo, and the Jimny is about the last car on earth you'd want to take on the M25. So, that leaves the Corsa, which is loud, slow and uncomfortable, not to mention sentimental to me. So I've been wanting a shed for a little while to use for the journeys. A friend of mine, Winston, whom I used to work with, was being sort of forced by his daughter to sell some of his cars, and it came up recently. With a looming trip to Devon in a few weeks, I had a look at it, and ended up buying it.

So, what is it?

Why, a 1995 Toyota Paseo, of course!



So, yes, there's a few elephants in the room. Firstly, the roof is white. The car had some ugly lacquer peel on the roof, and my friend decided to spray it with whatever he had kicking around, which turned out to be white. Righto...

Second, why this? Well, Winston is around 80 years old, and has four cars, a moped and several bicycles. He has an old Ford Cortina as a show car, and a Fiat Punto convertible for summer. His Paseo and Aygo, according to his daughter, are pointless, and he should sell both to get something nicer. To be honest, I think her logic is a) wasteful and b) complete bollocks. He loves his Paseo, and you couldn't ask for a cheaper car to run than an Aygo. The idea that he should sell both to buy the inevitable pointless SUV that everyone drives now is completely stupid. But alas, Winston was left feeling like he had no choice. The Paseo was first on the chopping block, originally up for a grand, until eventually dropping to £600. A few punters offered him £500 at the time I inquired, and he offered it to me for £550. I insisted on paying £600.

The reason being, this car has four new tyres, new rear shocks, no kerbing on the alloys, and a very good service history in the 16 years Winston owned it. He also undersealed the chassis every few years, so it is pretty much rust-free. The only thing not done is the cambelt (which was changed before he bought it). Any car with that kind of maintenance, as well as a year's MOT is a steal at £600 in the current market.


Anyway, the car itself is basically a little-known coupe based on the Toyota Starlet (kind of like what the old Ford Puma was to the Fiesta). This is either good or bad, depending on your preference. The bad news is that it has a 1.5 litre inline-4 from the Starlet producing 90BHP, which is... acceptable, but not sporty. More than enough for me, mind. The good news is that it's a complete flyweight.

For comparison, the Corolla-based Celica weighed around 1100kg (or if you got the GT-Four, almost 1500kg). My 1.0 Corsa weighed 910kg from the factory. This Paseo weighs 920kg! Given it's lack of weight, the 90BHP feels very healthy indeed, and it can achieve 50mpg on a run! I look forward to testing that.

I also made my first change; I ripped off the steering wheel cover. Hate the damn things. I want to modify this car, too. I mean, it's a Japanese coupe, it's pretty much mandatory, right? I'm having to restrain myself.


The plan isn't to keep this car long. We're taking it to Devon once, and probably selling it afterwards. Trouble is I already know I won't want to sell. I am honestly surprised at how nice this car is. It genuinely drives brilliantly for what is basically a near-30-year-old milk carton in a nice dress.

All things considered, I feel bad for Winston. He clearly was sentimentally attached and didn't want to see this car go, and I actually feel guilty for being the one to take it away from him, especially since he's genuinely one of the nicest people I've ever met. I really don't know what his daughter's angle is, but the cynic in me doesn't think she has his happiness as her priority here. Maybe I'm just pessimistic.

Still, when we've finished our Devon trip, I'll give him the chance to buy it back. Maybe by next year he'll be in a position to have it back.
A field in England
The Paseo
So, I recently bought the oddball Toyota Paseo as our holiday car. Having driven it a little bit before the big trip, I'd found one or two issues. Firstly, the clutch does not feel nice at all, and seems to be in need of replacing. Since driving from Suffolk to Devon involves very few gear changes, I figured it wasn't anything much worth worrying about.
The other minor issues was that the car was fairly loud once up to speed. Hardly surprising, given the age and price of the car; it was hardly going for the luxury market after all. Before we did the big journey, I decided to try and insulate it a bit, like I've done with three other cars now. I had a sheet of carpet underlay insulation which I threw under the boot/trunk floor to start with. I also stripped out the rear seats and trims; since this is a coupe, the lack of rear doors leaves a lot of space in front of the rear wheel arch...


With sunlight fading, I used Dodomat butyl sheets to cover the inside of the rear quarter panel; I didn't use too much, since you seem to get diminishing returns the more you use, and it's fairly heavy in abundance. I then stuck self-adhesive sheets of foam over the top, overlapping where I could since it weighs next to nothing. I stuffed Dacron foam in the remaining gaps to muffle tyre noise.


By the time I got all the trims back in, it was almost completely dark, so I had to wrestle the rear seats back into place while holding a torch in my mouth, which must've made me look like a tool!

Anyway, once it was all finished, I took it to a petrol station to brim the tank, we loaded it with luggage, and went on holiday. It was much quieter than before, thankfully, though still not a luxury cruiser by any stretch. Compared to my Corsa, it was better in every way, except fuel consumption. It developed a knock at the rear (which mysteriously disappeared on the way back), and the cigarette lighter stopped working, so we had no sat-nav on the way home, but other than that, it performed better than you'd expect of a 26-year-old car. Fuel economy wasn't too bad at 48mpg, though I was hoping for over 50mpg. I can probably blame that on taking too much luggage...

For now, the car is sitting doing nothing until the next holiday. I may get a few jobs done, or I may sell it. I'm not sure on the latter, though.

Last edited:
paseos are great! shame that theres no aftermarket for it other than coilovers but i bet they would make great daily drivers
A field in England
paseos are great! shame that theres no aftermarket for it other than coilovers but i bet they would make great daily drivers
It does make for a decent cheap runaround, as long as you don't need to use the back seats :D
A field in England
About 6 months ago, I stopped using the Combo van for work, and started using the Corsa instead. Other than having no rear seats, it wasn't exactly 100% suited for use as a valeting van, so I set about making a couple of changes. The standard boot floor is a flimsy sheet of carpet that doesn't really hold much weight before crumpling, so I made up a new boot floor panel from plywood wrapped in carpet, similar to the panel I previously got made up for the Jimny. It was a simple enough job, since I had the original boot floor carpet as a template, so I didn't bother with any photos.

However, in front of that was the space where the rear seats used to sit, which has an indent, making it a bit awkward, so I wanted to make up a second piece to make the entire boot flat. This was a little less simple, since I'd had help on the other pieces I'd made up, and because I had no template for this one. So, I started by making a cardboard template...


I then got some plywood sheets and bought myself a cheap electric saw from The Range for £25 to attempt one of my first proper DIY jobs. My first attempt at cutting out the template was decent enough...


I sanded down the edges, and rather crudely stuck on some adhesive foam to insulate and cushion it...


I then did the now-familiar job of wrapping it in carpet, and then screwed two wooden slats underneath for added strength.



The fit was fairly decent, but because of the shape of the floor, the new panel didn't sit level toward the rear...


So, I screwed two wooden blocks to the underside to boost the panel. Considering my lack of experience/talent/ability, I was pretty happy with the result!



At some point, I'll try some carpet dye to get a better colour-match...
Last edited: