Stikkord: Family

Toyota Corolla KE35 SR

This week we take a ride in Romain Saraiva’s firecracker red 1976 Toyota Corolla KE35 SR along the country roads just south of Paris.

“I grew up in the back of a Renault 5 and Mercedes 190,” Romain reminisces, “On the highway, I would play a game with my father and my kid brother. The goal was to guess the make of cars and trucks. My father would always win because of all the old cars. That’s where it all started.” What began as an innocent game to pass the time on family road trips became the seed for a lifetime of automotive love.

“I became interest[ed] in those cars,” Romain lovingly admits, “I am curious, and not knowing what make they were intrigued me.” In his younger years, Romain’s family acquired a sturdy Toyota Hilux—the seemingly immortal compact truck the world’s workforce has depended on for decades—and years later Romain’s grandfather is still driving the trusty Toyota hauler.


His granddad’s Toyota pickup-turned-farm-truck, a neighbor’s often-driven Datsun, and the Saraiva family’s Mazda MX-5 with a six-digit odometer tally all came together to capture Romain’s curiosity: “I found it so interesting. I came to realize that these cars had a story and a soul.”

When Romain eventually came of driving age, he was studying art in school and was after something special for his first car; something different, something with a soul. After discovering the unusual classic Toyota Corolla coupe in Portugal while on a family vacation, Romain kept an eye out for a similar sled once home back in France. Finally, he found a red and white Corolla KE35 SR for sale: “It reminded me of Starsky & Hutch, so I fell for it.”

But Romain’s lusting eyes were blinded from what lay beneath the shiny red paint. He quickly discovered that the car was somewhat shoddily thrown together—not to mention it had been wrecked and hastily repaired for a quick sale—but the Corolla’s charm captivated Romain all the same, and he decided to iron out the wrinkles and make his vehicle into the one he’d originally envisioned it could be.

“We spent a lot of time on it, taking it apart, changing parts, and redoing it. We wouldn’t give up,” says Romain, “I really wanted to create something for me and for my children too, like a heritage. Just like my father’s talents for mechanics, for everything he taught me and will continue to pass on to me.”

It was a lengthy process that required a lot of the family’s hands to help resurrect the humble Toyota coupe, but Romain was determined to bring it back from the brink. “It was a family adventure between a father and a son and the rest of the family who had to put up with a dismantled car for over two years, but [it] all ended well.” After seeing the rebuild photos and the finished project in action, we couldn’t agree more.

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1972 BMW 3.0 CS Coupe Is A Stylish Member Of The Family

Tom McComas Senior is a simple man with only a few indulgences: family, friends, and BMWs. Several months ago we profiled him and his son around a very special R60 motorcycle that has been passed down from when he bought it new to his son Tom Jr., Hollywood Stuntman, who rides it around the streets of Los Angeles to this day.

That BMW R60 would be the machine that would start a life long love affair with the marque, leading to an exceptional circumstance around his son’s birth, and a CS available to buy in Joliet Illinois. “I ran into the dealership and said to the man, “Don’t sell that coupe! My wife is in labor and I’ll be back in the morning to buy it.” As he was running out the sympathetic manager of the dealership said to his salesman, “If you don’t sell it to that man, you’re fired.”

He returned shortly, bought the car, gave everyone in the dealership cigars, drove back to the hospital and picked his wife and newborn up «starting them off in style».

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This Porsche 356 Speedster Puts Family First

Petrolicious profiles the rare Italian Porschephile

In the fourth generation of a family of coachbuilders, Rosita grew up surrounded in every way by cars, from the Ferraris her mechanic father picked her up from school in, to the toy cars he brought home for his children. Thing is, even though the family worked on primarily Italian cars, her father’s true love was with Porsche.

Fifteen years ago, the family brought home their very first: a 356 Speedster in dire need of a complete restoration. From the beginning, the family wanted to restore it as a race car, because Rosita’s father had always wanted to have a race team. Being masters at shaping metal, the finished car wears a number of unique touches, from the shape of its nose to the fuel filler relocated to the front hood.

Now pressed into service regularly, including tours and rallies, the car has a chance to stretch its legs. A hand-formed aluminum hood and doors, uprated engine, and close-ratio transmission are tasteful modifications that fit the car’s purpose perfectly.

«Many people think that a classic car is meant to be preserved as a memento, but I enjoy using it and experiencing it as much as possible,» Rosita Corato said. «Even if this means coming home with a scrape or a dent here and there.»

It may have taken a few decades, but seeing Rosita pilot the silver Speedster around the countryside is proof that it’s possible for a car to become part of the family.