Rare Vehicle Sighting: Toyota Sera

By Kevin Miller

08.19.2008

Toyota SeraLast month I was on Washington State’s Whidbey Island, and I saw something I had only seen before in a car magazine. In the early 1990s. It was a Toyota Sera coupe.

The Sera was instantly recognizable, in its signature “Greenish Yellow Mica Metallic” with its distinctive greenhouse and headlights. As I spotted it parked, I didn’t have the chance to check out its gull-wing doors in action.

I was on the island for a family member’s wedding and its associated events, and when I arrived at the inn where we were staying I mentioned to my brother that we had seen a Toyota Sera on our way up the island. My brother told me that he had actually been behind that Sera in the ferry line earlier in the day on his way to the island, and had a brief conversation with the owner. He found out that the Sera’s current owner bought the car on eBay from somebody who had gone to the trouble of importing it to the US. The owner said that the car attracted a lot of attention. I can only imagine.

The Sera was produced by Toyota for sale only in the Japanese domestic market, between 1990 and 1995. The vehicle was mostly built from the same mechanicals that were used for contemporary Paseo and Starlet vehicles, so even in the US or Europe most spare mechanical parts are not difficult to come by. The 1.5 liter 4-cylinder engine should prove economical to operate and maintain, even if interior or body parts are challenging to replace.

Just under 16,000 Seras were produced by Toyota over its nearly-six-year run. Because the newest of those vehicles are now thirteen years old, sightings of the Sera have become rare even in Japan. But as my sighting proves, with a bit of luck you could see one just about anywhere.

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Author: Kevin Miller

As Autosavant’s resident Swedophile, Kevin has an acute affinity for Saabs, with a mild case of Volvo-itis as well. Aside from covering most Saab-related news for Autosavant, Kevin also reviews cars and covers industry news. His “Great Drive” series, with maps and directions included, is a reader favorite.

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1 Comment

  1. Odd, and not very attractive, but I bet he does get a lot of attention.

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