38: The ‘79 Radstock Starlet: A Restoration Story

38: The ‘79 Radstock Starlet: A Restoration Story

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Grab some popcorn, Josh Brooks has a story to tell. As a boy, a classic vehicle in his neighborhood caught his eye — a stunning ‘79 Toyota Starlet. Like most people, though, he’d nod his head in approval and go on with his life… to school, the park or wherever a kid might spend his time in the small town of Radstock, England.

That’s where the story takes a turn into the uncommon. The experiences shared by Josh, the car and its original owner in the decades following these sightings were as uncommon as they were endearing. What’s more, they’re truly representative of the family-minded approach that Toyota aims to embody every day.

As you may have guessed from the title, yes, the neighborhood Starlet has been marvelously restored to its original state (other than a set of modern tires) and now drives through its hometown with celebrity-like fanfare. Josh is sure that it deserves it’s own “verified check” on social media. You’ll hear the pride he has in it, and its story, come through in his voice. We’re just as proud to share it, here on Toyota Untold.

The heartwarming details of this tale, though, are best left to its main character. We promise, by the end of this episode, you’ll be looking for airfare to England on a mission to ride in this amazing one-of-a-kind vehicle — just don’t expect to sit in the back seat.

Intro: [00:00:02] [Intro]

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:00:32] Hey, everybody. I’m back from vacation and we have another awesome episode of Toyota Untold for you today. And while I’m back from vacation, Kelsey is about to head off on vacation. So, we’re excited to bring you this next episode. But in the meantime, Kelsey, you’re excited for a vacation?

Kelsey Soule: [00:00:50] I’m literally so excited. I think that we’ve said this before, Tyler and I both work in social, and it can be, what’s the word? It can be challenging at times. And so, we all need a little break, and it’s summer, so I need to be on a beach somewhere, and I’m headed there this week. So, I’m super excited.

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:01:09] And I just came back from a lake, so I’m tagging you out, tagging me back in, and we’re going to keep the social train going. But today, we have an awesome episode for you. And so, without further ado, you’re listening to Toyota Untold. I’m Tyler.

Kelsey Soule: [00:01:25] And I’m Kelsey. So, on today’s episode, we’re talking about how the cars we drive are such large parts of our lives. And it’s no surprise how often they form the backbone of human stories like the one we’re exploring today. So, on this episode, we’re talking to Josh Brooks, who has an incredibly unique story to tell about the role Toyota has played in his life.

Kelsey Soule: [00:01:52] This is a little bit of a change of pace for Toyota Untold, so forget what you think you know about the show. This episode cuts deep to the emotional bonds we form with and around our cars. Josh joins us all the way from Bath, England. And by the way, we’re going to be popping in from time to time to explain some of those Britishisms you’ll hear in our conversation. A lifelong Toyota enthusiast, Josh’s love of the Starlet was no secret to his social circle.

Josh Brooks: [00:02:16] My friend Jason worked at a local bakery, and he messaged me one day to say, you should see the car that’s just pulled up outside my work.

Kelsey Soule: [00:02:27] That car was a Toyota Starlet, specifically a 1979 KP62.

Josh Brooks: [00:02:32] He sent me a photo, and I said, yeah, I can remember the car, I can remember it being a bike when I was young, and when I was walking back from school, and stuff like that. And he said, yeah, it’s just some little old lady that owned it that comes up every Thursday just to get a load of scraps to feed her chickens that she’s got in her garden.

Kelsey Soule: [00:02:51] So, what was it about the Starlet that made such an impression on Josh?

Josh Brooks: [00:02:55] I grew up around Starlets, as my dad had his own Toyota-approved dealership, and my dad actually raced them in what they call autograss racing. Even at the age of seven, I was driving my dad’s race car in and out of the workshop at night. He taught me how to drive literally when I was seven around a field, and I could do clutch control and stuff. And there’s me, like rested on the front of the seat, because of these folks who didn’t sell it because of racing. So, I was in this car and that’s literally where it started from, I thought, I got to have a Starlet one day.

Kelsey Soule: [00:03:28] The car was a huge part of his life. So, when his friend sent him the photo, Josh wanted to go a step further than just simply admiring it.

Josh Brooks: [00:03:37] We had a little conversation about it when I seen it, and I thought, do you reckon you’d be able to see if she’d ever sell it to me? And he said, well, I’ll ask her, but nothing really ever stemmed from that. I was working nights, probably sort of three or four months after we spoke about this car, and luck would have it, I was driving from Midsomer Norton High Street in the morning, and I’ve seen the car, and I thought, you know what, this might be the only chance I’ve got. So, I turned around and I followed her into Sainsbury’s.

Kelsey Soule: [00:04:10] Sainsbury’s is a well-known supermarket chain in the UK. So, sensing his chance to buy the car, Josh embarked on a harmless mini-stakeout.

Josh Brooks: [00:04:18] And I sat there creepily, waited for her to come back with her shopping, and then sort of followed her home, and I left it 10 minutes later to let her settle in. I wrote my name and my number on a piece of paper and sort of carefully knocked on the door, so I wouldn’t alarm her. Just told her the situation, just said, look, absolutely love your car,  like I don’t think you understand how much I love your car. Here’s my name and my number. If you ever want to sell that, just let me know, and I will come and get it.

Josh Brooks: [00:04:48] And she said, really? I said, yeah. She said, do you want to see it properly? And I was like, well, yeah, okay. So then, she walked out and she opened the garage for me, and I had a little look-around, and I was just literally, like anyone with an old car with a carburetor on it would know exactly what I’m talking about, now, if you lift the garage door, that initial smell you get from an older car being sat in the garage, it’s just, yeah. And that was the moment that I knew that this is it, I’ll definitely, definitely, definitely got to have this car.

Kelsey Soule: [00:05:22] It was the beginning of a unique friendship as Josh volunteered his mechanical knowledge to help the woman any time she wanted.

Josh Brooks: [00:05:29] Ada was her nickname. She was actually cussing at the fact that someone had just charged her 50 pounds to change the battery. She took it to a local garage and they changed the battery for it, because like I said, she used it once a week on a Thursday, and obviously, it was just taking the life out of the battery. So, she’d gone somewhere, and she said, you won’t believe, I just had to pay 50 pounds to have the battery replaced. Well, I jumped into action, and said, well, if you ever need any more work, don’t pay anyone, you’ve got my number, give me a call and I’ll do it.

Kelsey Soule: [00:06:03] One of the things that struck Josh was how great the car’s condition was. It was clear that the Starlet was more than just the car to its owner already.

Josh Brooks: [00:06:10] She seemed really, really happy, really proud that I was taking an interest in obviously her pride, which I was amazed to actually open the door and see some of the plastic still on the door cars from the factory. It was jagged. It was jagged. If you could imagine, you have the back wrapped around the door car when it comes from the factory and, and obviously, then Toyota just put the door handle straight on top of it, and screw it home.

Josh Brooks: [00:06:37] Well, obviously, she had not done anything with it, but over the years, it just got loose and she sort of ripped off, but there were still plastic on the door car. Backseats had never been signed. This time, the car probably would have been like 31 years old and it had done 48,000 miles. There’s service issues there, it had a little bit of what I’d like to call sort of like general welding done that was just to pass the MOT, literally just touch repairs.

Kelsey Soule: [00:07:09] That MOT that Josh just mentioned stands for Ministry of Transport. In the UK, cars must pass an annual MOT test to ensure that they’re still roadworthy and safe to drive, similar to a smog test, but much more rigorous and widely enforced. Josh felt sparks fly as soon as he saw the Starlet. And remember, at this point, he still thought he might be able to convince Ada to sell it to him.

Josh Brooks: [00:07:31] It was an instant connection. Soon as she lifted the garage, it was like, yes, you could have had a brand spanking new Ferrari in the garage, it wouldn’t interest me. If they had lifted the garage and opened a Ferrari one side, and a Maserati on the other side, and Starlet in the middle, I would have been the guy looking at the Starlet. So, I’m in the garage, and I’m looking around the car, and I’m already sort of writing a list in my head of what I’ve got to do. Well, I said, I need rear arches. It needs a new top bank. It needs this, it needs that. So, I’m already planning what I’m going to do with the car.

Kelsey Soule: [00:08:05] But the purchase never happened.

Josh Brooks: [00:08:07] I’d say two years past and I’ve heard nothing. At this point, my mate, Jason, had left where he was working and gone self-employed, so he was out of touch with it as well. So, I go on holiday with my friends to Europe, and I didn’t take my phone, and I’ll get back from being abroad, I’ve switched my phone on, and I’ve got like a message from Jason. I’ve got sort of four missed calls.

Josh Brooks: [00:08:32] And the message from Jason said, I’ve been in contact with someone I used to work with at a bakery, I thought I’d just let you know that Evelyn had passed away. And I was like, that’s terrible. I was caught up. I then phoned this number that was there and it was her son, Brian, and he had explained the situation to me, and said, there was a note on the front of the fridge that says, if anything ever happens to me, you make sure that Josh has my car.

Josh Brooks: [00:09:00] And I was literally—like I couldn’t speak. I had a lump in my throat, and I was like, you know what, it’s literally the nicest thing that anyone’s ever done for me. So, I say to him, right, okay, I’m so sorry, really sorry for your loss. She was a lovely woman from what I knew of her. He said, yeah, well, come and get in the car. I’m going to be out there this afternoon, come and get the car.

Josh Brooks: [00:09:22] And I said, well, okay, let me know what you want for it and I’ll go into all the money I have. He said, don’t worry about that. Just come and get in the car. She wants you to have the car, so just come and get it. And I was absolutely speechless. So, I drove up there, which is probably two miles from my house, and the car’s on the driveway. I shook his hand, nice bloke, Brian, I shook his hand and I drove the car away, took it to my unit.

Josh Brooks: [00:09:45] I was really happy and really excited that I’ve got this car, but at the same time, really emotional and really sort of—I just had mixed emotions. I couldn’t believe that it actually happened. I couldn’t believe that I’d actually got what I wanted, because this generally doesn’t happen. This is like something you see in a film, this doesn’t happen, but it’s happened. I just couldn’t believe it. And obviously, I was really upset for Brian’s loss, and such a lovely, lovely old lady. She was brilliant. I couldn’t believe that she’d done that for me.

Kelsey Soule: [00:10:19] The car was now his, so Josh got straight to work.

Josh Brooks: [00:10:23] So, I took it to my unit, which is just five miles from Radstock area, and parked it in the unit, because what I noticed, and this is generally what happens with the older stuff, front caliper was driving, where it wasn’t being used that much. I parked in the unit, my dad sees the caliper for me, and run it to work and back for a week just to get a feel for it, make sure it’s all good.

Josh Brooks: [00:10:50] I’ll have to tell you, I was sleek at the time and I wanted to get some body work done on that, so I thought, right, I’ll insure the Starlet. And I just used it, literally just used it, just just drove it to work, drive it back. And then, I started racing go karts shortly after that and I didn’t really have any money to do anything with it. So, I just kept out of it and I put it into a container. I just covered it up and just left it.

Kelsey Soule: [00:11:14] And that was that. The car sat there untouched for about six years. It was when Josh moved to a different unit that he and Robbie, a friend he shared the unit with, decided that it was finally time to tackle the project of restoring the Starlet.

Josh Brooks: [00:11:27] Just thought, right, let’s do it, let’s just dig into it. So, we stripped it, we took all the car to the side, took all the glass side, took the doors off, took the wings off, and just assessed how bad it was. And it really wasn’t that bad at all. It seemed a bit strange as all the corrosion had gone down the driver’s side, the right-hand side of the car.

Kelsey Soule: [00:11:47] The car was corroded down the driver’s side, but in perfect condition on the side of the passenger. It’s a mystery to this day, although Josh has his theories.

Josh Brooks: [00:11:55] I have a decent explanation for if it was on the left-hand side, because they generally say that when you’re driving down the road, and obviously, we drive on the left-hand side the road, so all the debris gets shot towards the pavement, towards the curb, and that’s where you pick up all the soaks and all the debris, but it wasn’t that side. So the only thing I could really think of is because she always kept it in the garage, it was always in the garage, the only thing I can think of is she used to drive it in and the right-hand side of the car would be on the outside of the garage, which was colder than the left-hand side, which was against the the wall that met the house. I might be talking complete rubbish, but that is literally the only thing I can think of. She didn’t do a lot of mileage in it. She literally only drove around Radstock area, and obviously, down to Glastonbury to see her son. But yeah, that, I can’t answer.

Kelsey Soule: [00:13:01] Corrosion aside, the car still needed a lot of work.

Josh Brooks: [00:13:04] The left-hand side was fine, apart from the rear wheel arch. We pulled the wing off and it had some corrosion on the inner wing, like the structural part of the front clip. The top bank was rusty and been patch-repaired. There was a hole in the driver’s foot and the rear inner and outer seals, rear inner and outer pockets that gone on both. But apart from that, the seals are actually good. Then, taillight, they were gone slightly at the back of the cells, sort of like glass that is a part of the wheel arc. I find a mattress, we turn on inside, I stripped all the sealer and everything off the underneath to bare metal.

Josh Brooks: [00:13:45] And yeah, I just got working on it. And obviously, I’m a welder fabricator anyway at the time, so I fabricate it back together from nothing, like the four-link rear setup on the Starlet, on the axle, I had to throw the spot wells on one of those mountain points and remove that, rebuild all the underneath of that, put it back together. Yeah, I managed to source some rear wheel arches for it, which wasn’t easy. So, we replaced the rear wheel arches. We replaced the inner wheel arches, rare pockets inner and outer, rear seals inner and outer, and we fabricated a top link for it on the left-hand side.

Kelsey Soule: [00:14:25] This was turning into a lot of work for someone to undertake in their spare time.

Josh Brooks: [00:14:29] I was working a shift at the time as well, so I was doing mornings, afternoons, and nights. So, I’d only really get over there when I was on mornings. Afternoons wasn’t any good, and nights, I was just too tired. But from start to finish, I reckon it probably took me three years.

Kelsey Soule: [00:14:46] Three years of working on a car is a true labor of love. And it wasn’t just Josh putting the work in, that same social circle that knew all about his love, Starlet, has rallied around the project.

Josh Brooks: [00:14:56] Dad helped quite a lot. I managed to source a few manuals which helped massively, because I haven’t just treated the rust or repaired the rust off. I have to completely strip the car. Everything that didn’t have a rubber cell or could be stripped has been partly coated. I rebuilt all the brakes, all brand-new wheel cylinders, shoes on the back, all new bushes. We went for the engine, just checked the engine, stripped the engine, just checked it.

Josh Brooks: [00:15:25] There was a slight damage to the inside of the cylinder head, where it looked like had blown a gasket before, but had been used, so there’s a slight little bit of detonation on one of the chambers. So, we changed the cylinder, yeah, which obviously, my mate, Dave Yando at DY Engine Services done all the machine and all the cylinder head for me, so I could get it back to it, to its former glory. Yeah. Dad rebuilt the distributor. Yeah. I’ve been very fortunate really.

Josh Brooks: [00:15:50] Even though I’ve done most of the fabrication and the work myself, I’ve always had someone with similar skills that can help and get involved. I got it back on its wheels, got it rolling, my friend, Robin Wilkins, at the car body shop said that he’d paint it for me. How much do you want for painting it? And he said, I’ll tell you what, if you work for me in the evenings, just help me out for six months, I’ll paint your car inside and out. And yeah, so he painted the car inside and out, door shuts, everything is a full-blown respray.

Kelsey Soule: [00:16:26] Remember earlier when we told you about the MOT test requirement cars have in the UK, the Starlet now had to pass one if Josh wanted to legally be allowed to drive it. Given how hard he had worked on it, even if the car passed, but received a non-mandatory advisory notice, it would have seemed like a failure to Josh.

Josh Brooks: [00:16:44] And [indiscernible] the law, I started bolting it back together, took it for its MOT, and no advisories. So, it would have been pretty good if there was any. I literally just used the car and it feels nice and dry, and nice and sunny. It’s now a tax-exempt car, because it’s now over 40 years old, so I don’t have to pay any tax on it. I don’t have to have MOT.

Kelsey Soule: [00:17:06] And as Josh just said, in the UK, cars over 40 years old are exempt from road tax. But just how old is the Starlet now?

Josh Brooks: [00:17:14] How many years exactly is the car being on the road? From 1979, 42 years.

Kelsey Soule: [00:17:22] And how many miles are on the clock?

Josh Brooks: [00:17:24] 50,000. I’ve still got Ada’s windscreen sponge in the glove box, which she used to clean the window with in the mornings when it was left outside. And I have the receipt for the day she bought the car. The receipt paper is cream, where it’s so old. She traded in a car. I can tell you what’s on the receipt. So, she traded in a car, she paid 2,900 pounds for the car, brand new. She had optional extras of pressed number plate and front seatbelts. You probably won’t know this car, but she traded in a gold Humber Scepter for it, whatever that is. She loved that car, absolutely loved it. And I made a promise to her. I made a promise to her when I was there. I said, if you sell me this car, I will restore it, and I have.

Kelsey Soule: [00:18:18] It’s fortunate that Ada kept her car in such good condition, because restoring it could have been much harder if more expensive work had been needed.

Josh Brooks: [00:18:26] If I wanted to replace everything on this car, I believe it’s impossible, purely because you cannot get anything for them. You can buy serviceable items. We’re struggling to buy body panels now, you can’t buy the front wings, you can’t buy the bonnet unless someone is breaking one. Yeah, you’d never be able to rebuild one, because you can’t buy the panel from scratch, I mean.

Kelsey Soule: [00:18:51] Despite the new parts, Josh believes that his Starlet is still very much the same car it was back when Ada purchased it over four decades ago.

Josh Brooks: [00:18:59] The heart and soul of any car is the engine. That’s the heartbeat. And when you think about it logically, it seems like I’ve replaced a lot, but I’ve probably only replaced 5%, so it’s still 95% the original car. And the engine is original apart from the cylinder head. So, yeah, I believe that the heart and soul of a car is the engine and she’s still in there.

Josh Brooks: [00:19:28] It’s still the original chassis, still the original roof, still the original glass, engine, bonnet, front wings, bulkhead, rare panel, boot led, that’s all still totally original. The biggest thing was the rear wheel arches and that’s only panel replacement parts. So, we’re only talking three inches of the whole wheel arch and shape dimension. There is literally still a hell of a lot. I wouldn’t even class that it’s not the same car.

Kelsey Soule: [00:20:00] A lot of love and care has gone to this car, and through it, Ada’s legacy is still living on. And that means something to Josh.

Josh Brooks: [00:20:07] This car is a one-owner car before I took it home, and it’s born and bred, and it’s come from Radstock Road Motor Company, which is where we live. And so, that’s the reason why, obviously, I was able to see it when I was younger. She lived in the neighborhood, like you said, she bought the car, brand spanking new with her husband from Radstock, where I lived. And obviously, never left and owned the car until the day she died. And it’s still in the area. It’s never been out of the area. It’s a born and bred Radstock car and it’s still there.

Kelsey Soule: [00:20:45] But there’s more to the story than just Josh getting the car of his dreams. What about Ada’s family and what the car meant to them?

Josh Brooks: [00:20:52] So, there’s a bit more to the story. So, I’ve finished the car in 2019. And I thought, you know what, it’ll be nice to try and find this Brian who give me the car. I put literally just Facebook status, because Brian is local, but I say he lives down at Glastonbury, right next to where they have Glastonbury Festival. So, he lives there now, which is probably 20 miles from where I live.

Josh Brooks: [00:21:23] So, I just put a post on Facebook, and I said, look, this is what I’ve done, I’ve restored the car, I’m trying to track down this Brian Derek, so I can show him his mom’s car, and it just took off. I ended up with something like 7,000 shares and I managed to get a number. So, I rang in, and he said, you know what, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing for the last day, with people ringing, telling me about your story. He said, and I’d love to see the car.

Josh Brooks: [00:21:54] I would love to see the car. So, I arranged a time and a date, and this was last year, actually, right sort of in the middle of the year when our lockdown from COVID slightly lifted. So, I was able to show him. So, me and my dad drove it down to Glastonbury one Sunday morning. And he’s got a beautiful farm, that we have him drove it down there, and he absolutely loved it.

Josh Brooks: [00:22:20] I was a little bit skeptical, because the only part of what I’ve done to the car, that is my touch is I’ve put a nice set mini-light color wheels on it, which is the only bit that’s not a standard. I can change and the standard steer wheels back on, and it’s standard, have it come like the factory. And he thought that the wheels was the best fit, he loved it. Yeah, he actually loved what I’d done with the car. It’s quite emotional for him, because he hasn’t seen the car for, like I said, eight years or whatever it was.

Josh Brooks: [00:22:51] He just thought that I just wanted it and he didn’t actually realized what it meant to me already. So, yeah, he had some of his family members down there that had sort of previously looked after it and helped out his mom, so his cousin or whatever had said that I can remember helping my auntie with that, like doing some work on it for bits and pieces. Even the family had had like their own story with this car. Around the Radstock’s sort of Somerset area, my car is a bit of a celebrity, really, should have a blue check on it on Instagram, yeah, but it’s the best thing. Mechanically, best thing that’s ever happened to me, and I will take it to my grave with me.

Kelsey Soule: [00:23:37] It’s safe to say that the Starlet is in the hands of its biggest fan and his love of the vehicle is well-known.

Josh Brooks: [00:23:43] I’ve got a canvas of it on my wall. My fiancee bought me a nice canvas for Christmas of the car. So, yeah, she’s beautiful.

Kelsey Soule: [00:23:52] And Josh isn’t alone. Everyone who interacts with the Starlet seems to come away feeling something special.

Josh Brooks: [00:23:58] Everyone that sees the car, they always have their own sort of attachment to it and their own little memory. It’s like she rubs off on everyone. She’s definitely somewhat special.

Kelsey Soule: [00:24:09] So special, in fact, that Josh got a request for the Starlet to take part in someone’s special day.

Josh Brooks: [00:24:14] I’m a best man for my mate, Dan, obviously, when we’re allowed to hold like a decent wedding. And I’m taking him to the church, he’s asked me personally if I can take him in the car. Dan is another really close friend of mine that was probably with me when I used to talk about Dad having a Starlet, and he knew what a rear-wheel drive Starlet had meant to me, and he knows the car well.

Kelsey Soule: [00:24:39] This story all started with Josh’s desire to buy the Starlet, so how often do people ask if he’ll sell it to them?

Josh Brooks: [00:24:46] If I had a pound for every time somebody said that to me, whenever I’ve been filling up in a petrol station or at a show with it, I wouldn’t have to work again, but I would like to keep the car in my family. You never know what’s round the corner. You can’t predict anything. It’s my family’s car. We’ve all got the same emotional attachment to it. And hopefully, when I have kids of my own, they will have that same emotional attachment as well. Hopefully, they can love it as much as I do.

Kelsey Soule: [00:25:20] One of the places Josh’s passion comes from is a simple love for older cars, something he hopes other people will be able to enjoy in the future.

Josh Brooks: [00:25:28] I hope young people actually get to experience what an older car is like rather than being able to sit in a car, and put your foot on the brake, and push a button, and it starts. Not this one. You got to put the key in the door, turn the key, then you got to pull the choke out of the dash, and let it spin over 10, 20 times before the fuel comes back to the car rear. And if you look at the steering wheel, you’ve got two horn vehicles in the steering wheel, and the actual siren symbol is the same way.

Josh Brooks: [00:26:05] So, they’ve just the right-hand side one and put it in the left-hand side. So, you’ve got one horn at the right way and one horn at the wrong way. For a 1979 car, it’s got H4 headlight. It’s got a light on the dash to tell you if there’s a door open, have some decent stuff in there that’s way before its time. One thing I particularly love about it is when I first got in the car, I said to Dad, I said that the rear windscreen washer jack doesn’t work.

Josh Brooks: [00:26:35] He said, have you checked the fluid? I said, yeah, I’ve just filled it up. He said, no, they’ve got a separate bag in there and it literally is a little water bag that sits in the boot, and that’s your water for your rear windscreen. So, I was filling up the front one, the one in the engine bay, thinking that that would work on the front and the back. But no, it’s literally got like a little camelback sack in the boot.

Josh Brooks: [00:27:00] It’s got some quirks, definitely. Definitely. Yeah. I love it. You don’t get the same fill with a new car as what you do with the older ones. I’ve drove it to work a few times, and I had a guy come over from the warehouse, and he literally said, can I smell the inside? And I was just like, yeah, yeah, carry on. And he opened the door, and smelled it, he’s like, oh, yeah. So, it must be an old car smell.

Josh Brooks: [00:27:26] Everyone loves it. Like you can drive down the road, and I’ll take someone out with me, and I’ll say, you watch. Every single person looks at it, and they look at it, and then they smile. Makes me proud. Yeah, I think everyone should experience an old car. You’ve just got to drive one. You’ve just got to drive one to actually understand what I’m talking about.

Josh Brooks: [00:27:49] People that would be listening to this, like with me saying about the smell when you open the garage and the little quirky things you’ve got to do to get them running, how they run and how they drive, people will be looking and listening, nodding their heads, saying, yeah, I know exactly what he’s talking about. So, I think everyone should experience it. It’s amazing.

Josh Brooks: [00:28:08] You don’t get the same connection with new cars. I mean, I’ve got a car sat on the driveway. I just drive it. I’ve got no emotional attachment to it at all. But this one, I don’t even like bringing out too much, because I feel every time I drive it, well, you put a little bit more mileage on it, and every time you drive it, it’s a risk if someone loses control and crashed into you. It breaks my heart.

Kelsey Soule: [00:28:33] While it’s easy to see how the car’s rarity could make someone anxious to drive it, it’s also a pretty cool novelty to own something so unique, so you want to be able to drive it around so other people can see it.

Josh Brooks: [00:28:44] I believe I’m the only one around in this area that’s got one. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m the only person in Somerset with a driving running Mark I Toyota Starlet. It’s definitely a story that will stay in my family for a long, long time.

Kelsey Soule: [00:29:02] What’s clear is that the car means the world to Josh, and given what he’s gone through with it, why wouldn’t it? Cars means so much to their drivers and it’s amazing when we can find the perfect one for us.

Josh Brooks: [00:29:13] I suppose a car is a bit like a lifelong partner, you know when you find the right one, and I’m very fortunate with this one. It’s hard to explain. It’s hard to explain. I think you’ve got to be a car guy and you’ve got to know what you want. You can’t just have that same connection with every car. When you find the right car, you find the right car.

Kelsey Soule: [00:29:36] We want to thank Josh Brooks for taking the time to share such an incredible personal story with us today.

Josh Brooks: [00:29:41] Thank you for having me on, guys. I’ve really appreciated it. It’s just a shame that you won’t actually get to have that real-life experience with her. You’d go out in the car, and you know what, I know exactly what Josh is talking about.

Kelsey Soule: [00:29:55] Thanks once again to Josh Brooks. If you’ve enjoyed this episode as much as we did, be sure that you’re following the show on your podcast platform of choice or simply head to toyotauntold.com for all the info and links you’ll need. We really do appreciate it when people take the time to rate and review us, so please do so if you’re enjoying what we’re doing. And also, if you have any feedback for us, questions or just suggestions for topics you’d like to hear us cover on a feature episode, we would love to hear from you. Send an email to [email protected] and we’ll get back to you. As usual. all of these things will be linked in the show notes, so check them out. Thanks for listening. Until next time, I’ve been Kelsey.

Tyler Litchenberger: [00:30:37] And I’m Tyler.

Kelsey Soule: [00:30:38] And this is Toyota Untold. This podcast is brought to you by Toyota Motor Sales USA, Incorporated. It may not be reproduced or redistributed in whole or in part without prior permission of Toyota. The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the guest and our hosts, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Toyota. Please note that Toyota is not responsible for any errors, or the accuracy, or timeliness of the content provided. Used with permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


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