Ver’s 1973 Toyota Corona Mark II Wagon
Ver Jumamoy has an addiction: vintage Toyotas. Fortunately, he has a wife and family who are very supportive of his addiction. We recently dropped by his home in a gorgeous location near Napa, California to meet Ver and his cars. What a morning well spent!
Q: What is the make and model of your car?
A: Which one? [laughing] The wagon is a 1973 Toyota Corona Mark II. I also have a 1974 Toyota Corolla and a 1971 Toyota Celica.
Q: How did you get into classic cars?
A: It started when I was a little boy! My neighbor had a ’74 Corolla (like the one I have now), and when I was six or seven, they used to let me play on it. In high school I owned a 1981 Camaro, and in the early 1990s, I bought by first classic Toyota Celica.
Q: How did you come to own the Mark II Wagon?
A: My wife wanted a wagon so that she and my kids could ride in the car with me to car shows and stuff like that. I originally wanted a Corolla wagon, but this version of the Mark II is really hard to find—they only made it in 1973. The 1974 and 1972 versions are each different.
The previous owner of the wagon was the Vice President of Toyota Owners Restorers Club, and he felt like he had too many cars. A friend of mine told me that the wagon was about to go on sale, so I called up the owner, and he told me to come down to Southern California to look at it. He wanted it to go to the right buyer, so he interviewed me first before he sold me the car! He asked if I was going to drive it daily, who was going to drive it, where it would be stored, and stuff like that.
I took my wife and kids and drove from the Bay Area down to Redondo Beach to look at the car. Everyone really liked it, and my kids thought we were going to take the car home with us that day, but I told them we had to go back home so I could get a trailer to transport it.
Q: Describe the the wagon’s condition:
A: The wagon is all original; the previous owner bought it from the original owner. She was really old, like a 100 maybe. Not really, but she was pretty old. [laughing] She said she only used it for shopping and to go around the neighborhood.
The wagon is pristine. I changed the gaskets and did all the hoses, you know, stuff that I could change, but otherwise it’s all original. The radio works; the AC works. It really drives like a new car. I think the carburetor needs to be adjusted, but beyond that it’s perfect.
Q: What’s a special personality trait of your wagon?
A: It has the four headlights and a shark nose. It’s really aggressive looking, but it’s a wagon.
Q: How often does the wagon get driven?
A: My wife has a daily driver, but sometimes she takes the wagon to the grocery store. Sometimes when she and the kids go out for pizza, they’ll take the wagon. I’ve driven it to church a couple of times, too. It’s mainly for longer drives when we all go to car shows.
Q: With the wagon, would you say it’s a quick fling or are you in it for the long haul?
A: Oh yeah, I’m going to keep this wagon. It’s is a keeper—it was for my wife! My Corolla is my little girl’s car; she calls it her car. My Celica is my boy’s car; he calls it his car.
Q: If you could choose one passenger to ride along with you in your wagon, who would it be and why?
A: My wife—it’s her car! She supports me with the cars, and she actually likes my cars. I built my Corolla from scratch. It was all rusted out with no interior, no engine. It took four years to rebuild, and it’s not cheap to rebuild a car, but she was very supportive.
Q: Describe your favorite drive:
A: It’s the place of the photo shoot, on a back road to Napa, California: Highway 120. It’s a two-way road, a windy road. There are vineyards, nice houses, horses, and bridges. I bike that road also, and I love it each time I’m on it. Every time I take my classic cars there, I enjoy it. I work in the ER, and it’s very stressful. My cars are my escape. I go on this drive, and I come back refreshed. I like getting underneath the cars, and wrenching, or whatever, and then driving.
Thanks, Ver, for taking letting us spend some time with you and your cars!
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