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1991 Toyota Avalon

For us, the Toyota Avalon is a big sedan tailored for the American market. However, the first car with that name was far from being as monumental and conservative as the cars of 1995, 2000, 2005, and 2012, but was a fantastic creation, the likes of which cannot be found now.

Described in the brochures as a "leisure cruise car," the Toyota Avalon concept, even though it was unveiled at the 1991 Tokyo Motor Show, was born in the United States. It was created by Calty Studio (California Toyota Yamaguchi), which opened in the United States in October 1973. Later, models of Lexus and the now-defunct Scion brand were painted here. The same division created the F100 and the 1978 Celica.

The order to build a unique concept car entered the American studio in the mid-80s, while the Japanese office of Toyota did not limit the designers' imagination. The main requirement is the most effective car. Drawing inspiration from contemporary abstract art - complex sculptures, dynamic shapes - the designers achieved what some today call the " Fiat Multipla convertible." With its concept, the studio tried to create "a dynamic, mysterious style aimed at developing a completely new automotive taste."

The result is the Avalon concept car - very controversial in appearance but memorable. Visitors to the car dealership asked Toyota representatives a straightforward question, which Toyota management probably asked the designers as well: "What is this?" But why explain abstraction? Avalon is simply the vision of designers. Therefore, the questions "what?", "Why?" and why?" are inappropriate here.

In addition to its aerodynamic silhouette, the Avalon featured an unusual roof structure. When the car was left in a parking lot without riders inside, the three-piece glass completely covered the interior (the windshield went down, and the sandwich of glass panels above the trunk lid covered the whole car), which reduced the height of the car to 95 centimeters - which is lower than the original Ford GT40! And when it was time to drive, the panels lifted, and the Avalon became a comfortable four-seater, four-door convertible with a height of 113 centimeters. It is better not to travel in the rain - the car had no other roof.

There is no information about the technical part of Avalon and where to get it - no one has ever seen the concept on the go. The only thing we know about the stuffing is that the cabin had four full-fledged bucket seats with pumping and several LCD screens, on which the picture from the rear-view cameras was displayed. To ensure that the roof opening mechanism always has a supply of electricity, a solar panel was integrated into the rear spoiler, which charged the battery.

Is there a connection between the current Avalons and the 1991 concept car? None, except for the name they inherited in honor of a town in southern California. It's even a little sad that such a bold convertible was reborn as a rather ordinary sedan. But we now know that Avalon could have been different.


Images: Toyota; Concept Car Central; aldenjewell's photostream