The new-for-1984 Toyota Camry 2.0 GLi wasn't short of junior executive rivals. If you didn't fancy spending around £8500 on Toyota's new flagship saloon, you could opt for anything from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta to the Vauxhall Cavalier CD, and anything in between.
It was just a year since the Camry debuted in the UK, arriving as the slightly less well-equipped GL. This was the company's first transversely mounted front-engine, front-wheel drive car, with power sourced from a 1995cc engine producing 106bhp at 5200rpm.
Top speed was a “wickedly quick” 105mph. Not Petrolblog's words, but the words of Toyota's copywriter, who also claimed that the Camry “will lead you into temptation”.
The use of racy and provocative language landed Toyota in hot water, with the Pedestrians' Association filing a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority. Yes, really.
Forty years on, Petrolblog is tempted by this 1985 Camry GLi languishing on the Car & Classic website. According to the ad, the one-owner car has “been stood inside for 20 odd years” and comes with four original Toyota keys.
It's a Camry, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that it passed an MOT in December with not a single advisory to its name. There's a reason why Petrolblog has a Camry on its fleet of tat.
The seller is asking £1995 for this three-box slice of Toyota history, which seems reasonable for a Camry with 50,000 miles on the clock and a digital dashboard. That's right, the GLi came with a digi dash.
Motor was impressed, saying: “The electronic instrument pack fitted to the new Camry GLi is a good example of its type. The displays, including the well-damped digital speedometer, are a pale green with the exception of the segmented tachometer.
“This follows the shape of an idealised power curve with segments, normally yellow, which turn orange at each 1000rpm increment. With its large and finely-calibrated scale, the tachometer is much more useful than the one fitted to the MG Montego.
“At the touch of a button the fuel gauge can display a scale showing the last quarter of the tank across the full scale depth.”
If that's not enough, the Camry GLi also boasts velour upholstery and a full-width vent across the top of the dashboard. Still want that MG Montego with its "gimmicky" instrument panel? Not our words, etc.
Needless to say, Petrolblog wants to get on a train to Bradford and return home in the Camry, marvelling at the digital dashboard and savouring the velour seats. Yours for the tenth of the price of a top-spec Toyota Aygo.
Happy New Year.
Photos: Car & Classic