How Deep is Your (Car) Love?

Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2017
When we asked for photos of you loving your Toyota or Lexus, we didn’t expect so much amour.
Your stories of car nostalgia, family bonding and road trip adventures warmed our hearts. It also got us wondering just how much time we actually spend in our cars every year. Turns out it’s about 17,600 minutes a year (or seven, 40-hour weeks at the office) so feeling sweet emotions about your car is pretty key here.
Whether you’re shuttling kids to activities, driving cross country or exploring uncharted territory, your cars are clearly part of the family.
Due to an overwhelming response, we’re running Part 1 today of a three-part series. With all this love, we’ve got to spread it around.

Peace Out -- Toyota Financial Services (TFS) Service Desk Supervisor Mindy Shin loves her Highlander because it has a third row (sometimes referred to as time out seats). Each kid can have their own row and mom and dad can enjoy peace and quiet while they put on their headsets.

Count the Ways -- In 2013, Kyle Crouch, a Video Operations analyst at Toyota Motor Manufaturing, Kentucky (TMMK), bought his first Scion xB, a 2013 in Absolutely Red, and was hooked on its spacious interior, distinctive look and ease of ingress/egress. Last year, he flew to a Toyota dealership in Keene, NH, to pick up a 2011 Scion xB Release Series 8.0 (in Voodoo Blue with a sunroof), and road tripped back to Kentucky through five states. This year, he added a 2010 Release Series 7.0 (Murasaki, or purple) that he found in West Virginia. The red one remains his daily driver, but he loves them all equally.

Special Spot -- Paco Martinez Meigneux in the GM Management Office at TFS, loves his Highlander Hybrid because he has access to the “hybrid reserved” spot at his favorite mall in Dallas.

Red, Hot and Ready -- What’s not to love about the 2012 Special Edition FJ Cruiser, says Mark Olson, service support manager in the Kansas City Region. On a summer road trip to Ouray, Colorado, the vibrant red FJ Cruiser’s off-road capability with the rear differential lock and ATRAC made it possible to tackle any trail. The vast array of aftermarket accessories is a big bonus, too.

Dorothy the Dolphin -- Over the winter shutdown, Product Engineer Jon Cunningham took his newly purchased 1988 Toyota Dolphin, aka “Dorothy the Dolphin,” to Northern California with co-worker, William Zimmer. Dorothy is proof that the 28-year-old truck is quality-built. She made it more than 2,000 miles with no mechanical issues. Some of Dorothy’s destinations included: Donner Pass, Reno, Subway Cave Lava Tubes, Whiskey Town Falls, Trees of Mystery, Fern Canyon, Redwood National Park, Eternal Tree House, Glass Beach, Pygmy Forest and Santa Cruz for New Year’s.

Not Afraid to Get Dirty -- Collections CSR Brian Kirchgessner can take his 2016 Tacoma TRD Off-Road anywhere. She climbs anything you put in front of her, loves to get muddy and looks good while doing it. Not to mention, the extended bed makes it easy to sleep in the back under the stars. Kirchgessner is pictured here with his daughter doing some exploring on the Mogollon Rim in northeastern Arizona.

Early Adopter -- Guest Experience and Retention Administrator George Nolan says his wife was one of the first people in Orange County to drive a Prius in 2004. Twelve years later she is now one of the first to drive a Mirai.

Wind in their Hair -- TEMA Senior Engineer Frank Canterbury and his wife Noel take their Lexus SC430 out for a holiday drive in Winchester, Ky. They love that they can drop the SC430’s top for sightseeing in any season.

Winter Trekking -- Why, yes, those are snow chains on a Lexus CT. Training and Communications Analyst Nathan Arndt was ready for wintery weather when he took a drive through Yosemite.

High Adventure -- Production Engineering Senior Manager Michael McGuire (right) with his FJ Cruiser and crew on an annual kayaking trip to Gauley River in West Virginia.

Through Good Times, and Bad -- Steve Espinoza’s story is one of love and loss. The TLS safety and environmental administrator was involved in a hit-and-run accident while driving his Scion FR-S to work in October 2016. He didn’t see the truck that would change his perspective on car safety forever. Glass shattered, air bags deployed and he found himself on the side of the road in the dark. He’d been hit from the rear and pushed across both lanes of traffic into a ditch, where he came to rest after bouncing off a telephone pole. He walked away without a scratch, as the car did everything it was supposed to do in protecting its passenger. 

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