The Road Not Taken


So there’s a Prizm GSi sitting in the driveway – now what? A decision will need to be made, which road to take – a faithful restoration back to factory spec, or a restomod of sorts, with improved and modernized pieces?

My first thought was to go faithful restoration – the most notable thing about this particular GSi is its originality. Factory stereo, nearly 100% complete and fairly clean interior – on the outside, all trim pieces and wheels and center caps are accounted for. That said, the car needs to be repainted – there’s some odd cracking in the paint along the lower door panels, a few dings on the passenger side, some damage to the hood and an overall chalkiness that will necessitate twice-weekly waxings to keep at bay. The car doesn’t look bad from 20 feet, but for a true factory-fresh, car show-worthy appearance, paint will be a necessity. I’d like to try the $50 Paint Job, but with a limited palate of colors to choose from for that technique and the  likelihood that I could get a factory finish being rather slim, that would probably be a better choice for a… Restomod. Yeah, I hate that term about as much as “rat rod,” but it’s a reasonable concept here. Rather than be tied to what was Good Enough in 1992, why not use this opportunity to build a better car? Upgrade the wheel and tire package to a more modern 15-inches; install a digital sound system with smart phone adaptability; lose the chintzy and questionably-effective door mounted passive seatbelts, etc. But then that 90s-tastic full logic cassette deck in the dash, the cute little 14-inch alloys and the stupid automatic seatbelts make me reconsider. For now, there are a few little projects that can be undertaken without diverging entirely to one path or another – I’ll chose the path soon, and it will make all the difference. What are your thoughts, dear reader?

2 thoughts on “The Road Not Taken

  1. Great read, I thought about restoring mine to its original factory condition, but then a few years ago when i found out about this cars being an original “Toyota Sprinter”, i decided to do a JDM spec conversion. Its been a slow and expensive journey in acquiring some of the jdm body parts but at last the car is finally taking shape.


    1. Fantastic! I’m usually a stickler for keeping things stock when it comes to rarer vehicles, but yours looks great! Let us know what color you end up painting it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: