Power of Love

It’s a curious thing why, and how, we love our cars

February 28, 2017

In our third and final installment of Love My Car, team members reveal how their vehicles bring out their inner child (think giant mud puddles) and take them where they want to go.


We’re happy that so many of you shared stories about your Toyota and Lexus vehicles. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from your overwhelming number of submissions it’s this: Life is more fun when you drive a car you love.


Holy Batmobile! -- Some girls grew up wanting Barbie’s pink Corvette, but for Concept Manager Jennifer Alvarado it was all about the Batmobile. When she joined Toyota, the Supra was already long gone, but along came the Lexus RC F. It combines aggressive styling with ample power to catch any joker on the streets.

Tailgating in the Taco -- Chad Moore in Product and Sales Engagement Marketing, likes his new Tacoma’s versatility. He can take his bike to the beach, go camping, boating and off-roading in style. And the outlet in the back makes tailgating way easy.



Gone, But Not Forgotten -- Quality Engineer Matthew Nadler will always have fond memories of his 2012 Lexus IS F, which took him to amazing places like Pike’s Peak in Colorado, Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats, East Coast ISF Mega Meet in Delaware, Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit and Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. He and his wife needed a bigger car for their family, so they now own a 2016 Lexus NX200t F Sport.


Nied to Know – This photo was submitted by Driver’s Seat Editor Dan Nied’s mom, Bobbie, who never passes up a chance to embarrass her son. That’s her 2014 Venza, and her granddaughter (and Dan’s niece), Charlene. Bobbie told Dan to, “Tell everyone at Toyota that I love my Venza because it has lots of room.”

Uncharted Territory --  Procurement Supervisor Michael Stewart’s 2006 4WD Tacoma is pictured here by a snow-covered stream on a Forest Service back road near Lake Arrowhead in San Bernardino County, California. His ready-for-anything truck gets him into the wilderness. And back.

Old Faithful – Customer Care Representative James Gilpatrick’s parents purchased this 1987 Camry when he was 18. His father, an auto mechanic who knew that Toyota made dependable cars, died shortly after. Gilpatrick’s world was turned upside down, but his Camry saw him through college, a part-time job, graduation and countless road trips. After 20 years, this Camry is like family. She still has her original 3S-FE 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual transaxle and now has over 200,000 miles. These days, Gilpatrick’s 2016 Prius v is his daily driver, but he hopes this Camry will be around for another 30 years.

Dream Car -- Vernon Holveck at Toyota Financial Services fell in love with the Turbo 4Runner when he was 16 because it represented adventure, road trips, surf trips, car camping and freedom. As the owner of a TRD Pro 4Runner, he’s taken it to remote places, treacherous trails, and long drives into the horizon. His advice: If you’ve never owned your childhood dream car, you should.


‘Sassy Sally’ -- Paralegal Cheri Law’s 2017 Camry is new, but she’s already ventured to her favorite spot in California the Central Coast and affectionately named her “Sassy Sally.”

Room to Grow – TFS Performance Excellence Quality Analyst Kyle Snedeker and his family love their Sienna. Its ability to convert the cargo area from 39 cubic feet of storage into 150 cubic feet is the equivalent of two BMX bikes, a dirt jump bike, three scooters, a skateboard, helmets and two fearless twin boys named Luke and Sean. With a simple push of a button, the power lift gate opens the trunk at the beautiful Snedigar (no relation) recreation center in Chandler, Ariz., and whispers “We’re here, team. Have a great day at the park.”


Howdy, Texas – Enterprise Shared Services Analyst Grace Lanuza and her Tacoma are on the move again in her new home on the range. Can’t set this girl out to pasture!

Inner Child -- Noise and Vibration Engineer Lucas Jaramillo says this car brings out his inner child. Note the giant puddle he’s playing in. His fiancé bought her FJ cruiser in 2012 and it has taken them from the middle of the Arizona desert, through the Rockies and up to the backwoods of Washington State. They’ve added a minor lift and massive underbody protection. They’ve blazed through hood-deep rivers, climbed steep rock obstacle hills and even pulled a broken-down semi-truck from an intersection.



The Family Jet -- Engineer Brandon Roberson loves how much fun his Lexus IS350 F Sport is to drive. His family calls it “the Jet” because they feel like they’re on an airplane when they ride in it.



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