Cleared For Takeoff: 1990 Toyota Sera

If you’ve seen one gullwing-doored Toyota you’ve seen ’em all.. What?! This unusual vehicle is a 1990 Toyota Sera and yes, those gullwing doors are factory correct. It’s listed here on eBay in New Port Richey, Florida. The current bid price is just over $200 and there is no reserve! I wrote about one of these cars about a year ago here on Barn Finds and that one sold for $16,089.99! Whoa. Don’t expect to nab this one for a few hundred or even a few thousand. Let’s check it out.


I like this color much better than the one from last March but I’m sensing a slight color difference in the hood compared to the front fenders on this car. There is no CarFax or anything like that to check out the car’s history but it could be a shadow or something easy like that. It sure looks like a regular 1990s melted bar of soap car in the above photo. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

But yeah, those doors! Obviously, that’s the big hook here, that they’re actually factory gullwing doors. As in, someone at Toyota said, “Hmm.. you know, making all of these reliable, fuel-efficient, useful vehicles is getting old. Let’s.. let’s put gullwing doors on a Camry!” “No, that won’t work, what else do we have?” “How about the Sera?” “So it is said, so it shall be done.” And with that, I give you the 1990 Toyota Sera with the coolest doors this side of a Mercedes-Benz 300-SL or a 1961 Lincoln Continental. Or, better yet, one of the sexiest cars of all time, the scissor-door Lamborghini Countach. I know, there have been other vehicles with cool doors. My 1965 Chevy panel van – a former laundry truck – had sliding front doors that I used to leave open as I drove it, sitting on the single pedestal seat. It wasn’t quite as safe as this Sera would be. The seller imported this example 3 years ago.

Oops-a-daisy, what happened with the steering wheel?! That worries me a little bit. Actually, it worries me a lot. I have to wonder if that’s one reason why the bid price is so low? There should be an airbag steering wheel there, of course. I rarely like it when someone switches a complicated thing like an airbag steering wheel out for a non-airbag wheel unless it was done by a competent and certified shop. Let’s hope for the best there, and all of us have vehicles without airbags so that isn’t my main concern. For the record, it’s a “Momo” steering wheel, according to the seller. Other than that, the interior looks drop-dead perfect to me. The back seat passengers may have to watch their skulls on speed bumps. The side windows are a bit like Subaru’s SVX and the Delorean and several other window-in-window configurations.

There are no engine photos, unfortunately, which is unusual for an eBay listing. It should have Toyota’s 5E-FHE 1.5L inline-four with a mere 110 hp. With the automatic transmission in this car and the newly-rebuilt AC system on high, which you’ll need with all of that glass, there will be a lot of drag on this engine. This one has been “garage kept from day one” according to the seller. It has “New timing belt, New KYB struts, New alignment, New wheel balancing, New engine oil, New transmission oil, New transmission filter and gasket, New tires, New battery”. That’s a lot of new. Have any of you seen a Toyota Sera before? What’s your favorite crazy-door car?

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    These are actually all that. The auto is geared better then the manual and will cruise fine at 70 mph all day long. The mechanical parts are the same as our Paseo.

    The doors are unique as you can park in tight quarters and the door will not bump into the vehicle next to you. The hatch is one solid glass panel. Almost a 360 degree of the sky. This is a pleasure on a cool summer evening to just cruise around the city.

    On the road these get more attention then a parade float. Just a great driver. Other unique features are the projection headlights. One of the first cars to ever receive them. It has automatic temperature control. Proof that the Japanese keep all the best technology in their home land. This is a popular color with the early Sera’s. Many JDM toys and brochures feature it. Many went to the UK years ago. Then to Canada. Due to the 25 year old rule now the US.

    Like 6
  2. Redragula

    Should’ve sold them here. Pretty advanced looking for 1990, I would guess this
    would be from the early 2000’s

    Like 3

    Love it.
    I just hope there’s affordable replacement glass somewhere
    on this planet.

    Like 4
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      What he said.

      Like 2

    I got parts for mine from a place in the UK and were not all that expensive. Anyone with a Sera on US soil can find them on the web. Prices and shipping were not that bad.

    One can check ebay. There were several sellers from Japan parting them out. Usual stuff because you don’t see what you want send a note. They might have it.

    Like 1
  5. Gay Car Nut

    Que Sera, Sera. Whatever will be, will be. :)

    Like 3
  6. Andre

    Fun fact – allegedly these were the inspiration for the A-pillar hinged gullwings on the Mclaren F1.

    Cool and quirky little cars. I dig it.

    Like 3
  7. Beatnik Bedouin

    NZ got the Toyota Sera as ex-Japan cast-offs many years ago. They’re now a pretty rare sight on our roads as they were scrapped once they wore out, mechanically.

    Like 2
  8. Nate

    One of these sold today at Barrett-Jackson for $14,300. The same kind of car, with the same mileage…

    Like 3
  9. Bakyrdhero

    I wonder if it was crashed and they saved money by not replacing the airbag?

    Like 0
  10. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    My 98 SL500 got a lot of attention with the doors up.

    Like 1

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