The Cars of Team Hightower

We have worn the tires off of many a car over the years. A Pontiac Sunbird V6, Toyota Celica and Toyota MR2 have seen rally miles under Team Hightower. Our Toyota Corolla won many a TSD rally before being caged and subjected to ProRally life. The Mitsubishi Galant GS replaced the Toyota MR2 as our rally sled. A quiet and comfy ride, but a little low on Go. That in turn was replaced by a truely world class car in the Mitsubishi Galant VR-4. Even our Dodge Caravan has been pressed into service on occasion and has even won it's class. Most of these cars are gone now and will be missed, each in its own way.


1998 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS
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The World Rally Championship brought the U.S. the Impreza 2.5RS. While it's not the turbocharged monster the rest of the world got, it is everything else. In 1998 they wetted out tastes with 800 copies, ours is one. And it is red so it is faster!

1990 GMC Suburban V2500
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Purchased from a neighbor to replace the Caravan, this iconic 4x4 is my Search and Rescue rig. Tough and able to handle any of our Northwest roads to help others in need.

1969 Datsun 510
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This is my historic 1969 Datsun 510 rally car. This car competed in the 1972 Press-On-Regardless rally and was later campaigned by Kelly Smith here in the Northwest. I had been trying to buy the car from Kelly for about 10 years when he finally called. Now I'm the proud owner and will be restoring it back to as original to the '72 POR car as I can within the modern safety rules. Check back in and see how Nickel and Dime race team is doing.

2013 Subaru BRZ

I had heard rumors of a new icon being developed at Toyota. I followed this cars development for over three years until it finally arrived on our shores. This is the best handling car I've ever owned. I've now passed this car down to my son to enjoy. Truly, everyone should have a chance to drive one.

1998 Dodge Caravan AWD

Purchased new to provide limozine service to my two growing sons, the Caravan was the classis NW Soccor Mom ride. Kids got older and have cars of thier own so the van was converted to my Search and Rescue vehicle. Fantastic ability to get me and a team into almost any road. However, at the end of the day it was just a K-car.

1970 Datsun 240z
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There was a time when cars weren't run by computers and throttled by emissions control equipment. Datsun stormed the racing scene and not only placed Japan on the GT map, but became a world class competitor in race and rally. TeamHightower has caught a fatal De'Z's. About three of them to be exact. One just recently arrived and one recently left. I have the feeling this is likely to happen over and over again.

1991 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4
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In 1989 the World Rally Championship saw the metoric rise of the Galant VR-4. In 1991, 2000 lucky individuals got a chance to own this turbocharged rally sensation. We were one of those lucky few (several times over). We've owned #1204 (sold) and currently own #768 and #1392.

1989 Mitsubishi Galant GS

Well, in 1989 you couldn't get a VR-4. I got the GS. Later I traded it in on a VR-4. Loved this car anyway.

1987 Toyota MR2

The perfect formula for fun. Quick and nimble with mid-engine, short wheelbase and a high-winding 1.6L engine. Whether paved or gravel, this car always kept a smile on my face.

1981 Mazda RX-7

Purchased to replace the Corolla as my rally car, it never did get the love it deserved. The ideal beater rally vehicle, it's timing was just wrong. PRORally of the time was changing quickly and this car just didn't make the cut. Got a number of tail-happy miles out of her, but she went off to another garage where she could get that lovin' feeling.

1981 Toyota Corolla SR5
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Ahhh, my 'ol Crayolla. This was my first race car and will always be dear to my heart. It was indestructable during our run together and always made a good showing.

1978 Toyota Celica

When I met my soon-to-be-wife this was what she drove. Her first new car.

1978 Pontiac Sunbird Coupe

The Sunbird (and it's sister the Chevy Monza) where never considered much fun in base trim. The v8 version was a monster that tore up motor mounts and twisted frames. However, the 3.6L v6 version was a really nice car. I traveled many cross crountry miles during college in this car. It's Achilles heel was the v6's need to overheat. Ultimately leading to melting the head gasket.

1976 Datsun B210

As a poor college student, I needed a car that I could afford to insure and put fuel in. The small engine in this car fit the bill. What I wasn't expecting was a car so fun to drive. The weight is low enough to make that little motor feel just about right. Also, this car was cheap enough that giving it a good thrashing was ok.

1968 Ford Mustang

Honestly, the best car a high school student could own. At the time these were dirt cheap and easy to work on. Mine was a 289 with a three speed. The tall rear gear meant 0-60 was first gear. Highway speed in 3rd was bearly loping along a 1800 rpm. It didn't take a lot of cash to make one of these fun and down right scary. This car tought me why you spend money on brakes and tires!

1964 VW Beetle

My aunt bought this car brand new in '64. Drove it back and forth to work for 12 years then put in storage for a couple years until I was old enough to drive. My first car was one that I grew up in the back seat (or parcel shelf) of and I loved it dearly. 'Chug-a-lug' and I learned the roads together and taught me much. She was also my first accident. After rolling her I sold her to someone for a dune buggy project. I like to think she's still out there somewhere flying high over the sand.