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Toyota Camry Solara convertible: Not dead yet

August 12, 2008 |  5:22 pm

autos cars Los Angeles Times Toyota Camry Solara COnvertible Coupe August Olympics Air Conditioning Appreciation Week Psoriasis Awareness Month pulling the plug Kentucky manufacturing plant customer demand stay of execution With the Olympics and the Democratic National Convention happening in August, Toyota was probably hoping no one would notice its move to pull the plug on the Camry Solara convertible. But dealers and customers had other plans.

After hearing from sun-worshiping Solara lovers, Toyota has performed a U-turn and given the car a reprieve. "It was a car our customers demanded," says Steve St. Angelo, president of the automaker's Kentucky manufacturing operation. So this unprepossessing drop-top now has a two-year stay of execution. In 2007, the Kentucky facility built 28,479 Solaras (both convertible and coupe models). It's not easy to ascertain how many were sold, because all Camry-based models are reported as one figure.

The Solara convertible, starting at $27,440 and a running a 3.3-liter V-6, is quite pleasant (the coupe might still be on the chopping block), but it's hardly the stuff of motoring legend. No doubt even Toyota was surprised by the amount of passion stirred up by the car's threatened demise. The lesson here is surely never to underestimate a librarian.

Colin Ryan

Photo: Toyota