Just wanted to clear this out: Toyota Celsior is known as Lexus LS400 in the United States. Toyota Crown in the U.S. is known as the Toyota Avalon.
There is a scam in the UK where second-hand Toyota Celsiors are imported, then have their badges removed. The Toyota and Celsior badges are then replaced with Lexus ones.
> Never heard of those cars. Did they sell them in America? > From your description of its size, handling and fuel
> economy, it sounds more like my 1983 Dodge Diplomat than
> the Toyotas you see today.
The first Toyota sold in the US was the Crown (1950s), but it was unsuccessful. In the mid 1960s Toyota started selling Coronas, which did much better.
> Toyota Crown in the U.S. is known as the Toyota Avalon.
The Avalon is a stretched Camry, not a Crown. Another difference is that the Crown is RWD, unlike the Avalon.
I don't know about availability of the Crown in the US, but it was certainly available in Canada. I remember getting all interested in a 1966 Crown wagon that a friend had picked up. It was a very clean design with super comfortable seats, a six cylinder (2.6 litres I think), and this one had a 4-speed manual transmission. However, when I finally drove it, it turned me off faster than a cold shower. It had hardly any acceleration and almost non-existent torque compared to my 72 Celica that I was driving at the time. On top of that, it got lousy fuel economy. The Crown was still available into the 70s, but was made uglier with a weird kind of stepped hood. I guess sales were never very good and the Crown was superseded by the Cressida, again with a six cylinder.
The Crown was available in US through 1971 model year, but did not sell well, cost a lot more than the Corona and had weird styling.
Up until 1964, Toyota was known as "Toyopet" in the US.
I had a 1972 Crown for 5 years from new, and I thought it was superb. At the time (in the UK) there were very few dealers and the Yank-tank gone wrong styling didn't help sales. It was also very heavy on fuel.
However, it was very reliable and BL should have bought one to dissect when it was developing the SD1 (the car I traded it in for).
Unfortunately the rust has claimed most of them although I saw one in a classic car mag recently.
OK, here we go. Crowns are not Lexus LS400's, Avalons or anything else. They are a totally separate body shape/chassis model, home market only now. They were about the last 'normal' production car to have a semblance of a proper chassis frame until 1991, hence lots ended up on 'banger' race tracks. Yes, sometimes conservatively styled formal saloon shapes, but ugly - NO. Japanese car detailing is superb. These are better than sloppy yank tanks, with their crude and numb detailing, appalling interiors, badge engineered nose cones, oversized bodies, un reliable and bad on juice etc. Crowns are not sports cars so handling not expected to be a strong point. The 71-74 model is so sought after, especially in pillarless coupe form. The 79-83 sedan is one of the most classically formal styled saloon cars ever. Good performance after '79, with innovative 4 speed overdrive gearboxes, later adopted by Volvo for the 700 series they were so good. From about 1989, these cars available with the Lexus 4.0 V8 engine, in Japan only. From mid-90s, even 4 wheel drive etc. Any car will rust badly if driven through salty muddy roads and not kept clean. Crowns are no more rust prone than any other car in this respect. These cherished cars do exist, hidden away in peoples garages for sunny days, even in England! Toni Gerundini.
I would like to second Tony's comments. I had the privilege of owning a 1974 Super Saloon Crown, which even in 1997 had an equipment specification that outclassed many new cars. It never let me down, and attracted a lot of attention too. I could wander into my Toyota dealer and get parts overnight, although I only had to do it once. One day the '74 MS75 hardtop will be mine, oh yes...
I have a 1976 Crown Super Saloon that has only had two elderly owners and has travelled 95000 Km. I can understand why these cars made such an impact when they were new as they were well above the norm in features and ride quality. Even compared with todays cars the Crown still stacks up well in the comfort department.
Fuel economy is 25mpg and the only criticism is with the non overdrive three speed auto trans. (will be changing it with a Cressida o/d 4speed)
A lovely car that feels like it will last forever.
I am restoring a 1981 MS112 Toyota Crown that has been in the family since 1985. I am a motor vehicle technician and am amazed how well built this car is. I own a Mercedes SL as well, its not built as solid as the Crown! The separate chassis is rot free. I've had no bolts shear off, infact they are still shiny! I can get most parts still from Toyota. Can anyone name a car 24 years on that comes with a fridge as standard and a separate chassis? I know there are some, but it was way ahead of its time. A great car that's incredibly rare!
I'm 17 years old and bout a year ago my grandfather gave me his old car. A 1983 Crown super saloon. Ever since has it been in storage and me battling the rust. Where I live salt is spread on the streets as soon as it drops too zero so no car will last here. My crown was scrap when I got it, but now at present time I have made a lot of fixes and I look forward to have it painted so I can start driving it. Front power windows are broken, the altenrator is fried and the gas gauge is off.
I agree with the comment above, people are getting too worked up over this car and similar cars to boot. It was a cheap sedan made by Toyota over 20 years ago and is nothing special at all. There have been hundreds of great cars from both Japanese and American auto manufacturers, before 1983 and after it. Guys, try investing your time, money, and knowledge into those cars that are surely worth more than $25.
However I'll admit it, you can't keep a good Toyota down, especially ones from the 80s or 90s. They will be keep running despite everything else falling apart.
In response to the last two comments made, I am restoring a Crown as it was my Dad's car. Yes the vehicle is worth peanuts financially. But very few vehicle restorers spend their spare time considering the costs involved, let alone the time! If you restored an 'E' type Jaguar or a classic American car, you would always lose out financially. The market value of the car is irrelevant in this case.