By on March 12, 2014

20 - 1986 Toyota Cressida Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Toyota Cressida is now at its moment of peak junkyard availability, with most examples finally getting to the point at which repairs just aren’t justified by the car’s value. The Cressida was an extremely well-built car by 1980s standards, and a pretty good car even through our jaded 21st-century eyes (which view vehicles that get scrapped before 200,000 miles as suspiciously crappy and/or abused). We’ve seen this ’80, this ’82 this ’84, this ’87, this ’89, and this ’92 in the Junkyard Find Series so far, but today’s Cressida is the first wagon.
07 - 1986 Toyota Cressida Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis one had 234,392 miles on the clock when it finally took that last tow-truck ride.
17 - 1986 Toyota Cressida Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI shot this in Northern California in January, and this temporary registration expired in August. That means the car was probably still legal when it got towed away for parking tickets and its fines not paid (most likely) or sold for scrap.
08 - 1986 Toyota Cressida Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNo rust. None at all. Fans of old Japanese cars in rusty areas, you’d better come west and rescue some stuff like this.
12 - 1986 Toyota Cressida Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe same DOHC 5M-GE engine that Supras got. In fact, the whole car is full of Supra drivetrain and suspension hardware.
01 - 1986 Toyota Cressida Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWorth restoring or converting into a drift car? Not in California!

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143 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1986 Toyota Cressida Wagon...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    A very rare find indeed. I wonder what sort of customer the Cressida estate attracted? Tired of their Volvo 240/760? Not into a Merc E____? Subaru too weird? Civic Wagon not posh enough?

    Anyway, a pretty dignified ride all in all. It strikes me that the radio controls look very complicated to use. What was supposed to be on/behind that panel over on the passenger side by the door?

    I find the dual rear wipers quite odd.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Looks like the base price of a Cressida Wagon was $16,190 in 1986. That’s $34,553 today.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        So that’s more than the top Volvo wagon, I’d think. Few grand under the Mercedes option?

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          A base 740 wagon was $20,710 which is $44,000 today. An E-Class was $34,700 which is $74,059* today.

          A 760 GLE Turbo Wagon was $24,920 which is $53,186 today.

          * Its always interesting to note how expensive a Mercedes was back in the day.

          FWIW I used the NADA guide to find the original MSRP and the bls CPI inflation calculator.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            OMG*

            *That’s too much money for an E-Class wagon.

            Thanks for the figures, I always have a hard time finding old MSRPs.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            German car prices were nuts in the ’80s, thanks to currency arbitrage and a steady flow of yuppie customers. This drove the gray market until the dealers had that shut down. Even so, a car built to the standards of a W124 wagon could arguably be worth paying $75k for these days.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Just to through this out there: CPI inflation is based on consumer prices (hence the C and P) so for the most part as real wages have stagnated for the last 30 years food and other basics have increased slower. A general rule of thumb is 3% and 100% every 2 decades. The CPI index hides the real prices of large purchases due to the stagnation in food and other basics.

            So just for reference that base 740 Wagon is closer to 60K and the E-Class closer to 100K which is actually sounding pretty accurate to what the market was doing.

            Just to compare: A base mustang prices out to around 22K using the base-inflation formula and around 16K for the CPI one. The base-inflation model is more accurate to the world it would seem in this case.

            EDIT: Cressida was hovering around 46K…Forgot to include that. Which is insanely expensive by any stretch but still fits into the Volvo model of foreign = luxury ideal.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        That price for the Cressida sounds low. Was there a price leader model? You could spend that money on a disposable sedan with FWD, a pushrod engine, approximate assembly and a transmission that you worried about every time you took a drive.

        I knew two people that had these wagons when new. The one in my neighborhood shared its driveway with a 944 Turbo. The other belonged to one of the top ambulance chasers in Virginia. His other cars always included a combination of Mercedes-Benz biggest engine with two doors, i.e. a 560SEC followed by a 600SL. The resulting perception was that Cressidas occupied a higher social strata than Volvos did, with their aging dirty hippy stigma.

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          http://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-american/curbside-classic-1986-toyota-cressida-the-proto-lexus/

          A commenter mentions that his ’86 stickered for $19,100 which is $40,764 today. Still less than the base Volvo.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            New Volvos started at $14,370 in 1986. Volvo 240 wagons were $14,860. That makes much more sense. They were not luxury cars; more hair shirts worn by college professors that never fully adopted the hygiene they rejected as undergrads. The 740 Turbos did better with the yuppie market, but people must have been suffering from advanced myopia to pay more for one of them than they could have paid for one of these. I know that’s my excuse for not buying a Cressida if the price was only $16K!

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            “New Volvos started at $14,370 in 1986. Volvo 240 wagons were $14,860. That makes much more sense. They were not luxury cars…”

            $14,370 in 1986 is $30,669.46 today and that’s for a base 240.

            They may not have been a luxury car but they were certainly a premium car.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Our 1985 Dodge Lancer ES Turbo with automatic, A/C, 6-speaker AM/FM cassette, cloth seats, digital dash, and 14 inch alloys(15s were available) was $13K with those options. It did not have the available sunroof, leather, power windows, power locks, bigger tires, even fancier radio, two-tone paint or any of dozens of other options. A loaded Lancer/Lebaron GTS was over $16K. Our 1987(purchased summer of ’86) Porsche 924S was about $22K with optional sunroof, quadraphonic Blaupunkt, transmission, and wheel locks. Our ’88 BMW 325 purchased in February 1988 to replaced the self destructing Dodge stickered for around $24K with optional LSD.

            Maybe the cars were expensive, but times were good. Houses purchased before Jimmy Carter had practically been paid off for free. Our way of life was triumphing. People had more than hope, they had jobs. After years of austerity, many people rewarded themselves with rapidly improving cars in the late ’80s.

          • 0 avatar
            CapVandal

            In 1987, JPY, the Yen was 160 per USD.

            These would have cost a fortune in Japan. I’m sure it is a lot more complex, if not impossible to get a true ‘apples to apples’ comparison — difference in inflation rates, purchasing power parity, etc.

            By the mid 90’s, the Yen dropped below 100 for a while, before weakening again.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        Isn’t it funny how time erases those differences? it’s hard to tell initial price, and status, when all you have to go by is a 30-year old junkyard carcass. Makes me want to judge the current cars with that eye.

      • 0 avatar
        mvlbr

        That price seems low and the reason I mention this is because my father had an 87 sedan with no leather seats but did have the sunroof and the Technics stereo and he said it had costed him around $23k in 1987.

        • 0 avatar
          CapVandal

          As I recall, a lot of Toyotas and Hondas sold for full sticker price in the 1980’s — and some had dealer add ons as well. The dealers had a ‘take no prisoners’ approach.

          Toss in 5% sales tax and it could be expensive to get one ‘on the road’.

          • 0 avatar
            Dodge440391SG

            Right. Here in Florida, one must pay the 1K addition to the sticker awarded to “Southeast Toyota” for the area franchise. Take it or leave it, but the list is somewht more flexible than in the ’80’s.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      I parked beside a late 90s Camry wagon recently and took some pictures of it on my phone. I didn’t realize until I looked at the pictures later that the Camry wagon had dual rear wipers. A weird Toyota trait at the time I guess. Just like the weird trait of them formerly building their cars for the long haul.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Wow, I would have loved to have this wagon new. What a blast it must have been!

    This one (and any still out there) are rare as hen’s teeth.

    • 0 avatar
      daiheadjai

      I see one in my neck of the woods tearing it up on local roads.
      It has an aftermarket exhaust, and sounds very mean – lowered stance with what appear to be BBS mesh-style wheels.

      Very interesting sleeper – and the owner drives it hard too.

  • avatar
    jco

    the double rear wipers! also seen on the last version of the camry wagon sold here

    here in the South where cars also tend to live a long time and still get used daily, i haven’t seen a cressida in forever

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    Somebody near me owns a brown one as a daily driver, it’s very clean and he’s had it for years. One day I saw it on Craigslist and he talked about how he had a whole supra engine/drive train swapped in, but he must of had a change of heart as he took down the ad and still drives it.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    I know a couple fellow X-chassis drifters that would blow a head gasket over this.

    Is that a pristine M30 hardtop 2 over? I bet it is. California, I hate thee.

  • avatar
    vtnoah

    My family had one of these from the late 70’s early 80’s that was forest green with wood paneling. Pretty rad!

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    Love it! I’m most jealous of lack of rust out there. Forget the nice weather, ocean, etc. Old cars don’t rust!

    I’ve had this pipedream of hauling back old j-tin to northeast Ohio and supplying the east coast with low-cost older japanese cars. Nothing special per se, just stuff like this that is darn near impossible to find here anymore. My best friend did just move to San Francisco. Maybe we need to work up a business plan :)

    • 0 avatar
      DeeDub

      I’m flying to Texas tomorrow to bring home an LS400 that looks like it just came off the showroom floor. The owners of the few clean ones here on the east coast want a king’s ransom for them, presumably because they’re so rare. Even with the cost of one way airfare and the road trip back added in, better deals are found in the south and west.

      • 0 avatar
        zach

        Congrats, what year? Talk about an overbuilt vehicle, this is the car that MADE other luxury cars focus on reliability .

        • 0 avatar
          DeeDub

          2000, last of the line.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Platinum Edition? Coach Edition? Two-tone/monotone? Chrome v. alloy?

          • 0 avatar
            DeeDub

            Wanted a Platinum for the monotone paint but couldn’t find one in the condition I wanted. Two tone silver, black leather, alloys, no nav, 80K miles, one owner, taken to the dealer for every burp and fart its entire life. I can not wait to get my paws on it! :)

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Sounds like about $12k.

          • 0 avatar
            DeeDub

            Here around DC it would be. In TX it’s $9K.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I love accurately pricing things in my head. I suppose $9k is pretty good for the condition, and considering it’s the last of the slab-side Lexus’s. I approve.

            No gold emblems on silver-silver I hope!

          • 0 avatar
            zach

            My uncle I want to say a 1995 LS400, I remeber slamming the door and thinking how Lexus could make something that moves and seals sound like a work of art ,I was about 13 at the time,flash forward to about 3 years ago when he retired the car it had over 400K miles of apparently almost trouble free motoring with many Missouri to east coast trips, and it was not babied.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Sounds like a 13 year old needs slapped for slamming the door on a friends new LS.

            “What are you thinkin?!!” *back of head slap*

          • 0 avatar
            DeeDub

            Heheh. Gold emblems were right up there with navigation on my Do Not Want list.

          • 0 avatar
            FAHRVERGNUGEN

            I took Amtrak NYC to Richmond to pick up an off-lease 1999 Avalon XLS Platinum Edition in ’02. Was $5k below local market because no one in VA wanted a black car. Drove it home and never ‘looked back’ on that deal.

      • 0 avatar
        zach

        Uncle also had one for years, very nice indeed.

        • 0 avatar
          Lightspeed

          When I park my Cressi next to my Lexus, I see a lot of similarity in the build technique and materials. Interesting how Toyota looked at the Cressida and thought, “What if we throw another $15,000 worth of technology and build quality at this thing?”

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I remember when I was 10 years old, seeing a neighbor (in a neighborhood full of GM execs) wash his nearly new Cressida sedan, and based on the fit, finish & design of the interior, and the quality of the assembly & paint, JUST FEELING A DEEP FOREBODING about the dire straights the domestic automakers were then in.

            It’s as if my eyes had been opened to the true lack of competitiveness of the American Automakers – and I was only 10 years old.

      • 0 avatar

        It took me 18 months to find a sufficiently clean LS400 to buy, and I’m in a rust-free part of the country. Of course, I made my job harder by insisting on a 1997 or earlier model (the 98-up LSs look a bit too German to satisfy my need for a classic Japanese luxury car). The problem with high-end cars is that once they’re past their first owner, they tend to get thrashed. My first choice was an early Q45, but it proved utterly impossible to find one that hadn’t been lived in by 11 Juggalos.

        • 0 avatar
          Steven Lang

          I’ve been putting around town in a 1994 LS400 that I have about $1200 in at the moment. Bought it for $900 and a $120 seller fee. Re-attached the serpentine belt, replaced the fuel pump, and it drives like a true boulevard cruiser.

          Funny thing is I also bought a 1983 Mercedes 300D Turbo for the same price back in 2013 which was just traded in this past week. We’re going to be using that one for a movie shoot tomorrow.

        • 0 avatar

          So TRUE. I love the original solid-grille Q45’s, but they are literally impossible to find a nice one. They don’t exist any more.

          Same with J30’s, M30’s, G20’s. Shame. All cool cars.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I should have bought the silver 2005 LS430 in Tennessee that I almost did back in 2010.

            At that time, used luxury cars were CHEAP, and this one was a CPO, one owner car, an immaculate title, with an all same dealership service record binder, and a mere 34,000 miles on it for the ASKING price of $19,500.

            I had everything planned and was a day away from driving down there with my brother, cashier’s check in ha d, but alas, it just wasn’t meant to be, as a family emergency took precedent.

            That same car in similar condition and background was selling for at least 5k more by the same month of 2011.

            I would much rather have an LS430 than either an LS460 or Mercedes S500 (but for different reasons).

  • avatar
    zach

    Sigh, I miss the overbuilt Japanese cars of the 80’s-early 90’s…My ’97 Maxima was one of the last ones IMHO, had a ’94 Camry then a 2001 Camry, the interior of the 2001 was obviously cost cut to death, mainly the dash, it just screams CHEAP, though It doesn’t have a squeak or rattle anywhere it’s entire life in the midwest, you can tell Toyota was becoming pretty pretty comfprtable with the Camry’s sales.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      1996-1997 is about right. The Japanese asset price bubble burst in 1991-1992, and American consumers were revolting at high car prices jmo quoted; so that is when the Japanese cost cutting began.

      Speaking of Camry, the peak for the Toyota Camry was 1991-1996; they started price cutting the next generation. (According to Wikipedia, In late 1991, development on the XV20 commenced, design work was completed in 1994 and later launched in the United States in September 1996 and Japan in December 1996; so the timing relative to the bubble burst is right.) Of course, it was still well made, and you still see tons of them on the road.

      I’ve mentioned it times before; but that was the double edged sword that hurt the 1996-1999 Taurus. They emulated the 1991-1996 Camry in terms of quality build, and raised the MSRP to match. But at the same time, Toyota cost cut the XV20 Camry, and lowered prices accordingly. So not only was the Taurus styling not well liked, but it was expensive compared to it’s competition. Ford responded by offering a lower grade “G” trim in mid-year 1996. But, the damage was already done; and the Taurus lost out to the Camry from that point forward. Everyone continued cost cutting the next generation; as you noticed.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I’ve been thinking – people always lament the end of the 96 Camry as the last of the overbuilt, super-interior versions. However, it occurs to me that the real LAST ones would’ve been the 99 Avalon. This extends your buying years for dandy V6 Camry+ by 3 years.

      • 0 avatar
        zach

        I’m guessing an overbuilt 90’s Yota would cost about 40K today, and you’d get a Camry LE maybe.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        This myth is ridiculous. There is really no appreciable difference in the quality between the 3rd and 4th Gen Camry and many of the “cost cutting” the hater brigade that are clueless yells from roof tops about came from using 4 bumper clips instead of 8 and integrating the grille into the bumper instead of having two different things.

        The 4th Gen Camry was still miles above anything else in quality at the time, including the Accord. Wanna talk dashboards? The Accords is cheap hard plastic and has been until this generation. But nobody here seems to notice.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          Motor Trend discussed the things that were done to save money between the two generations…going from memory, some of the cuts were the aforementioned cheapening of the front clip by reducing the complexity of it, dropping the triple seals, eliminating the hydraulic variable speed radiator fan, lower grade rear seat material….I do see 4th gen Camrys with bumper covers that no longer match the body, paint peeling on the roof. I know you love your Toyotas but there is a radical difference in build quality, even it reliability did not suffer. And yes, it still was better than much of the competition, but that is not the discussion here.

          • 0 avatar
            84Cressida

            The newest 4th Gen Camry is almost 14 years old. Bumpers that don’t match has to do with body shops repainting and not blending the paint correctly, you see it on many cars.

            Clearcoat failing appears on any car if it’s not waxed and spends most of its time in the elements. I see lots of Gen 4 Camrys with good, original paint jobs.

          • 0 avatar
            jhefner

            Nice try, golden2husky; but 84Cressida is living in a parallel universe from the rest of us; and no amount of facts is going to change that. Which is why I did not bother to look up the nugget I quoted from “Car: A Drama of the American Workplace” by Mary Walton so I could get him a page number.

            All 4th gen Camrys have visited body shops and had their new bumpers poorly blended in; and all but poorly treated Camrys have perfect paint (which clashes with his statement about all of them visiting body shops at some point.) Definitely a parallel universe, where American cars did not continue to improve after 1985, and only reached parity with Japan in 2007.

            I knew the minute Murilee posted this yesterday morning that 84Cressida’s postings were going to be interesting; and he did not disapppoint me.

          • 0 avatar
            84Cressida

            Facts that the newest 4th Generation Camry is almost 14 years old, that many have no doubt by now gone through many different owners with various definitions of care.

            Considering fender benders are one of the most common types of accidents, and the fact that bumpers that get repainted, especially in metallic paints, are hard to blend and match due to the paint reacting to plastic differently than metal, it’s not unheard of to see many cars where they look off. I don’t see Camrys have this problem, certainly no more than any other car, but apparently only Toyota should get blamed for this.

            Since you accuse me of no facts, why don’t you post up some “facts” that Camrys are somehow more prone to clear coat failure than any other car. I’m sure the guy that bought a beater Camry off craigslist waxes and polishes it twice a year, but the clearcoat is still coming off. I don’t doubt him at all.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          That is because the Camry is so deathly dull that there is nothing to do but ponder the interior fittings and how the bumper is held on. Accord drivers were presumably having too much fun to care.

        • 0 avatar
          jhefner

          The Camry was no more prone to clear coat failure than any other car. All the manufacturers switched to water based paints in the 1990s. Based on my understanding of the problem; when the freshly painted cars were placed under the heating lamps to cure; certain colors in particular absorbed heat faster than others; which caused them to cure faster and did not allow the clearcoat to bond properely.

          So rather than a particular make or model, it was particular colors – black, white, dark blue, dark red and dark green were the worst. Silver was also bad because they could get by with using less paint.

          Once the clearcoat starts to fail; washing and waxing only makes it worst — with each pass of the washing mit, towel, or water spray, you take flakes of clearcoat off. There is nothing you can do about it; I know this from having two cars — one a 2001 Suzuki, one a 1990 Chrysler, both dark blue — that had this problem. By the time we got rid of the Suzuki this year; all of the clearcoat was gone from the roof, trunk, and much of the hood, and the problem was spreading down the sides.

          Early 80s cars with the plastic bumper covers were grey because they were sprayed with a UV protective coating instead of paint. The automakers could not get paint to adhere to the plastic without cracking or flaking when flexed. Finally, they found a formulation that worked, and they painted them instead. without the UV protective coating, they become brittle and shatter with age; and the paint looks and fades differently.

          Keeping it under cover and out of the weather helps. The Taurus has mostly been under a carport or in a garage for most of it’s life; the front bumper cover has paint worn off by the carwash now; but the color looks good along with the rest of the car. The back bumper, which has recieved more exposure; has faded.

          In Mary Walton’s book, she says that when Ford engineers set out to design the 1996-1999 Taurus, they choose the 1991-1996 Camry as their benchmark. So, they took a Camry apart down to the last nut and bolt, and hung the parts on sheets in a warehouse for inspection.

          They were shocked by features such as the triple seals; but went on to duplicate the quality in 1996-1999 Taurus. That is why to me it was the peak for Taurus quality; you still see lots of these on road, along with the 1991-1996 Camry. That is also why I cannot subscribe to your theory that American cars continued to get worst after 1985; they were watching and learning from the competition as well as innovating on their own.

          Where the next generation Camry had costs cut was not in the paint, but the things golden2husky mentioned: cheapening of the front clip by reducing the complexity of it, dropping the triple seals, eliminating the hydraulic variable speed radiator fan, lower grade rear seat material. Most of these can be confirmed just by a visual comparision.

      • 0 avatar
        CapVandal

        FWIW, in 1995 the Yen strengthened and hit 100/USD. Fits nicely with the de-contenting theory.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      If anyone experienced Tercels of the 80’s they wouldn’t be calling Japanese cars “over built”.

      Mine was well put together, but the materials were utter rubbish even compared to domestics of the time.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I remember vinyl covered cardboard door panels, kind of like the sides of my sister’s Barbie Camper. The cubist design left much to be desired, but I don’t think the materials were rubbish compared to the domestics. We once picked up a Cadillac Sedan DeVille with 37 miles on the odometer and the stitching pulling out from the seams of its crushed velvet seats. Fake chrome trim wasn’t as long as the track it was supposed to sit in. One of the column stalk ends snapped off, so brittle was the plastic used.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        I had a rental Paseo in Colorado years ago, and while there were a lot of cheap parts and an overall tininess to the doors, the actual structure was tight and the dash assembly was well built with quality materials. I would call it a quality inexpensive car as opposed to a cheap car like a Cavalier.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    The second time I saw one, the driver had placed the autobelt behind her shoulder, presumably to shut up the disconnected seat belt minder. As she parked the car and proceeded to rapidly exit, the retracting mechanism wrapped the belt around her neck and dragged her back into the car, accompanied by her loud squawking.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I love my Cressida (1990) but the wife says it has to go (RWD and 6-month long winters). I’d kill for a wagon Cressi though. 24 years old and my Cressi is smooother on the highway than my Lexus GS.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That’s because the mission of the GS is sports. I always found mine a little jittery and harsh as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Lightspeed

        True, the front suspension on the GS is a massive fail, the rest of the car, quite nice.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I wonder (my dad wondered the same) how much they changed the suspension for the 400/430 versus the 300. His idea was the 300 probably rode softer, because he bet they didn’t change much on the suspension to support the heavier V8 engine.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You could find it a new home but know you will never find “that car” again in a metaphorical sense. In your shoes I’d hang onto it for as long as you can, maybe get it antique plates when they become available and take it to shows.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Nice if bland old “Yota .

    Is this the same wretched V-6 that’s in my ’91 Camry Sedan ? .

    The radio up high on the dash looks strange in this .

    BTW : Japanese cars *do* rust here in Sunny California , just slower .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Motorized seatbelts.

    The spawn of Satan.

    • 0 avatar
      sitting@home

      Yes, it sent shudders down my spine just seeing them again. Immediately brought back the memories of that grinding/whirring sound when you weren’t sure if you were going to get decapitated when you closed the door or if they’d just fall apart in a crash.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    I hope it gets completely used, though I wish someone had gotten it first. A friend of mine in Louisville bought one he found in CA a couple of years ago. Same body, but maybe different year, because the interior upholstery was deeply tufted velour. Inside and out a light silver blue. Like showroom new. Every window gasket, supple and black, no wear on paint shine, carpet, etc. It was a remarkable find for $2500? I’m always partial to this shape. Still love old Cherokees, have owned two 740 wagons, and really like the Flex. Give me square.

  • avatar
    alsorl

    My family had a 1986 Cressida sedan. Good car except for the rear diff clunked after 6000 miles and was replaced twice. And the interior got sticky in the Florida heat. Kinda like the first Hyundai excel’s.

  • avatar
    kinsha

    Cressida and supra always shared the inline six.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    An even less seen Cressida was a limo version . I don’t know who built it but a guy who owned an antique shop here in Houston owned a limo conversion of this same era ( I think ) that I would see parked in front of his shop for a number of years . As I recall it was a bit ungainly looking .

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    I’m going to have to give the edge to the Maxima wagon of the same era.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/2nd-Nissan-Maxima-wagon.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      It does look more modern, and a bit less stodgy than the Cressida. BUT, it hasn’t got RWD, and at that time the nameplate was much less impressive (and really still is, as the Cressida died as the 4DSC has been continually watered down). As well, personally never liked the bumpers on that model Max, they’re just a bit too big and blocky.

      • 0 avatar
        PRNDLOL

        Both cars pale in comparison with the models that replaced them, but I’d still give the edge to the 89-93 Maxima.

        • 0 avatar
          84Cressida

          Even though the comparable Cressida is better…

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          As well, you can’t compare an early-mid 80s Cressida with a late 80s early 90s Maxima.

          I think you used the “pale in comparison” thing backwards.

          • 0 avatar
            PRNDLOL

            You didn’t understand me. I meant both the Cressida and Maxima were replaced with far superior versions for 88/89.

            As far as two different drivetrains setups go, both were offered as near-lux entries before Lexus and Infiniti were created, and I’m sure were crossed-shopped as direct competitors more often than not.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I want someone to compare one of these, a Volvo 240 wagon, the Benz equivalent, and whatever BOF or W-body wagon yacht GM was making at the time.

    Of course these would have to be 20 years old so we see how they hold up, I almost never see Cressidas and Mercedes are rare due to their price.

    • 0 avatar
      -Nate

      I have a European Spec. 1985 Mercedes 300TD Wagon , it’s a nice car that gets nods and compliments every where it goes .

      More rounded design than this Toyota though .

      -Nate

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Just don’t let the hippies touch it, I dunno if I’ll ever own a Benz myself due to their parts prices.

        The only Toyotas I’d ever own are odditys like this with its double rear wipers, when Japan quit trying to make their cars Japanese-ish they lost their charisma, its why we remember Supras and 300ZXs but practically forget about MRS’s.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          You’ll never lose the Charisma.

          http://www.cars-directory.net/pics/mitsubishi/carisma/2003/mitsubishi_carisma_a1217660423b1931378_5_orig.jpg

          Cause it got the front of a Renault and the back from a 3-Series.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      1986 would have been A-body: Celebrity, Ciera, etc.

      I still see 80’s Mercedes and Volvos, but I hardly ever see Cressidas and Celebritys.
      I saw a Citation last year (not a wagon, obviously), and it seemed stranger than seeing a Packard. Maybe they will become the ultimate automotive rarities.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        I see some GMs of the period (usually ratted beyond beleif) and occasionally old people K-Cars, Cressidas are far and few between.

        I see more Volvos than anything, almost always in decent shape with little rust.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      There is an older gentleman near my work who still drives a Camry wagon, but I’ve never seen a Cressida wagon till today.

  • avatar
    wmba

    As an actual car enthusiast, I find it amazing that some old Toyota is praised merely for its ability to last. Fellow down the street had one that lasted for almost two decades, and which rolled like a drunken turtle navigating down the almost alpine switchbacks out of our subdivision. Never saw worse.

    So as an interesting car it was a complete bust. Imagine sentencing yourself to drive this underachiever for 20 years. Your mind would have to be totally out of gear and imagination.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      They’re praised because of their reliability, style, build quality, and their technology and performance. But your stupid post proves you don’t even have a clue. Some “car enthusiast” you are…

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Style? Yea sure, the Cressida just oozes with style that rivals the likes of Ferraris and Alfas, and their performance is terrific at 0-60 in 7 seconds and cornering on par with a BMW of the time.

        But sarcasm aside I admire Cressidas for their build quality and longevity, but I’d never call anyone “stupid” nor question their enthusiasm for not admiring a pedestrian 80’s Toyota.

        • 0 avatar

          Hey Ryoku, LOL! guess his ideas on style are “different”. Can’t say much about the rest of the car as I’ve never driven it or even seen it, or maybe I have during one trip or another to the US, but its distinct lack of style guaranteed that I wouldn’t see it as I’d never notice.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            Hey Marc

            While I do admire modest low key cars I feel that Japan over did-it a bit in the 80’s, its why owning a Cressida or Camry of the time may be handy, but hardly memorable, I certainly never found myself admiring my ’89 Tercel.

            Some Japanese cars of the 80’s at least gave you wild Rad Racer dash clusters that were even more bold than most of todays, and surprisingly were still usable.

        • 0 avatar
          84Cressida

          Seeing how he questioned the enthusiasm of those that do like it with his high and mighty “as an actual car enthusiast” then proceeded to say those having the “ordeal” of spending 20 years with one “Your mind would have to be totally out of gear and imagination” I feel I had every right to say what I said.

          As for style, I love the style. And so do many others. You see “pedestrian Toyota”, I see good looking lines on a very well-engineered car.

      • 0 avatar

        Can you ever answer anyone who isn’t as enthralled as you are by some Toyota or other without stooping to name-calling? The guy has a different opinion from yours. That doesn’t make it “stupid” or “ridiculous”, which seem to be some of your favorite words.

        There are people out there who would agree with him and not you. Your overuse of certain words only streghtens the other side of the argument.

        • 0 avatar
          84Cressida

          Can you ever come into a Toyota thread without bashing it and thinking your opinion and Brazil are the center of the universe?

          And there are people out there who agree with me and not you. So there.

          • 0 avatar

            Excellent response, about the level I’d expect from you.

          • 0 avatar
            84Cressida

            Yeah, you’re definitely up to your usual standards today too.

            Bravo.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I really like the Cressidas but in general I’m not “enthralled with Toyota” (nice choice of words btw), in many cases their products are just a means to an end. I know this sounds like psychobable, but I think its important to not take things so personally. Its a messageboard after all.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey 28! Thanks for the compliment. I tried to choose my words carefully as I knew who we were dealing with. I may get upset once in a while with something someone says, but I try not to call names. Really adds very little to the discussion.

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      Yeah, auto enthusiast and Toyota do not go hand and hand. It’s kinda like being an enthusiast for a appliance. Which I would probably call that a fetish. A very odd and strange fetish. So yes. Worshipping a Toyota is more like a fetish for a Japanese refrigerator. Which in turn is probably classified as some sort of disability. Maybe these Toyota fetish worshippers can get a handicap sticker and a tax break. Well crap count me in. Who doesn’t want an extra tax break and better parking spot.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “Worshiping a Toyota is more like a fetish for a Japanese refrigerator. Which in turn is probably classified as some sort of disability.”

        +1000

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        Ah, yet another high and mighty snob who thinks his opinion is the center of the universe and that those that dare like a Toyota are not enthusiasts. Do tell what car I should “worship”.

        • 0 avatar
          alsorl

          I would start with something other then Toyota. They are appliances. In fact a close friend of mine calls his Camry a toaster. It just does its job and the a/c is weak in the Florida sun. Check out the new GM products or even the new Ford’s. It could give a few things to look at. Stay away from BMW they are all looking same now a days. The most excitement Toyota has give the public is getting rid of its 4speed auto in the corolla and rav 4. It shot tingly feeling up all the Toyota worshiper’s legs. Oh check out Nissan. They could give Toyota a lesson or two in design.

          • 0 avatar
            84Cressida

            Ah, more smug. Do you smell your farts as well?

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            84….Lighten up man. It was was a witty comment.

            If I got upset at every anti GM comment. I’d wear out my keyboard.

          • 0 avatar
            alsorl

            Mr.84- You only think my comments are smug because you see truth in what I wrote. I never once said Toyota’s are horrible cars. They just don’t bring out excitement or kind of emotion. Don’t you think an Audi driver has more emotion about there car apposed to the Toyota owner? For the most part the people that I know that own Toyota’s just don’t care about cars, they just want an auto that gets them from point a to point b. But when I talk to them about the there cars they don’t even enjoy there cars. They just know they are “good”. Even though they seem to be in the shop way more then there friend’s Honda’s and other U.S. branded cars. One co-worker just purchased a 2013 Toyota Camry. It has a squeak/rattle in the dash that there dealer cannot fix. It has been in the shop for 3 weeks in the past 9 months for issues. There 2002 Honda Accord has 190,000+ miles with no squeaks or rattles. Almost every person that I know that owns a Toyota has some kind of issue. And they just don’t car to get it fixed. Crap even the people that own Hyundai’s seem to be more passionate about there cars. We have owned Toyota’s in my family and they have been OK. But, no better then any other brand.
            My last experience with a Toyota product was my dad’s Pontiac Vibe. Which is a Toyota Martix. It didn’t drive very well very and the brakes felt like my go cart in the 5th grade. My wife and I almost purchased a Scion FR-s last year. But, decided it was just too small.
            In fact we have had great luck with Ford products, very dependable. And we have owned Hyundai’s, Chevrolet’s, Nissan’s, Dodge’s and many VW’s. We now have a last year model Mercury Mariner. Bought it new and has over 92,000 miles. And have had no major issues. And it was made in America ! I know that is not a popular view for many on this site. But it does mean something for a few.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Pray tell us kind sir, just what do you drive?

        How does me wrenching on and wheeling my old 4Runner not qualify me as a car enthusiast? I’m willing to bet that I’m more mechanically inclined and better acquainted with how my cars work than you are with whatever high and mighty “enthusiast” car you drive.

        How is a quirky old RWD 1980s wagon with Supra running gear NOT interesting?

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        I don’t know, Sir. I’m not following the appliance and Toyota link you’re making here.

        With all due respect here (emphasis on respect, I’m not a rude comment poster), Toyotas have engines, transmissions, and four wheels just like other cars do.

        Appliance like? Hmm… are you saying their looks are boring?

        Subjective much?

        Just because a car doesn’t scream “Hey, Look at me!!!” or doesn’t have a chromed out grill the size of Texas, or ground effects that scream “I’m faaaaast” doesn’t mean it should be written off as an such. ‘Less your referring to a Prius- then, I can see that, due to its electrical DNA.

        In fact, I have strongly considered the CT200h (Lexus) because it is “appliance-like” (in its MPG) yet without such dramatic “appliance-like” styling. But I couldn’t execute on anything that takes over 10 seconds to get to 60 mph.

        Judging by your post, you fit the image of a $10/hour factory worker who drools over Cadillac Escalades and drives a Dodge Charger.

        You’ve missed the dependable, beautiful (in their own way) simplicity that are the Toyotas (and Honda’s, and other Japanese models), which you’ve referred to as such appliances.

        You’re missing this boat, I’m afraid. And when in a few years, when your test driving cars, and you fall in love with a brand spankin’ new Camry and you feel like you’ve made a really wise decision… you may remember your post AND may find yourself eating your words above.

        Sorry bud- I’m afraid I don’t understand your post.

        One more thing- your right, the following cars are absolute appliances:

        Toyota Land Cruiser
        Toyota Supra
        Toyota 4Runner
        Toyota Hi-Lux
        Toyota Corolla AE86
        Toyota Altezza

        Oh yeah, and let’s throw in a little something called the Toyota 2000GT.

        Yeah, with sh*tty cars like that in their pedigree, Toyota definitely screams boring to me.

        Again, this is just MY humble opinion regarding the “boring Toyota” notion.

        But if you obsess over bread-and-butter Camrys and Corollas, then yes, you may have underlying issues…

        • 0 avatar
          alsorl

          Yes I agree there are some select few that stand out for Toyota. But to worship a Camry, corolla, tundra is a little disturbing. As is the cressida. It was a square sedan with a anemic strait 6. My parents had one back in the day and the rear end was made if glass. And the dash bits got sticky in the heat.
          And yes I can say as many have said. Including the leaders at Toyota is that they made boring cars that build very little excitement. Just a few weeks ago the CEO of Toyota stated the next Camry will gave some personality or excitement.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            No really, what do you drive? Do you work on it yourself?

          • 0 avatar
            84Cressida

            “As is the cressida. It was a square sedan with a anemic strait 6.”

            Just stop. You seriously don’t even have a clue what you’re talking about and are embarrassing yourself.

          • 0 avatar
            alsorl

            @84 I don’t see to many people disagreeing that it was a box with a anemic 6. In fact they also leaked oil and has glass rear ends.

        • 0 avatar
          rustyra24

          Early Celica’s and Corolla’s are nice looking cars. I am a little biased owning a 76 Celica and a 67 Toyota Stout. The 2 door hard top Toyota cars from the 70’s are generally pretty good looking.

          They should import the Crown.

          I am not a fan of new Toyota. They stopped being interesting besides the FRS/BRZ twins

  • avatar
    Avatar77

    My dad had one of these that he bought brand new. It was a really cool car. I still remember that the OBC would remember your birthday and sing to you on that date. Oh and that wagon went like hell (for an 80s car) when the ETC button was engaged.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      The ETC button only changed the shift points of the car, but they do feel livelier so it wasn’t for nothing. On the previous generation (ie my ’84) there was a normal button, economy button, and power button, which let you adjust the setting for the ECT.

      • 0 avatar
        alsorl

        Were you ever able to fix the clunking sound in the rear end when shifting into drive? My parents had one for a few years in the 80’s. The dealer replaced the rear diff twice along with some other drive parts. Finally they just said the clunking was normal for the cressida.

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    An old Chicago tribune article about the ’85 Cressida when it came out, including talking about the greeting feature.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1985-04-07/business/8501200036_1_cruise-control-cressida-automatic

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      I just took a look at that article.

      That Birthday Greeting was undoubtedly pretty high end for 1985, in all of its 80’s Gimmicky Goodness.

      Those double rear window wipers are also something you don’t see everyday. Damn. Lol

      Take into consideration its Supra heritage, I think I would have taken one of these over a new Volvo wagon back in its day. No doubt about it. And those Volvos were damned tanks.

      I still have a thing for the last of the Cressidas, which I believe could have been had with a five-speed, IIRC. Relatively clean, low-mileaged, unmolested offerings pop up on Ebay from time to time. I certainly wouldn’t mind to have one.

      Wishful thinking.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “That Birthday Greeting was undoubtedly pretty high end for 1985, in all of its 80′s Gimmicky Goodness.”

        I desire more 80s gimmicky glory in modern cars.

  • avatar
    davew833

    It may have been legal when sent to the junkyard, but I bet it wasn’t running. The lack of timing gears and the wilting timing belt are telling me those were either the first parts to be taken when it hit the junkyard, or the previous owner threw a belt and made a halfhearted attempt to fix it which somehow involved removing the gears before anything else. Is the 5M-GE and interference engine?

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    A good buddy of mine purchased one of these cars from the local Toyota used with about 50,000 miles. The weekend after purchasing the car he took his wife and himself out to Montauk point about 100 miles from home. During the trip home the car started to knock like hell and he had it towed back to the dealer. The dealer said they would install a new engine and he got the car back a few weeks later. A month later he noticed the oil level was down on the dip stick about a quart and he went back to the dealer. Finally they told him they installed a used engine with unknown mileage and that was all they could do. He accepted the deal and knew he got screwed but did not want to admit it to his wife. He had that car for 5 years drove it back and forth to work used a quart of oil every tank of gas but never broke down. Body wise it was like a tank but he did replace the electric antenna a few times and the electric door harness for the power window.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    High-tide Japanese box.

    Glorious build-quality and greenhouse with a roof so tall a driver could actually see *under* the RVM. Whatever engine-thingy it had was certainly capable of sustaining 5 mph over any American speed limit. What else is needed?

  • avatar
    Synchromesh

    There is a very nice-looking X60 Cressida (80-84) parked a few blocks from my house. Excellent condition, shiny black. Sadly it’s an automatic but the owner takes care of it. If I found one with a manual I might be tempted.

  • avatar
    Allan850glt

    Plays the birthday song and flashes your initials on your birthday…that’s nice. If my Volvo ever does that, I’m having it exorcised.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I still see a fair number of Cressidas running around here in Riyadh…not that I’m in a position to buy one, though. I always thought that the Cressida with a 6 cylinder made for a decent family hauler, along with the fact that they seemed to be built to last two forevers.

  • avatar
    AllThumbs

    Maybe I just had a bad one, but the only Cressida I ever had was a ’90 or so work car I had from ’92-’95 and I was singularly unimpressed. I’m a guy who has always had at least one Toyota among my cars since 1984 (I also had a South African van/truck Toyota called the Venture as my personal car at the time I had the Cressida), and that Cressida was my least favorite of them all. It worked fine and was comfy and all that, but it seemed way too ponderous for a Toyota, even though I get it that they were shooting for luxury. In fact– and this is coming from a guy who LOVES Toyotas– it suddenly reminds me of the 1991 Dodge Diplomat I currently own.


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