By on December 29, 2014

15 - 1984 Toyota Cressida Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSince nearly all of my Junkyard Finds are in Colorado and California, both places where the Toyota Cressida sold well, we get quite a few of these Lexus-precursor luxury Toyotas in this series. We’ve seen this ’80, this ’82 this ’84, this ’86 wagon, this ’87, this ’89, this ’90, and this ’92 in this series so far (plus some bonus Michael Bay Edition Tokyo Taxis, courtesy of Crabspirits), and my recent trip to Los Angeles (during which I shot this optioned-up, rust-free ’82 Subaru BRAT) gives us this once-gorgeous two-tone ’84.
09 - 1984 Toyota Cressida Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThere was a time when an Alpine cassette deck was an irresistible target for smash-your-window-and-tear-up-your-dash thieves. Now the junkyard can’t get 10 bucks for them, in spite of the endorsement in an Ice-T song.
06 - 1984 Toyota Cressida Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNot even 200,000 miles on the clock.
04 - 1984 Toyota Cressida Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis transmission mode selector is the switch at the heart of controlling my Junkyard Boogaloo Boombox. I already have a spare, so I didn’t feel the need to buy this one.
07 - 1984 Toyota Cressida Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe brown leather has held up fairly well for a non-coddled Southern California car.
17 - 1984 Toyota Cressida Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinToyota lost something when it went away from model-specific hood ornaments.

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55 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1984 Toyota Cressida...”


  • avatar
    DeeDub

    “Toyota lost something when it went away from model-specific hood ornaments.”

    I’d be happy if cars just had model-specific front ends again.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    “Runs and Drives”, no trash, no bumper stickers, bah!

    Where is the “Razzle Dazzle” Lumina next to the Sunbird?

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    Friend of mine had one of these. Well built and nice riding. Big 6 cylinder and not too bad on gas. Only problem they loved to drink oil. He was on his second engine when he finally got rid of the car. Was told by his dealer “they all do that” Myself i will pass.

  • avatar
    Type44

    Well, the junkyard won’t go more than $10 for that Alpine, but I would.

    Seriously, I’m looking for Alpines of the cassette era, Pioneer Supertuners, Denons, any of the nicer spread. Let me know when you find any, if they are under $10 just buy them, I will be happy to remunerate!

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      If I could get back just a fraction…. a smidgeon… of what I used to pay for “head units” back when I was in high school in the early 2000’s, I’d be a happy camper.

      I purchased, in all, approximately 2 Pioneers AND an Alpine.

      The Alpine with the scrollbar and motorized face blew both the Pioneers out of the water tenfold.

      Ahh… memories.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        I actually grabbed an older Alpine off eBay because it has (gasp!) preset BUTTONS. The most recent models are all touchscreen stupidness with terrible UI. Back in the day I had a Sony (and maybe a Pioneer?) that had the motorized flip down face places to keep them from being stolen.

        • 0 avatar
          raresleeper

          Are you talking about that Sony all-black screen faced thingy with no buttons?

          I dated a girl that had one of those. I just thought it was frickin’ weird.

          Don’t get me started on the old mobile ES Sony head units. Them’s were the days.

          But the Alpine I had was b!tchin’.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Wow, Supertuners! I still have mine from the early 80s that I installed in my Fury. I stepped way up to a Nakamichi TD-700 after that. Still, the Alpine was the name for those who knew it was good but knew little else. Kinda like defaulting to Honda without knowing anything about cars. Hard to go wrong with the choice.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The “Pull Out” stereo was a super bad idea. Then you were stuck carrying this brick it into every stop at the 7-eleven, etc. And no doubt, leave it at the nachos bar.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Seriously. The detachable faceplate worked a lot better. You could slip it easily in a pocket/briefcase/bag.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      I don’t think anyone pulled it out, except for the actual thieves.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Who carried them? Pull out, lock in trunk.

      I loved my pullout Kenwood CD player circa 1995. I had two cars, but only one $500 stereo. I bought a second sleeve for the other car, can’t drive two cars at once.

      I too spent sooooo much money on car stereo back in the day. Now I amerfectly happy listening to NPR on whatever the base stereo is. I did pony up for the H/K upgrade on my BMW, but probably won’t on my next one.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Must have been a hassle to drop in the trunk for every quick stop, especially when you don’t have a trunk. Jeeps, trucks, Mustangs, Camaros, Celicas, etc.

        I said $crew it and spent $500 on a non pullout Alpine CD. Took my chances, and a convertible too. ‘Field sensor’ alarm though, circa ’91. Saw too many pullouts left behind at liqueur stores, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          I live in Maine, no need to pull it out for a quick stop. I did take it in with me at night when I had my apartment in downtown Portland. My first car CD player was a non-pullout Clarion – it disappeared in Quebec City at a tender age. Pullout from then on.

          The overwhelming majority of vehicles have some form of locking storage. Even my Volvo wagons had the locking space under the cargo deck.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      No, the pull-out was not a bad idea. If you were worried about miscreants destroying your dash for a $800 head unit you were grateful for it.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        What’s an $800 head unit? But I’d rather take my chances than have to think about my car radio’s staging all the time. I had insurance and an alarm that chirped if you got close enough to breath on the car.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          That is what my Nakamichi TD- 700 cost in 1985. needless to say I worried about it in strange parking lots. Not to be outdone, my buddy had a Nak TD-1200 that was almost $1,300 in the mid 80s. And he had it installed in a 1971 Ford Maverick!

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            If you guys were spending around $1,000 on just the head unit, what was the total system? And in beater cars?

            My Alpine survived 10+ years and in several cars before it died of old age.

            Head units today are many times cheaper, even high end, but fixing a broken window and busted up dash is many times more expensive.

            But pullout units went the way of the dodo for a reason.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Wait, you spent $800 for a tape deck?

          • 0 avatar
            Wheeljack

            I spent $471 (wholesale through a connection) on a German-made Blaupunkt “Toronto” CD receiver in 1997. It was the last of the “serious” looking radios that would look good in a 1980’s German car (Merkur Scorpio). It was also on the cutting edge for its time with RDS and adjustable color for the backlighting.

            When they do pop up on fleabay, they command decent money for a used radio – most likely folks with old Porsches or BMWs looking for an upgrade that appears like it belongs and allows for an aux input for an ipod.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I still have a Toronto sitting on the shelf in the garage. Display failed, as they all do, but I got 10 years plus of service out of it in multiple cars.

            I have a Nakamichi NA350BT in my Rover now, blends into the dash perfectly and with the factory H/K amp and speaker system it really sounds fantastic, with all the “mod cons” of BT, MP3, iPod, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      Only once in my life have I had an aftermarket stereo installed; a $200 Sony CD player in a 1993 Taurus. Detachable face plate which I got lazy about and started just tucking under the seat at night. A month after install, it was swiped in the middle of the night even though the car was parked directly under a working security light. I vowed right then and there that I would never, ever again put anything aftermarket into a car I owned. Fortunately, I’m much better heeled than I used to be, and factory stereos have come a long, long way since the 80’s and early 90’s.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I would actually rescue this car, fix the motor, put some seat covers and on you go!

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    I have “a thing” for the last of the Cressies, 90, 91, 92 (IIRC 92 was perhaps the last year).

    I’m in love with the very unicornesque 5MT Cressidas. That 4 doored Supra would put a smile on my face, but the notorious head gasket failures crush that dream.

    This one here just reminds me of the Datsun Maximas of yore. In fact, gimme a Datsun Maxima over this.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Correct 92 was the last year, but once 90 came around and the Lexus ES existed, I think their sales just fell off a cliff. They did get a slight restyle in 90 with revised front and rear clips. It’s hard to find those Cressidas bearing the swoopy new-fangled Toyota badge.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Me’d likey one of the last Cressidas. Make it in 5MT, please.

    *BUT* Confuscious say: “Head gasket failure make pain in back side”.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I don’t see why a headgasket is a big deal. If the engine is known to blow them, replace it pre-emptively. It is not like you are going to put a zillion miles a year on something like this.

      • 0 avatar
        Lightspeed

        It’s the 7ME in the next generation that had the HG problem. I spent a fortune to replace the HG in my 7ME and it now uses oil too. Possibly the only Toyota engine that was junk. Smooth and glass and made of it too! But, loves me my Cressi, old school lux-u-ry.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Ah, Cressy!

    Me likey. But only the last of ’em. I’ll take mine in 5MT please.

    *BUT* let me consult Confuscious first.

    “Confuscious say… head gasket failure make a pain in back side”.

    (Damned dream killer. Smh)

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    I’ll take a 91 or 92 Cressy, please. Make it 5mt, please.

    Hmmm… what do you think, Confuscious?

    Confuscious say: “Head gasket fair-your make pain in back side”.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Jesus, quit eating my comments, TTAC.

    I no cook Spam. Not for you at least.

    (Snort snort!)

  • avatar
    zach

    Motorized seatbelts in 1984!

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Gimme a Cressy. Make it a 90, 91, or 92 with the 5MT. (Four door Supra, anyone?)

    Better yet, don’t gimme dat Cressy. Head gasket failure dulls the luster for me.

  • avatar
    jhefner

    I miss the “bar of soap” aerodynamic styling of the 1980s-early 1990s, and two tone paint jobs like this.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Methinks I’d take a Datsun Maxima over this.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Econ Norm Pow the slushbox had just gone from hydraulic to electronic & gained a cog. Impressive all wheel disc brakes. 30 years on the Corolla & Yaris still don’t have them. And Avalon’s been jumped by many from Camry to Lexus.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    This was a lot more expensive than Corolla or Yaris, that is why the discs all around, but I agree with you, I’d rather give up the infotainment system or remote access for 4 wheel discs any day.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    The front end reminds me a lot of a pre-89 Buick Century or Olds Cutlass Ciera.

  • avatar
    maestromario

    These were well engendered, and to me the design is still elegant.

    After almost 30 years of crash safe aerodynamic car design, the clean straight lines of that era now looks remarkable.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The speedo has a very Mercedes look about it, I’m sure that was intentional. And the “NORMAL” setting on the switches is a win.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    These cars were actually very good for their time. The quality of the Cressida,Maximum, and 929 far exceeded anything the Big 3 produced. The body on this car is excellent. I had a friend that owned one of these and the thing went well over 200k before he scrapped it.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    These Cressidas were excellent cars for the time–much better than anything from the Big 3. Cressidas, Maximas, and 929s were very good cars. This car still has a good body and could probably be brought back but then again the cost to bring it back would exceed its value. I had a friend that had one of these years ago and drove it to well over 200k miles before scraping it. I recall he never had any real issues with it except it rusting which living in Michigan at the time is not a surprise. If I remember the body gave out long before the engine and drive train. He had a gray one with gray velour interior–very nice interior and a nice driving and riding car for the time. If I recall his Cressida was a 1984.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The spam filter is blocking all my comments even though I am not using anything profane. My best friend had one of these years ago, same year except his was gray and had a gray velour interior. Nice car and rode and drove very well for the times. He had over 200k on it before he junked it–those Michigan winters took their toll on the body but the drivetrain was still good and Mobil 1 oil changes and regular maintenance the engine was still running strong. Cressida, Maxima, and 929 were really good cars–much better than anything the Detroit 3 had at the time. This car still has a good body but the cost to fix this car up would far exceed its value.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    This site really needs to do something about its spam filter. It blocks everything regardless. I think I am just going to quit after this post. My friend had the same year Cressida as this and it went well over 200k before the Michigan winters did the body in. The engine and drive train were still good and I remember he had very few issues with it. Great cars and one that put the Japanese manufacturers on top.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I always liked these Cressidas along with the Maximas and Mazda 929s which were very good cars for the time and lead the way for Lexus, Infinity, and Acura. The Big 3 had become more into rebadging and into cheapening their brands. My best friend had a 1984 Cressida in dark grey with a grey velour interior which was a really nice car and extremely reliable. Michigan winters with the tin worm working its magic lead to my friend had to scrap it even though it was still running strong after almost 300k miles.


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