Junkyard Find: 1980 Toyota Cressida

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1980 toyota cressida

The Cressida was never a big seller in North America, and the second- and third-generation versions make up most of the examples you’ll see these days. First-gen ones like this ’80 I spotted in an Oakland self-service yard on Monday are just about nonexistent… and the number of survivors is about to be reduced by one.

Rear-wheel-drive, big 4M engine, and fuel injection made the early Cressida a good driver, but the styling was inscrutably Japanese and Detroit sold bigger cars for much less.

This one is pretty well trashed. The 5-digit odometer shows 54,000 miles, but I’ll bet it’s been turned over at least twice.

I just love the non-focus-grouped look of the controls in pre-1990 Japanese cars. Some engineer probably designed this one during his lunch break.

I had no choice but to buy this Jeco digital clock for my collection of car clocks (now up to 40+ units). I haven’t tested it yet, but it should work.

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3 of 46 comments
  • Ion Ion on Oct 29, 2011

    I want a clock like that. Is it 2 1/16"? I'm also curious as to what other vehicles you have clocks from, it would make an interesting article.

    • Murilee Martin Murilee Martin on Oct 30, 2011

      There will be an article in the future, based on the giant car-clock project I've had in the works for a few years. Mostly I have analog clocks, but I really like the early digital ones like this Cressida's.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Oct 29, 2011

    These 4M 6bangers were quite nice in the 1st gen Supra which was more of a luxury/sport coupe compared to later generations.

  • MaintenanceCosts Will the Bronco have a four-motor configuration a la Rivian? That seems to me like the right approach for an EV off-roader. Enables lots of neat tricks.
  • Lou_BC ERay? A southern model will be the BillyRay.
  • Lou_BC I've never used a car buying plan service. My Costco membership did get me 1,000 cash back on my last truck.
  • Jeff S I can understand 8 cars is a bit much unless you are a serious collector. I always loved the Challenger when it first came out and now. I don't need a car like this but I am glad it exists at least for 1 more year. If I had a choice between a Mustang, a Camaro, and a Challenger I would opt for a Challenger but probably with a V-6 since it has more than enough power for most and I don't need to be burning rubber. Challenger has the classic muscle car looks, more cabin room, and a decent size trunk which makes it very livable for day to day driving and for traveling. The base models of the Dodge Challenger has a 3.6-liter V6 engine that gives you 305 horsepower with 268 lb-ft torque. The car attains 60 mph from a standstill within just 6 seconds, which is quite fast. Even with their base engines, the Challenger and Camaro are lightning-fast. The Camaro reaches 165 mph, while the Challenger can go up to 11 mph faster!
  • Inside Looking Out I would avoid American cities if I can. European cities are created for humans and Americans for cars.