By on December 6, 2012

I always notice the Cressida when I see an example in a wrecking yard, and the last two years have seen a dramatic increase in the numbers of Toyota’s pre-Lexus rear-drive luxury sedan going to The Crusher. I suppose that means that the balance between real-world value and cost to fix mechanical problems has finally tilted against the Cressida. We’ve seen this ’80, this ’84, this ’87, this ’89, and this ’92 in the Junkyard Find Series so far, and now we’re going to go all Malaise Era with today’s ’82.
I found this car, in subdued Ignore Me Red, languishing in a Northern California self-service yard back in September.
Only 123,760 miles on the clock, which implies either long-term storage or a driving-to-church-on-Sundays-only long-term owner.
Toyota really needs to bring back emblems like this one.
The 5M-E L6 engine for 1982 made a respectable-for-its-day 116 horsepower. Yes, golf carts have more than that nowadays. What of it?

By 1990, just about every car had some form of electronic fuel injection. In 1982, however, EFI was still fairly exotic.

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41 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1982 Toyota Cressida...”

  • avatar

    The Toyota 5M engine, which also saw use in the Celica Supra liked to spit out headgaskets at about the same interval as Subaru 2.5 liter EJ engines.

  • avatar

    I believe Toyota still does per-model badging in Japan. It’s a style of branding you just don’t see in North America, or at least not since GM had 50% of the market.

  • avatar

    The X6 Cressida is the black sheep of the family that nobody really wants to talk about. Ugly, technologically not much of an improvement over the outgoing X3 body, driven exclusively by their original owners or some dumb kid who bought into the name without doing his homework first.

    If you want to kill some time further proving the adage, “Japanese kept the best for themselves and didn’t give America shit,” look up the x5 and x6 Cresta, Mark II and Chaser variants being produced for their domestic market and all of the interesting styling and features we were denied in favor of what Beige was in the early 80’s.

    • 0 avatar

      Black sheep my ass. And I beg to differ how it was “not much of an improvment” over the MX32, which didn’t offer EFI except for 1980, digital dashboard, trip computer, ECT transmission, automatic shoulder belts (love them or hate them, they were first introduced on the Cressida and NOT the MX32) and self-adjusting valve springs. The X6 was a HUGE improvment over the previous one. Oh yeah, and it looked way better too, especially when they’re not molested by lame ass drifters who only like them because they can put ugly, wide JDM wheels on them and throw a 2JZ and a stupid dildo shifter.

      And how exactly is being driven by the original owner a bad thing? That means the people who actually spent $$$ on one of them back in the day enjoyed the car to keep 20+ years.

      And BTW, don’t even dare labelling me some “dumb kid” who didn’t do his homework.

      • 0 avatar

        dying to see what you’ve got bro.

        the transition from x3 with it’s classic Toyota styling to the box x6 with it’s appliance lines, lack of anything approaching flagship model luxury and marginally improved engine was nowhere near the leap that took place from x6 to x7. you could argue that the x6 lent it’s aspirations for technological advancement to the x7 with its adjustable suspension, digital dash and trip computer, and i’d agree: the x6 was a good stepping stone, and Toyota needed something to fill the gap while they developed the better in every way x7. they started putting respectable (for the time) engines under the hoods of their cars and the awkward proportions of the x6 were cleaned up into a sleeker (if that can be said about a 3 box design) body. but that’s to be expected as time goes on.

        if you look at an x3 with anything longer than a passing glance, you see that the designers were still getting paid to design instead of mimic the cocaine-fueled late malaise minimalist trend. spend some time looking at one up close. follow the body line from the top of the fender where it dives into the sheetmetal at the a-pillar and flows into the rear quarter. while you’re back there, take some time to appreciate the proportion the x6 is clearly lacking. the version for our market could have been a camry or sentra scaled up 15% in size, and the cheap design of the lights only serves to accentuate that image.

        the JDM versions, especially the hardtops, look as though they started their life on the drawing board of an artist. ours looks like an econobox whose design was influenced mainly by what parts in the Toyota bin would have been the cheapest to tack on.

        there is one SINGLE example of an x6 stateside that i can think of that breaks the mold. that’s jameson’s car. so unless you’re him or he sold it to you, i have a hard time believing that you’re going to show me something that will impress me.

      • 0 avatar

        Ok, I’ll bite. What are self adjusting valve springs?

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    It’s a bit surprising that nobody grabbed this for a VIP makeover. I suppose it fell into the old car hole. Not old enough to be nostalgic for, and too old to benefit from the Japan Inc. halo.

  • avatar

    That’s a very Mercedes-esque gauge cluster. I have a place in my heart for the Cressida, I love its aspirational nature and no-nonsense design.

    Look at the detail on that grille! They don’t do that any more. The badge is good too.

  • avatar

    I have no fond memories of a Cressida – granted it was mainly having to deal with a car with perpetual alignment problems and a crappy wheellock when I was in the tire business as well as a buffoon who used to chide me for buying american. Apparently he used to buy Buicks until he claimed the subframe detachted from his Buick due to rust. The best part, he made this claim while I was pressing on the then new use of plastic body panels by GM on anything other than a Corvette.

  • avatar

    I’m told if you passed 55 on the speedo, the universe would explode.

  • avatar

    That engine bay shot screams Malaise era. 116 hp, 116 miles of vacuum lines.

    • 0 avatar

      Even though it has the typical-of-the-era 100 miles of vacuum hose, you do have to appreciate how meticulously all those hoses and wires were placed. Every hose and wire is exactly the right length and has a little clip/holder to keep it in place.

      Detroit vehicles of the time sometimes had sparkplug wire holders, otherwise they seemingly tossed hoses and wires all over the place.

      • 0 avatar

        And check out that cool vacuum diaphragm for the cruise control with the extended cable and lever set on the firewall. That’s awesome mechanical simplicity at its finest…

  • avatar

    I drove an ’82 Cressida – like a hoon – back when I was a teenager. Funny how powerful 116HP felt back then…

  • avatar

    In a third-world country, this car would be on the road for another 15 years!

  • avatar

    It’s so , so……bland and stodgy .

    As I’m no longer a kid , I rather like it’s balanced asthetics , a thing long lost on most cars .

    And I also appreciate it’s not all manged by kids and ham fisted ‘ mechanics ‘ screwing ’round with things they don’t understand under the hood .

    I bet it wasn’t worth repairing the body damage and so was summarily junked .


  • avatar

    Kind of makes me sad. These were respectable rides in their day. This one looks like it could have been a pretty easy restore, given the condition and not very high mileage. Would be a nice retro luxe ride for someone into this era of Japanese cars (which are fast disappearing).

  • avatar
    el scotto

    In my youth this car seemed to be favored by high ranking administrators and middling lawyers. Anot exciting car driven by not exciting people.

  • avatar

    Wait – are those motorized seatbelts?!?!?

    The inventor of those should be slowly ripped to pieces by a thousand errant motorized seatbelt motors. If you never had to deal with them as you’re a youngin’ be grateful.

    My ’93 Subbie had them.

  • avatar

    Love my 90 Cressida , even if it had the dreaded head gasket issue. It’s so nice to drive a simple, light, well balanced car. I know it’s technically a boring car but, I feel far more connected to the driving experience in this than anything new. People can’t believe I can drive it in the snow, but new snow tire technology makes it fun to drive something without all the driver aids most folks can’t imagine living without.

  • avatar

    Eh, I’d rock that all day long. Just innocous enough to be a daily driver.

  • avatar

    I owned a blue, 1984 Cressida back in the 90s’. It was comfortable and well-equipped with the then-new motorized front seat belts and all the bells and whistles. I made the mistake of trading it in for a newer 1987 model which I did not know had been T boned. I still regret it today. I’d buy another one today if it were possible.

  • avatar

    My kindergarten teacher had one of these in this color. Talk about a blast from the past…lulZ

  • avatar

    Seriously, all these fond memories of a Cressida?!?? Wow, apparently my childhood wasn’t as boring as I thought. Dude, people made fun of these cars when they were new….there was nothing “desirable” about a crappy
    Toyo Cressida back in the day. Wow!

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