Junkyard Find: 1986 Toyota Cressida Wagon

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1986 toyota cressida wagon

The 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.

This one had 234,392 miles on the clock when it finally took that last tow-truck ride.

I 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.

No rust. None at all. Fans of old Japanese cars in rusty areas, you’d better come west and rescue some stuff like this.

The same DOHC 5M-GE engine that Supras got. In fact, the whole car is full of Supra drivetrain and suspension hardware.

Worth restoring or converting into a drift car? Not in California!

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  • Threeer Threeer on Mar 13, 2014

    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.

  • AllThumbs AllThumbs on Mar 14, 2014

    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.

  • Tassos Again, once more I beg you to SEPARATE your columns into REAL used cars and COLLECTIBLE cars of the day, such as this one.I have no nostalgia for this heap of junk or any other vintage Chevy, even Corvettes. If you find a 50s-60s Lincoln, let me know.
  • Socrates77 I had an 87' I never missed a car so much.
  • Tim Healey Have to check on the Last Call stuff. As for Hornet, will be on sale this year.
  • SCE to AUX It's worth considering the recall rate (recalled vehicles vs sales), rather than just recall notices or vehicles affected.The newest calculation for this that I could find was for 1985 - 2016, so not very relevant today.As for the Veloster, sealing printed circuit boards is not new tech, but it must be perfect to be truly effective. My son's 11 Sonata was recalled for a similar problem on the power steering circuit board.
  • MaintenanceCosts When is the actual new stuff coming out? I don't make shaky YouTube videos of myself running from the police, so yet another Hellcat is boring.