Junkyard Find: 1984 Toyota Cressida

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Since 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.

There 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.

Not even 200,000 miles on the clock.

This 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.

The brown leather has held up fairly well for a non-coddled Southern California car.

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

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

More by Murilee Martin

Join the conversation
2 of 55 comments
  • Jeff S Jeff S on Dec 31, 2014

    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.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Dec 31, 2014

    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.

  • The Oracle Looks like a nice reincarnation.
  • TheEndlessEnigma In '98 a guy I worked with came into work pissed, so pissed he was beside himself, so pissed he was beside himself and they were both pissed. He had bought a Seville the year before for his wife, a very buxom empty headed drink of water that was roughly 20 years his junior (she *LIKED* older men and he wasn't about to complain). He had gotten a call the afternoon before, she was broken down in the less than 1 year old Seville on the side of the NY Turnpike at the Galleria Mall in Cheektowaga. The car quite on her in traffic and it wouldn't start. They got it towed to a nearby Caddy dealer and they started checking out the problem immediately. As he told it, the car already had a little over 20k miles on it so the service manager was pretty concerned about a warranty engine failure, "These Northstar engines are bulletproof!". After about an hour at the shop the service manager comes to talk with them, "Uh, ma'am, when was the last time you had the oil changed"? "Oil change, don't they come with oil when you buy these cars?". Seems the engine seized up, right around 1 qt of oil, with a tar like consistency and full of sparkles, was found in the oil pan. The late '90s, a NorthStar engine, one year and 20k miles......never saw an oil change. Powertrain warranty claim? Refused. Engine replacement? You bet, $9900 in 1998 dollars.
  • VoGhost Quality review. Thanks!
  • VoGhost Love this collective clutching of pearls over a vehicle name not a single commenter will ever see, drive or buy.
  • 28-Cars-Later "Here's why" edition_cnn_com/2018/06/13/health/falling-iq-scores-study-intl/index.html