By on September 25, 2017

1983 Toyota Cressida in California wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
It has taken a few decades, but Toyota Cressidas now show up at the big self-service wrecking yards in respectable numbers. I find these Lexus ancestors very interesting, so I shoot most of the ones I see; so far in this series, we have seen this ’80, this ’82, this ’83 wagon, this ’84, this ’84, this ’86 wagon, this ’87, this ’89, this ’90, and this ’92 (plus this ’79 and this ’86 wagon in my Junkyard Gems series).

Today’s Cressida is a zero-rust ’83 wagon in California.

1983 Toyota Cressida in California wrecking yard, odometer - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
264,248 miles, which isn’t very remarkable on a Cressida. Probably it still ran at the end, or it needed a $150 repair that the final owner didn’t consider justifiable for a 34-year-old beater.

1983 Toyota Cressida in California wrecking yard, engine - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
For the 1983 model year, the Cressida received a bunch of Toyota Supra genetic material, including the very advanced (for the era) DOHC 5M-GE straight-six engine.

1983 Toyota Cressida in California wrecking yard, seat belt mount- ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
These horrible automatic seat belts were required on non-airbag-equipped US-market cars in the early 1990s, but Toyota included them voluntarily in these cars.

1983 Toyota Cressida in California wrecking yard, ECT switch - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
Toyota used some variation of this switch for decades in the automatic-equipped cars. My original Junkyard Boogaloo Boombox uses a Cressida ECT switch of this era to control the dual power antennas.

1983 Toyota Cressida in California wrecking yard, hood ornament - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
The word Cressida comes from the name of a character in a Shakespeare play.

In Japan, this car was known as the Mark II. Here we see the sedan pitched as a refined ride for a dignified and wealthy businessman.

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23 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1983 Toyota Cressida Station Wagon...”

  • avatar

    I’ve always had a soft spot for the Cressida, primarily the 3rd and 4th gen. Designed with T-squares and straight-edged tooling, these had a reputation for being fairly bulletproof. Six cylinder, double-wishbone rear suspension and rear-drive. Would make a fine DD…even today.

    • 0 avatar
      Guitar man

      Looks like the RT142 bodyshell from the more pedestrian Corona. A very basic McPherson strut front suspension with a single arm (instead of the wishbone type) and rod and a coil/live axle/sway bar at back.

      They rolled over like a drunk and squealed the tyres on all but the most gentle of road curves.

  • avatar

    Saw a Diesel Cressida sedan on the road in the late 90s. What a unicorn that was. Lots of black smoke coming out of it.

  • avatar

    No rust, nice.

    2JZ swap?

  • avatar

    Power steering lines, running right across the front of the timing belt cover? Something to make you cuss when changing the belt. But, I’ve always liked these Cressidas. Nicely styled and incredibly reliable.

    I wish my mom had bought a ’78 Cressida, instead of the her Chevy Malibu Classic. Even with its weird baroque styling, it would have made her much happier than than the horribly unreliable and shoddily designed and built Malibu. But then, hindsight is 20/20.

  • avatar

    I wonder what’s up with that jumper wire on the driver’s seat? Maybe it has something to do with trying to troubleshoot the problem that finally doomed it to becoming a Junkyard Find feature?

  • avatar

    I missed the opportunity to buy a really clean 2 owner ’90 Cressida with a mere 80k miles in it a few years ago for only $2k, still kicking myself about that. Love the way they drive, pretty darn close to something like a W190 Merc albeit floatier (the one I drove needed shocks). Smooth I6 power, RWD dynamics, in a very sturdy feeling and quite compact (by modern standards) package.

  • avatar

    Also, yet higher up Toyota’s ladder back then, was the S130 Toyota Crown Wagon. An awesome combination of luxury and sturdy utilitarian design:

    Available with everything from a frugal diesel and small supercharged I6s, to the awesome 1UZ-FE 4.0L V8 in top trim lux models. They used a solid rear axle and the S130 generation was still BOF. So it’s basically a much better, Japanese, B-body Caprice wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Toyota kept the S130 wagon in production for a decade, not replacing it until the S170 series in 1999.

      very late S130:

      Nissan did something similar, keeping the mid ’80s Y30 Cedric wagon around into 1999.

      the king of wagons:

  • avatar

    Love the old square block steering wheels on these, like something from a bumper car.

    Also enjoy the super conservative old ads from Japan. Mr. Businessman with his briefcase and joyous, yet not overly expressive wife.

  • avatar

    Boy I’m getting old. I thought this article was about the Toyota Crown wagon. A good friend of mine liked his so much that he bought a second one. Late 70″s I guess.

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