Rare Rides: Formal Luxury Via the 1992 Toyota Crown

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides formal luxury via the 1992 toyota crown

Comfort, spaciousness, luxury, formality. All of these things mattered to the early-1990s Japanese domestic sedan buyer. Today we take a look at a sedan that possesses all of these qualities in spades. It’s the Toyota Crown Royal Saloon, from 1992.

Earlier this year, we looked at a direct competitor to today’s Crown in the form of the very formal and very doily Nissan Gloria Brougham VIP. The Crown would’ve sat in the Toyota showroom down the street, vying for the same conservative sedan customer yen.

The Crown nameplate is the oldest still in use by Toyota. Starting off as company’s full-size offering back in 1955, the Crown has continued undisturbed in its sedan-ness for over 60 years.

By 1992, the Crown had entered its eighth generation. Following its debut for the 1987 model year, it was available in sedan, hardtop, and wagon variants. The hardtop version was the first body style separated from the eighth-generation trio, as the last year it shared a platform with its siblings was 1991.

Between introduction and an overall refresh for 1991, the Crown was gifted with a number of firsts for the Toyota brand. In 1988, Crown became the first Toyota model offered with an airbag. 1989 saw the introduction of a CD-ROM navigation system — a world first.

For its 1991 facelift, the hardtop Crown moved on to a new platform (S140), while the sedan and wagon versions still rode atop the S130. Visual modernization accompanied new engine offerings, where two JZ-GE inline-six units joined several other available engines. Engine choice depended on trim selection and desired purpose — four, six, or eight cylinders were available.

In this case, having a larger engine meant more real estate. Swapping the 2.5-liter 1ZJ engine for the 3.0-liter 2ZJ meant a wider car, positioned in a higher Japanese tax bracket. Prestige was evident with a wide-body Crown, as the tax bracket mandated a different license plate.

With regard to prestige, the Crown Royal Saloon seen here represented the top of the food chain. A wide body and a 3.0-liter 2ZJ engine borrowed from the Supra ensured luxury motoring status. Every accessory is powered. There’s separate climate control for the rear passengers, who also have access to a cooler. The grey exterior is complemented by a grey wool interior of superb quality. With just 48,000 miles on the clock, this spotless Crown Royal Saloon asks $7,245.

Worth noting: the Crown’s lineage continues today, with a brand new 15th generation on sale this year in Japan.

[Images: seller, Toyota]

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  • Cbrworm Cbrworm on Oct 24, 2018

    I've always appreciated this generation of the larger Toyotas, be it a Crown, Cressida, LS400, or Land Cruiser - the style and durability were impressive.

  • Road_pizza Road_pizza on Oct 24, 2018

    Wish I had room (and the extra $$$) for that car. What a ride!

  • MaintenanceCosts We hear endlessly from the usual suspects about the scenarios where EVs don't work as well as gas cars. We never hear the opposite side of the coin. From an EV owner (since 2019) who has a second EV reserved, here are a few points the "I road trip 1000 miles every day" crowd won't tell you about:[list][*]When you have a convenient charging situation, EV fueling is more convenient than a gas car. There is no stopping at gas stations and you start every day with a full tank.[/*][*]Where there are no-idling rules (school pickup/dropoff, lines for ferries or services, city loading, whatever else) you can keep warm or cool to your heart's content in your EV.[/*][*]In the cold, EVs will give you heat from the second you turn them on.[/*][*]EVs don't care one bit if you use them for tons of very short trips. Their mechanicals don't need to boil off condensation. (Just tonight, I used my EV to drive six blocks, because it was 31 degrees and raining, and walking would have been unpleasant.)[/*][*]EVs don't stink and don't make you breathe carcinogens on cold start.[/*][*]EV maintenance is much less frequent and much cheaper, eliminating almost all items having to do with engine, transmission, or brakes in a gas car. In most EVs the maintenance schedule consists of battery coolant changes and tire maintenance.[/*][*]You can accelerate fast in EVs without noisily attracting the attention of the cops and every passerby on the street.[/*][/list]
  • MaintenanceCosts Still can't get a RAV4 Prime for love or money. Availability of normal hybrid RAV4s and Highlanders is only slightly better. At least around here I think Toyota could sell twice the number of vehicles that they are actually bringing in at the moment.
  • Tree Trunk Been in the market for a new Highlander Hybrid, it is sold out with order time of 6 months plus. Probably would have bit the bullet if it was not for the dealers the refuse to take an order but instead want to sell from allotment whether it fits or not and at thousands over MRSP.
  • AKHusky The expense argument is nonsense. My mach e was $42k after tax credit. Basically the same as similarly equipped edge. And it completely ignores that the best selling vehicles are Rams, F150s, and Silverados, all more expensive that a bolt, MAch e or ID4. As an owner, I'd say they are still in second car territory for most places in the country.
  • Johnster I live in a red state and I see quite a few EVs being purchased by conservative, upper-class Republicans (many of them Trump-supporters). I suspect that it is a way for them to flaunt their wealth and that, over time, the preference for EVs will trickle down to less well-off Republicans.
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