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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