Rare Rides: Formal Luxury Via the 1992 Toyota Crown

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

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]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

More by Corey Lewis

Join the conversation
2 of 28 comments
  • 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!

  • Rover Sig We have a car with two fake exhausts in the bumper, but a large shiny muffler visible hanging down on one side, not aligned with the fake exhaust exits. Horrendous. I had to paint the shiny muffler with high-temp black paint to make it less visible. Exhaust pipes were meant to be round and hang below the bumper, and they can be made quiet or loud as the engineers like. But fake exhausts rank down there with fake intake vents on the side of that old Buick.
  • EBFlex Of course it does. What a silly question
  • Buickman Elon is a phony.
  • The Oracle When elected, Trump will carve out massive loopholes for Elon and other donors.
  • CaddyDaddy It's a shame the 4.9L did not remain a "Credit" option for the Cadillac line. I'm imagining there would be more STS, DeVille Concourses, ETC's and Allantes running around. We were a GM fam 'till the N* issues, other than my 96 Caprice, its been Blue Oval ever since.