Toyota’s first big sales success in North America was the Corona, which arrived here for the 1966 model year and proved to be a great value car (my first car was a 1969 Corona sedan, and I was in 14 years old, so I admit to being a bit Corona biased here). Toyota sold very well here in the 1970s and 80s, but it didn’t really make a big buck from the American luxury sedan market until the Lexus LS 400 debuted for the 1990 model year. Prior to this, Toyota Motor Sales of America had tried without notable success to get Americans to buy the upscale Crown and Corona Mark II.Finally, the 1978 Toyota Corona Mark II with the Cressida badge is here, and Some Americans are willing to buy this big six-cylinder-powered luxury machine. Cressida sales never really took off, but Americans could buy Cressidas all the way through 1992. Finding 1990s Cressidas in an automobile graveyard is nearly impossible today, but I had success in Sparks, Nevada a few months ago.
The LS 400 was a masterpiece of engineering, with an all-new V8 engine and all the other innovations that would daunt the litigants of the major European car companies. It also makes the Cressida seem a bit small and old-fashioned, so it’s surprising that Toyota has been selling it here for the 1990-1992 model years.
Under the skin, the Cressida was always a close relative of the same-year Supra. That means its suspension and powertrain are broadly similar to Supra hardware of the same period (much like the rear-wheel-drive Datsun 810/Nissan Maxima shares a lot of engineering DNA with the Z-Car).
The car was powered by a 7M-GE inline-six engine rated at 190 horsepower and 185 lb-ft (the Supra version was even more powerful).
While the Japanese 1991 Mark II could be had with a five-speed manual transmission, American Cressida buyers had to buy the four-speed Aisin automatic.
Even though the car only logged 172,794 miles before the end of the race, the cars fit together very well.
In 1991, the MSRP of the Lexus LS 400 was $36,955 (approximately $81,490 in 2022 dollars), which was less expensive than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but gave the Lexus $22,198 (48,945 today) $) Sales of a Toyota salesperson brought trouble on a new Cressida.
The Cressida back then was quite luxurious and well-made, but the new Lexus looked more like a dollar car at the time.
Toyota continued to install combination CD/cassette players into Lexus well into this century. Naturally, this Cressida has that rig.
I think this is the first Ouija plate I’ve found in a junkyard vehicle.
Sadly, we never got the supercharged version here, nor did we get the Cressida Grande.
The most trouble free car sold in America!