Shakespeare famously wrote uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. You could wear today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Crown - or at the very least get in and drive it. That is of course, if its price doesn’t make you uneasy.
Toyota’s Crown holds the dual distinctions of being that brand’s longest running nameplate and its first offering in the US market. The crown topped Toyota’s model line here from 1958 through the 1971 model year, which was the first model year of the fourth generation of the marque.
Today’s 1974 Crown Super Saloon does represent that fourth gen model, from its last year in fact. That was three years after Toyota stopped bringing the model over, and in fact this is a right-hand drive car, claimed to have been brought over from Japan through private means.
When in Japan, the Crown served frequently as a government ride - whether as police car or ferrying Prefecture officials to view the destruction caused by Rodan’s latest outing. Here, it’s odd styling and right-hookerness will impress and befuddle drive-thru bag-handers.
Befitting its age, the car should be able to be registered pretty much anywhere in the States, even in emissions-phobic California, where it apparently currently resides. Of course, it looks like it hasn’t made it much past the Port of Long Beach so a thorough goings over of its paperwork would be advised.
The car itself appears in serviceable condition, although no mention of mechanical condition os noted in the inscrutably terse ad. It is noted that the car is powered by a 6 cylinder and notes that to be backed up by a 4-speed manual. It doesn’t say which six the car is carrying, possibilities being the 1,988-cc M series, 2,253 2M, or 2,563 4M SOHC motors Some of the other features it does note are the expected A/C, power windows and power steering.
A couple of expected features that are sadly missing are wing-mounted mirrors, which were all the government-mandated rage back when this Crown was built. Maybe it’s not a Japan-market car after all? These models were assembled in Australia and sold - in RHD form - in that country as well as New Zealand.
The rest of the exterior features - notably the weird lip on the hood and Celica-like C-pillar trim - are all intact, and the black paint looks ok. Inside, the seats have what look like some stains or tears, and the carpet seems to be messed up so those elements may need addressing.
The ad strangely enough also has pictures of a bunch of other JDM refugees, including an earlier Crown, Celica Liftback, and a wild ’84 DR30 Skyline, so they must have gotten some sort of package deal. You can mull over those other cars if you want, but right now we’re going to get down to whether or not this ’74 Crown is worth $9,500.
What do you think, does that price make this a Toyota worthy of its name? Or, is $9,500 far too much a tribute to the Crown?
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