1987 Toyota Cressida

Autofrei has been absolutely inundated with one message inquiring about the Cressida in the background of an earlier post. That Toyota happens to be a neighborhood car, and I’ve been staring at it’s red velour for quite some time. 


The Cressida is known not for being an important part of shrugging of Japanese cars’ reputation as little rattlecans and econoboxes, nor is it known for being the proto-Lexus. Nope, it’s known for being a four-door Supra, complete with a straight six under that featureless hood.

While its history collects dust in a few history books on the Japanese auto industry, the Cressida spends most of its time getting hot-rodded like a plus-size sports car, what with all the similarities to the Supra. The same thing happens to Ford Falcons and Mustangs from the ’60s, but I don’t know which pairing has a higher degree of interchangeable parts.

  Of course, interchangeability of parts in automobiles goes back to Henry Leland applying peerlessly high standards to his cars. I look forward to being able to switch more and more parts from car to car. I love the idea of going to a junkyard and pulling the pushrod suspension out of a wrecked 2023 Cadillac QZS-V and fitting them to my 2034 Mazdaspeed 1000, or something.

I doubt that my future fantasy car will have quite as cool an interior as this Cressida’s, what with all the open space, thickly molded plastic, and of course that all-red velour interior.

Murilee Martin points out that the Cressida was about double the price of a contemporary Corolla, but still much cheaper than a BMW 5er. The BMW didn’t look like a late ’70s Ford Fairmont; the Cressida did.

I don’t know if this particular Cressida is a souped up, dropped down street racer waiting to happen, if it’s a third-owner reliable daily driver, or if this is a low-mileage retiree’s ride.

There’s a performance parts sticker on the trunk, but the car’s an automatic.

It’s always a feature in the neighborhood, and a much-appreciated addition for me. Unbelievably clean lines and deep black paint just make nearly every car look hopelessly overstyled.

Here’s the Cressida getting absolutely none of that garage treatment that all the popular cars get. I don’t know if the Cressida gets jealous.

And here it is spending the night outside, soaking up the light from passing cabs.


For Reference:

If you’re curious about Cressidas, you should check out this full historical analysis on Curbside Classics here.

For those looking for a lighter take, here’s a third gen on the old Down On The Street Series. Ms. Martin also ran this DOTS of an ’84, here.

And don’t forget my old ode to the first Cressida to land on American shores, here, nor the fourth gen review, here.

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1 Response to 1987 Toyota Cressida

  1. thank you! that hit the spot 😉

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