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3/4 Scale Woodie: 1979 Toyota Cressida Wagon

1979 Toyota Cressida Wagon

At first glance you could easily mistake this wagon for one of the big American station wagons built in the ’70s, with boxy styling and simulated wood grain. In reality, this wagon isn’t anything like those grocery haulers. This one wasn’t even built in America, but it certainly was styled like it was. This is a 1979 Toyota Cressida Wagon with the wood grain option. Reader Chuck F sent this one in and thought it would be fun to take to your local car shows to see how many people mistake it for one of the big American wagons. This rare Japanese wagon can be found here on craigslist with a $2,600 asking price.

Toyota Cressida Wagon Interior

We would love to park this next to a Ford Country Squire, Chevy Caprice Wagon, or Pontiac Safari just to compare the overall size and shape. We are sure that parked in this group of cars it would look tiny in comparison. Standing on its own it looks to be quite large, but a quick glance inside and you can tell it isn’t nearly as wide as these big cruisers. The interior is deceivingly American looking, with only a few Japanese traits here and there.

Toyota Cressida Wagon Engine

You won’t find a big V8 under this wagons hood, but given its relatively small size the 2.6 liter straight six should offer ample performance. The seller doesn’t offer any information about the engine or if it even runs or not. It appears that someone has done some work under the hood, so hopefully that means it is in good order. Our only complaint is that these were only ever offered with an automatic slushbox.

Toyota Cressida Woodie Wagon

We have to say, we love this oddball wagon. Sure it isn’t a big American wagon or a true compact fuel sipper, but it is a nice balance of both. It should achieve mileage that none of the V8 powered wagons could ever dream of, but still has enough space in the back for trips to the parts store or lumberyard. We just wish the seller would have offered more information, but from what we can see it looks to be in good shape. We would be proud to attend just about any event in it and we can only imagine the amount of confusion it would cause. We are sure the next owner will hear the classic, “I remember riding in one of these (insert American wagon of your choice) as a kid” on a regular basis. Explaining that it is a Cressida, should prove interesting! So are there any takers here for this wagon?


  1. Don Andreina

    Lose the wheel covers and I’ll take it. I love my Japanese wagons; I bought my W116 only after a 70s Nissan Cedric wagon slipped through my grasp. More recently there was a very clean circa1977 Toyota Crown wagon going over here with a woody tailgate.

    For the asking money you get a very practical classic. Good luck to whoever buys it. Nice find, Chuck.

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  2. Chris A.

    I had a bronze Mercury Zephyr wood trimmed wagon of this same vintage so I have a real soft spot for this good looking wagon. The Zephyr, named “Zeke” by my two girls, was in between the Toyada in size and a Ford Country Squire. The Zephyr bronze paint was amazing, even in the upsate NY salt belt, that car never rusted. But I think the Toyoda 6 would have more beans than the Zephyr’s POS Ford 6 with slush box.. I’m not a big fan of wheel covers with blackwalls in front and whitewalls on the back but the chrome window shades scream 70’s. Good pick Chuck.

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  3. Mark E

    What, everyone’s jumping on the tire mismatch but nobody is commenting on the lack of woodgrain vinyl on the gas flap?!?? Clearly the previous owner isn’t overly concerned about appearance anyway.

    I never got overly enthused about the Cressida. I think it’s how the front styling is so similar to a Ford Pinto…

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  4. jim s

    nice to see one that has not turned to rust. still need to do a PI for rust and because of lack of details in sellers listing. for the price it could be a nice daily driver but with an auto and no a/c, that i can see. nice find

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  5. Fred

    The Cressida was the beginning of the 200,000+ mile Toyota. Never seen a wagon, especially a woodgrain one, about as rare a beast as you could hope to find.

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  6. Jim-Bob

    For the money it would be hard to find a better oddball to use as a daily driver. I think the engine would have also been used in the Celica Supra, so there is a chance that you could find parts relatively easily. However, I too would lose the Walmart hubcaps. Even bare steelies would be better than these. I would probably try to find a set of originals, which I believe would have been some sort of faux wire wheels, as was popular during the baroque period of the malaise era. As for the woodgrain, I would have it reproduced by a shop that does vinyl wraps as I am fairly certain that it has seen better days. Yeah, you could get rid of it, but I feel it’s essential to the character of the car to have it partially wrapped in shelf paper.

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  7. Chuck Foster Chuck F

    It’s in the town next to me, I may try to get over and take a look, too many projects as it is but it almost looks like something I could put on Ebay and make a few bucks. I was also wondering about the lack of woodgrain on the gas door. A high school buddy and I share a love for oddball cars, he had a AMC Hornet 4×4 wagon for a while, and a IH Scout 800 now. I’ve never really had an oddball, unless a 1988 Chevy Sprint 4 dr with 3 cyl 4spd (Suzuki) qualifies, was fairly peppy and 50 mpg.

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    • Jim-Bob

      It qualifies, and yes, 3 cylinder Suzukis are awesome oddities! They have their own unique following of poor people, tinkerers and cheapskates. Never has mankind produced a vehicle more well suited to suburban pizza delivery than a 3 cylinder Suzuki. I have tried to find something less expensive to operate but it’s mathematically impossible. That makes it hard NOT to drive one-even when I have other vehicles to choose from.

      (Sorry… I’m a Geo Metro fanboy and I couldn’t resist.)

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  8. Alan (Michigan)

    Those HAM radio guys have eclectic taste in all things mechanical and electronic.

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  9. DT

    I have the same car,only its a 1978 corona, 20R,with a p-51 transmission,I put Celica alloy wheels on it. Ive always been fascinated with woodgraining so for the “wood” I got the tools to woodgrain the vinyl,and it looks great.my mother bought my wagon new,and its still in outstanding condition, been in the family 37 years,outlasted my mom, then outlasted my father,and it might outlast me.

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  10. krash

    “….I believe would have been some sort of faux wire wheels, as was popular during the baroque period of the malaise era…”

    “.. I feel it’s essential to the character of the car to have it partially wrapped in shelf paper..”

    .. thanks for the giggles, JB!!


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    • Jim-Bob

      Thanks! I’m glad somebody got my sense of humor!

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  11. The Chucker

    I had something very similar to this when I was in high school…a 1978 Datsun 810 wagon. Needless to say, I got picked on a lot.

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  12. BOB L

    For better or worse, we bought it yesterday. Hope to get it shipped next week sometime. It will get correct wheel covers and a matched set of tires. Then we will see where it goes from there. Just a sucker for a lo priced oddity, with what appears to be a pretty solid body. Time will tell.

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  13. The Hodder

    I still have one Cressida station wagon 1978 still in very good condition but have difficulties finding body parts. Is there any place that still supply chrome bumpers and lights (tail or back).

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  14. Jason

    Sweet looking Cressida wagon. it’s too bad they’re so rare. I’d buy one in a heartbeat.

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