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Nicest One Left? 1980 Toyota Cressida Wagon

Distinctive doesn’t begin to describe the third-generation Toyota Mark II, known here and in other countries as the Cressida. At one time in Toyota’s history, this was as nice as it got if a person wanted the nicest Toyota made. The seller has this 1980 Toyota Cressida wagon listed here on eBay as a classified ad in San Jose, California, and they’re asking $17,950 or you can make an offer.

In case you were wondering, no, this car didn’t cost $17,950 new in 1980, it was just under $10,000. That price equates to around $38,000 today. Just to get the “It didn’t cost that much new!” argument out of the way. You can hardly get any Toyota today for $38,000, at least a new one, and certainly not one of an equivalent trim level, which would probably be the Crown, which replaced the Avalon, which replaced the Cressida.

The Cressida of this era came with standard power steering and power brakes, cruise control, and even standard air-conditioning. This example appears to be in really nice condition and the seller has provided a ton of photos, everything but underside shots. It has a lot of small scratches and nicks in the Di-Nic woodgrain and some small bubbles as shown in the photo gallery, but overall it looks nice. A set of white walls would be a nice touch.

Cressida sedans received standard power door locks and power windows, but wagons did not for some odd reason. Maybe Toyota thought that kids would tend to be riding in the back seat of a station wagon more than in a sedan and they’d mess around with power window buttons? The sedans got a plush velour seating fabric but wagons got this striped fabric and these seats look great both front and back. The rear cargo area looks equally nice.

The engine is Toyota’s 4M-E, a 2.6-liter fuel-injected inline-six with around 110 horsepower and 135 lb-ft of torque when new. The seller says that the AC is ice-cold and this car runs “amazing” and drives like the day it rolled off the assembly line. I know that San Jose is a different market than I’m used to with tons of money floating around, but what do you think about this car, and the asking price?


  1. HoA Howard A Member

    Without looking, 2 indicators of the author, “nicest one left” and anything Asian. Regardless of your feelings on Asian cars, you must admit, Toyota pulled out the big guns here. You ( Americans) want Asian class, this had it applied with a patching trowel. Normally, I’d attribute a price like that to the thin air in the mountains, but clearly going on the “try and find another” mentality, so prevalent in that region. The “spaghetti bowl” of wires turned many off just looking at it, and vacuum leaks were the bane,( high idle? vacuum leak) but they really were nice cars. Probably the nicest before they went on the SUV bender. Never saw one in Beer City, but by this time, Toyota knew what most Americans wanted in a foreign car, but unfortunately, a bigger Asian wagon just couldn’t compete with what we had then, the likes of Volare and Fairmont wagons. Before the truck schtick, wagons were the bread and butter of US car sales, and Toyota tried with this, but eventually gave up on passenger cars to focus on SUVs, and made a killing doing so.

    Like 13
  2. Jim

    I believe this is the one that has been in a dealer’s ad in Hemmings Motor News for months. Nice as it looks, I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks they are asking way too much.

    Like 19
  3. TomP

    $18k? You’re out of your mind.

    Like 15
    • HoA Howard A Member

      Ask your doctor if this Cressida is right for you,,

      Like 3
  4. Steve R

    There are a lot of really nice cars from this era stashed away in many parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. Before housing prices became detached from reality in the early-1990’s for a variety of reasons most people could afford a house on one income close to work, second cars, like this probably was often racked up very few miles. The people that bought prior to that often still live there, my parents bought their house in 1961 and the majority of their neighbors have been in their houses for 40+ years. Houses have only started coming up for sale recently as the owners die off or can no longer live on their own. If there are multiple children a sale is almost inevitable in order to settle an estate. A friend that owns a tow company works with several realtors, since he processes paperwork through the DMV. He comes across some really nice cars on a regular basis and often purchases those that haven’t run for a while. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is how this car is coming to market.

    The price may be high, but there is a market for Japanese cars of this era and might find a buyer now that it’s being advertised to a broader market than Hemmings.

    Steve R

    Like 5
  5. JoeNYWF64

    Did Toyota have a Plymouth Volare wagon sitting in the design studio?!
    I always think the same thing about a ’68 camaro sitting in a ’70 Plymouth Cuda design studio.

    Like 5
  6. Pete

    for that money one could get a Highlander with 35,00o miles.

    Like 5
    • Claudio

      And i have to add that i would prefer the highlander …

      Like 3
    • HoA Howard A Member

      I agree on the price part, but not the Highlander. I had a neighbor with a Highlander, I can say without reservation, the best all-around vehicle you could buy. He pulled a small camper with it, AWD, roomy, even comfortable, but you can’t think someone with Highlander on their minds would want this car. Fact is, younger folks may not even know at one time, Toyota made cars like this. The new buyer will want it purely for nostalgia reasons. More for an old hippie reliving their youth when these were new. An old hippie on SS coming up with $18 grand could be the problem, however. No offers pretty much tells that story.

      Like 0
    • Robert Gifford

      One man’s junk is another man’s
      Treasure.its how much do you want to spend.

      Like 0
      • Tony Orcutt

        Ok now it’s getting a little ridiculous that a 500 dollar car or donating to some single mother in need

        Like 0
  7. CarnutDan

    I remember seeing these in my neighboorhood but brown in color and the lesser corolla wagons too. I do love a medium sized wagon such as these, aspen/volare and chevy malibu wagons of the early 80s. Heck even Nissan had maxima wagons to compete with this one.

    Like 5
  8. Big C

    These must have moved off the boat, and never left California. I’ve never seen one of these things, in the wild, out here in the real world.

    Like 6
  9. ThunderRob

    Those Cressida’s are actually quite desireable especially if equipped with a 5spd because they packed the Supra engine slightly detuned,which is a very popular engine in the tuner industry.My Dad for a time had a Cressida sedan with the 6 and 5spd and it was a runner(in malaise terms..lol )

    Like 5
  10. Stinky

    On a quiet night you could hear these things rust. This one looks to be in decent shape.

    Like 0
  11. Joe Middleton Jr

    If this vehicle were made in USA it could have been used as a fleet vehicle like police and taxi cars

    Like 0
  12. Chris Londish Member

    My Dad had one here in Australia a mustard colour wagon, bought it really cheap and drove it for years, when they came out they were an expensive motor car

    Like 0

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