Time Traveler: 1983 Toyota Cressida

030816 Barn Finds - 1983 Toyota Cressida 1

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The Toyota that time forgot – found here on craigslist in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The seller is asking $5,500 for this time capsule and given the current market and this car’s condition, it seems like a reasonable price to me. Some of you may think that is a ridiculous amount of money for a 33-year old Japanese car, but this one is in what I call “collector condition” and the price will most likely never be much lower than it is now. Unless you’ve been in a cave in New Mexico for the last few years you already know that Japanese vehicles are hot right now; yes, even 4-door sedans, and especially when they’re in this condition.

030816 Barn Finds - 1983 Toyota Cressida 2

Known as the Toyota Mark II in Japan, the Cressida was made for import markets between 1976 and 1992 when it was replaced by the bigger and even more luxurious Avalon in North America. This example looks like it’s been hermetically-sealed and kept in a #2 mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnalls’ back porch since it was new; it appears to be in almost perfect condition.

030816 Barn Finds - 1983 Toyota Cressida 3

The Cressida was a luxurious car in its day, especially for a Japanese maker. It had enough room to scoot you and three or four friends along in quiet comfort and could swallow up your luggage for almost any length road trip. How this particular car has stayed in this condition for the last 83,000 miles, I’ll never know. The tires even look like new, probably because they are.

030816 Barn Finds - 1983 Toyota Cressida 5

Let’s take a look inside. Automatic: check. Perfect, puffy leather seats: check. Almost every option a person could want, and all still functioning perfectly: check. Automatic seatbelts: check.. dang. Well, other than those it’s perfect in there.

030816 Barn Finds - 1983 Toyota Cressida 6

If you didn’t know that this was a Toyota I’m guessing that the majority of you would think that this something very different than that, like some sort of American luxury car. Look at those seats! It’s still in beautiful condition inside, too. I wish my hide had weathered as well as this one has over the last 33 years. This car also has a moonroof and a cool, digital dash.

030816 Barn Finds - 1983 Toyota Cressida 4

This 6-cylinder looks tidy for being of this vintage and after a couple of hours of detailing it would look as spotless as the rest of the car does. The owner says that a new timing belt has been installed and that the “car runs impeccably and will last for many more years.” I don’t doubt it at all.

030816 Barn Finds - 1983 Toyota Cressida 9

The seller is open to reasonable offers on this one-owner car. I wouldn’t go in like Rick Harrison would at half price and expect to drive this one back to the Toyota wing of your garage, but maybe there’s a bit of wiggle room here. Whether a person likes Toyotas or Cressidas or Japanese cars or not, there is no denying that this is one nice car. There aren’t many vehicles over three decades old in this condition anymore and when you see one of any make it brings you back to the era; or, it does for me anyway. I love this Toyota time traveler, how about you?

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  1. Nessy

    This was the first year Toyota put the new for 82 Supra’s big twin cam 6 in the Cressida and it sure made a big difference in power. An era when the Japs were putting Cadillac like touches into their luxury models like this car and Datsun’s Maxima. Nice cars.

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  2. Fred

    A friend had one and drove it into the ground, well over 200K miles. I’m sure this one could also do that, making it a reasonable deal at this price.

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  3. Terry holland

    Already deleted by seller…

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    • Walt

      If this beauty was in Honolulu it would not even need to be advertised—And the
      price would be at least 6500.

      Like 0
  4. Mike

    Nice car it is a shame it is on the other side of the country, I know somebody that would grad it is a second.

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  5. nighttrainx03

    They must be hot, its already gone.

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  6. edh

    “I wouldn’t go in like Rick Harrison”

    That made my day!

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  7. KO

    My brother is putting 50 miles a day on his ’84 Cressida, I know it’s over 350k miles. Looks closer to Mad Max than this pristine example, but it’s still going.

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  8. Mike H. Mike H

    I owned an ’84 about (20) years ago; it was a sad and sorry car that had beaten, abused, and neglected. A small cash infusion and a reasonable application of elbow grease provided me with an outstanding ride for a solid two years. Comfortable, powerful, quiet. . . This was a great car, and the only thing which left me wanting more is that the one which came after it; the X70 and X80 models of Cressida were nicer and prettier in every way imaginable. While I couldn’t find the right and proper project Cressida of the later vintage, I did eventually sell off my ’84 Cressida when I came into the possession of an ’88 Celica All-Trac Turbo.

    But that is a horror story for another day.

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  9. Chris

    This car is why the US got their ass kicked by the Japanese in the early 80s. I love american cars, I own 7 right now.

    But you have to admit, these looked pretty good, drove extremely well, had excellent quality, and were very efficient. In this time period, Toyota built some of the best engines on the planet.

    Automatic seat belts are such a buzz crush.

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    • Jason Houston

      Those are all excellent reasons to recommend it as a family car. But a collector car it is not.

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      • Chris

        For sure.

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  10. Jubjub

    This car getting sideways, sunroof open, two juvenile delinquents inside and Led Zeppelin’s Hot Dog in the deck.

    I ended up owning a few of these partially based on the aforementioned exposure. This ain’t no lousy Camry. And I allow them to be collector cars if it doesn’t make ’em too pricey.

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  11. Schwag

    I’d have bought it. I dig the color, the condition appears to be very good, and I don’t mind the auto seatbelts. Those dinner plate bumpers sure are unfortunate looking, though.

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  12. Mr. TKD

    I’d pick it up. Nice car that still has many years left in it.

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  13. Tom Driscoll

    My Dad bought one new in ’84, great power, bells and whistles, didn’t run so well after a few years (lost power?), nothing as silky smooth as an inline 6 (least 1st,2nd,3rd order vibrations) now lets talk turbo supra…$50k, over 100k miles…eeks, I want one!!!

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  14. Leon

    I liked the wagon version didn’t it have triple wipers in rear ?

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    • Mike H. Mike H.

      No, that was the Camry. This model wasn’t offered as a long-roof.

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  15. BMW/Tundra guy

    The Cressida WAS offered in a wagon version. Just as nice and classy a ride as this one is. It was only offered in this bodystyle and then appears to have been pulled from production. I had one in 84, an 84 in black, burgundy leather interior, twin cam straight six and a FIVE SPEED!!! At about 400K I tired of it. Gave it to a kid in the neighborhood that had just gotten his license. I saw it around for a couple more years. Usually had kids hanging out of it and music blasting but it was still running. Wonder if he ever succeeded in killing it?

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    • karu

      5 speed must have been added later. Wagons only came with auto tranny.

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  16. Tmorris

    I also had an 84 – black, 5 speed, leather interior, sunroof… bought it new and sold it in 2007 with just over 100K miles. It left me cleaner than the one shown here. It was awesome in its day – sharing much of the driveline of the Supra – but my reason for selling was that it had really gotten dated looking and I had no fantasy that it would ever be collectible despite the effort I put in to maintaining it.

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  17. Tmorris

    Picture attached.

    Like 1

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