Last year I found this car parked on a small residential street opposite a park in an old part of town just a metaphorical stone’s throw from where it was built at the Australian Motor Industries Port Melbourne factory (a story for another day!). The black-and-white registration plates are the correct era for the car, so it is quite likely the car still has its original owner. The car seems to be in pretty sound condition, apart from the large dent in the rear quarter panel and the missing hub cap.
The Crown was one of the last Japanese cars built on a separate chassis, although it is a little unusual in that the main rails are in 3 sections. The car has an overhead cam 2.6-litre inline six-cylinder engine making 138 hp, and a 3-speed automatic. The emphasis was most definitely on smoothness, silence and comfort over anything so vulgar as performance or handling.
Sounds just like many American cars, right, but it is smaller than most and possibly smaller than it looks at just 185” long on a 106” wheelbase, and just exceeds the de-facto Japanese 66.5” (1.7m) width ‘limit’ thanks to the wheel arch lips. Curb weight was around 3500 lb.
In Australia the Super Saloon was listed at $8,200 in 1975. By comparison you could buy a top trim level Holden Premier with a 308 V8 for $6,600.
A much larger Ford Fairlane was $9,250, while a Mercedes-Benz 280S cost an astounding $20,600! On the other hand a Corolla was yours for $3,300 or you could get a Leyland Mini for $2,925. Incidentally the base-model Crown SE manual was $5,000.
At this point I will admit to a lapse in my CC activities; I saw an absolutely perfect-condition, low-mileage version of this car a couple of weeks ago on my Christmas break. I even chatted with the owners, who I knew, and found out it had lead a very easy life until retirement into classic car status, but I neglected to take a photo! Never mind, here is a similar car (although a lower trim level) in the same mustard/camel colour as that car.