(first posted 12/8/2013) While not nearly as popular as a few years back, there is still a steady stream of 15+ year-old Japanese market vehicles that make their way into Canada. The vast majority are sports cars, high end SUVs or four wheel drive vans. Trailing behind in fourth place are luxury cars. This Toyota Crown Royal Saloon is the first of its kind I’ve seen here. It resembles the Lexus LS400. but is based on a different platform.
Many of us in North America might be unaware but the Crown name plate dates all the way back to 1955. We saw a few of the early family members in the Vintage Toyota Mother-load Part 1 and Part 2. Our example of the day is a ninth generation design from the early to mid 1990s.
A Ford Mustang features a galloping horse prominently so it seems reasonable the a Toyota Crown but would proudly display, what else but, a Crown badge.
The grill features another Crown.
Cloth? Obviously the Japanese don’t as strongly associate leather with luxury as we do in North America.
Mechanically these S140 Crowns are based on the same rear wheel drive platform as the Toyota Aristo. Luckily for this owner the Aristo was sold (if modestly) in North America as the Lexus GS300. Suspension for all the cars is fully independent with double wishbones at each end. The GS300 was offered only with a silky smooth 3.0L inline six engine. The Crown could have used the same engine or a smaller 2.0L or 2.5L version. A 2.4L four cylinder diesel was offered for Crown taxi duty.
The Japanese dealership sticker is still accounted for on this Crown. While North American dealers tend to attach their badges prominently on trunk lids I prefer the more subtle bumper location. Kanagawa Toyota still exists and looks to be located just outside Tokyo. My Japanese geography isn’t great but perhaps it’s a suburb?
So is this Crown fit for royalty? Well I did find it parked outside of Princess Auto (Canadian chain similar to Harbor Freight) so I’d say so.