I stopped to photograph a second generation Celica Coupe in Redondo Beach, when I spotted this very unusual Crown Hardtop. I knew it was an early model Toyota, and I also knew it wasn’t a US market model.
Why did I know it was a Toyota? I’m not sure, but as a fan of Toyota’s offering from that time, I knew this coupe belonged in the family. Perhaps it was those rear quarter panels- I’ve owned a ’73 Corolla Coupe and admired the first Celica, and I see similar lines in this (somewhat larger) two door.
For any doubters out there, the boot includes a Toyota badge and the side panel clearly declares this is a Crown. The car does not include any “S” badging or other performance features, so presumably it is a base model. Some base Crowns came with a 2 liter I-4, but this more exclusive hardtop more likely was only offered one of two available I-6s: a base SOHC 2.2, or a performance oriented SOHC 2.0 (with twin SU carburetors). We’ll see if others can provide more specific details.
While I have no personal experience with Toyota Crowns, I have confirmed Toyota built this generation from 1967 to 1971. After a bit of internet research, those square headlights seem to identify this car as a ’69, ’70 or ’71. Based on those forward mounted outside rearview mirrors, it also appears to be a Japanese market car, as well as the fact that Toyota never offered the hardtop version in the US.
This interior shot shows the right hand drive configuration. The door panels and seat upholstery show some wear and there are a few missing trim pieces, but this car is very original and likely a low mileage example.
Oddly enough, I shot these pictures last week, just two days after Paul announced Toyota week. It appears the CC Gods wanted to guarantee that Curbside Classic would have a full slate of Toyotas during our week long celebration, and for that I thank them.