You may have noticed I haven’t exactly been writing up a storm for Toyota Week. It’s not that I don’t like Toyotas, it’s just that my favorite ones from the 1960s to the early ’80s are very scarce around my area. But I will tell you that my most favorite Toyota is the Crown: From the early ones right on through to the current workhorse Crown Comfort taxis and plush Crown Royal and Majesta luxury sedans. So naturally when I saw this little ’71 Crown at a toy show in Galesburg a couple years ago, I had to buy it.
This gen-4 Crown was the last one offered in the U.S. The gen-3 was rather conservative looking–albeit attractive (and I loved David Saunders’s Crown cache post!)–but this one was much more Japanese.
Up front, it had a very unusual trim strip/faux grille on the hood, with turn signal lamps wrapping around the tops of the fenders. It actually bore a resemblance to the 1971 Dodge Coronet–at least from the front.
A very Detroit-like hardtop coupe was also offered, along with the station wagon, but the gen-4 didn’t really take off in America, and it was last available here for the 1973 model year. Finding any gen-4 Crown in the States these days would be a genuine find!
The Crown was more or less replaced in the U.S. by the Mark II in ’74, and later on the Cressida (Cressida woody wagon CC here). But I will always love these Crowns, and since I will likely never see one around here, this one will have to do.
This particular model is a reissue of the original casting by Tomica, and like everything else done by that company, the proportions and detailing are spot-on. I have always loved the old JDM-style Japanese cars–like the Australian Valiants, Falcons and Holdens, they are kind of alternate-universe cars to me–at least until Japan, Inc. went mainstream and started designing their U.S. offerings for American tastes. But forty years ago, a Toyota really was a Toyota!