CC Outtake: 1976 Toyota Cressida – Juvenile Sophistication


This Cressida, captured by Laurence Jones, perfectly embodies what inspired me to get involved doing what I do here.  It’s impossible not to show appreciation for a car in daily use after four decades and this Cressida, not surprisingly found on the West coast, was only slightly less obscure when new than it is today.


I can’t help but think of this car as a child dressed up for a formal event, trying its hardest to look serious while more mature company wants to either pinch its cheeks or ignore it.  As cute and overdressed as this Cressida is, however, it managed to tune-out all the infantilization and keep its eyes on the prize, eventually impressing everyone with its sophistication and buttoned-down demeanor.


The current owner of this car, like a doting–perhaps overbearing–parent, wants to keep it young forever.  In most respects, like the well cared for paint and trim, that’s a very good thing.   Those vulgar rims, on the other hand cross a line, emphasizing the general awkwardness of a car wearing too much jewelry for its shape and size.  But perhaps it’s only fitting; after all, only ten years later, LS400s with factory chrome wheels were making their way across the Pacific to consumers who would adopt them with open arms.