Remember when the amorphous and highly volatile entity / hive mind we call The Internet decided that the Best Car of All Time must be a Diesel-powered manual RWD station wagon dressed in fall colours? Well, it so happens that this stunning Crown ticks a majority of those boxes. Plus a few more, like twin rear wipers.
I’m going to assume that at least some of you will be somewhat familiar with the S130 Crown in general and the wagons in particular. I wrote a few posts on the 8th gen Crown by now. Just a quick recap: this was the last generation with body-on-frame construction and the wagons were made for a very long time after the saloons move on to gen 9, being built from September 1987 to December 1999, with a heavy restyle in the summer of 1991.
This is a post-facelift car, with the more rounded styling that was common on many a Toyota product of the period. One could prefer the square-snouted ones that came before, of course, but this is still a fittingly soothing design in our world of jagged-edged angry-alien SUVs. Plus this one has the goofy chromed wing mirrors, so what more do you want?
OK, so it’s not exactly brown. More of a tan. Needs to be left out in the sun more, perhaps. So half a tick in that box.
RWD? You bet. All Crowns have to be by imperial edict, or so it seems. Most S130 saloons had IRS, but all long-roofs kept the tried and true live axle, no matter how Super or Deluxe they thought they were. Actually, the Super Deluxe is the base trim wagon, but as we will see shortly, that did not preclude a decent amount of on-board gadgetry.
And although a turbo Diesel could be ordered (95hp 2.4 litre 4-cyl.), this one has the far more common 135hp DOHC petrol 6-cyl. a few ccs shy of two litres, for tax reasons. You could also splurge on the 2.5 litre petrol 6-cyl. and get 200hp at your command in Royal Saloon/Royal Extra trim cars, but that would have required the addition of a 3-speed automatic transmission.
And look-ey here, I think there’s a four on that there tree. Not sure how clearly you can see that diagram when you’re at the wheel, desperately trying to find 4th gear. But that’s neither here nor there (well, it is there, technically.)
Here’s a more general view of the front bench. I doubt that the upholstery is original and the steering wheel obviously isn’t, but otherwise what we have here is a nicely-optioned wagon with A/C, power windows and a stereo set complete with AM/FM radio, CD and tape deck.
Not the roomiest back seat ever, but you get a few knickknacks to pass the time with, such as a cigarette lighter to charge your phone and a knob to control the stereo’s volume. Probably not a great feature for some families, that last one…
The rear cargo space is pretty capacious. I’m not sure if there is a third row of seats in this car – some Crown wagons had a couple of rear-facing seats back there, which would make this an 8-seater.
With the notable exception of that Diesel, I think we have a pretty compelling proposition here, Internet. So whaddaya say? Thumbs up or thumbs down?