25+ year old Japanese imports are very common here in Oregon, but almost invariably they’re AWD vans and some SUVs. But then I saw this in front of me in traffic the other day, and I did a double take: What’s that? Thanks to the V8 and “Majesta” badges, I was quickly enlightened.
Somebody likes big RWD V8 Toyota sedans.
It’s a faux-hardtop, as was the fashion for so long in Japan. The Crown Majesta shared a lot under the skin with the Celsior/Lexus LS including its buttery-smooth V8. But stylistically, it was clearly oriented to the domestic market, despite having a hint of Cadillac, especially at the rear.
A full write up on it is here:
Curbside Classic: 1996 Toyota Crown (S150) Majesta V8 – Lexus De Ville
A few of these older JDM cars are trickling down here into California; some that I’ve seen have appeared with Oregon plates and then sprouted California plates, though I’m not sure how that’s done. Mostly Delica’s and Land Cruisers, though also a few sportier RWD Toyota’s or Nissans, as popularized in the drift world. This Crown doesn’t seem to fit the latter mold. Good catch!
“Somebody likes big RWD V8 Toyota sedans.”
What’s not to like? American luxury! (Done by someone else).
The side view from the middle of the rear door forward looks very LS400, no bad thing. Nicely understated too, nothing too garish about it. Someone’s got themselves a nice car there.
What model year? Is/ was it a car sold in the Canadian mkt? Thanks.
Not sold in Canada; Japan only. Don’t know the exact year; built from 1995-1999.
Here’s more details:
I have noticed a couple of Crowns on my local CL. They are intriguing, but the seller is pricing them so that they are not intriguing enough.
Plenty here, but very few for sale JP, there was a V12 Century on marketplace a while ago not cheap.
The Crown Majesta shared a lot under the skin with the
Celsior/Lexus LSAristo/Lexus GS including its buttery-smooth V8.
The concurrent Aristo’s prior to the second generation could indeed be had with the 1UZ V8 in conjunction with all-wheel drive. This Crown’s platform was shared with said second generation Aristo/GS (the Majesta debuted first), whereas the first Aristo/GS sat on the previous generation platform of Crown/Majesta, both of which debuted simultaneously at the end of 1991. In terms of chassis speak, if there is any relation to the Celsior/LS in this Crown, it’s distant. The LS didn’t start intermingling with Crown until the Fourth generation, when the Crown Zero concept had come to fruition with the twelfth generation, the Mark II line “merged” into Mark X, and they all started utilizing a platform starting point referred to as N (new), developed for all upcoming luxury rwd-based passenger cars in Toyota’s lineups. Despite this commonality of the starting point upon “N”, each line still continued to utilize the old subsequent sequential chassis coding (X, S, XF).
Cool because rare here. Hyperconservative design makes me forget it the moment I take my eyes off it, though I’d rather look at a Crown Majesta than a Crown Victoria. Unsafe to drive at night weighs pretty heavily against this car on this continent.
First thing that crossed my mind. And there usually ain’t no elegant solution when you’ve got a vehicle that was never produced for RHT markets.
Someone in my hometown had an ambitious streak a number of years ago, and imported a goodly number of Japanese microtrucks… all of them having square sealed beams (and oddly, none of them with bulb replaceable lamps in that form factor). For a number of years, it wasn’t too uncommon to see them bopping along in traffic or in grocery store parking lots, yet I never encountered one that had its LHT headlamps replaced by correct ones. It seems few care even if there is an easy and affordable solution.
It’s unlikely that the vast majority of drivers in North America even realize that there are headlights differences depending on which side of the road one drives on.
And then there are likely a significant portion of the rest who figure that since almost no drivers ever replace their worn, maladjusted, faded, poorly performing headlights and many new vehicles have overly blight, glare-inducing, maladjusted, often raised or lowered beyond “ideal spec” height without any legal consequence headlights, they just don’t care.
Besides, you can always just bolt an LED lightbar to the roof or hood or grille or all of the above, leave it on 24/7 and all the problems are solved.(/s) Nobody will care. (not /s)
I’m surprised the Majesta hasn’t made a Left Coast appearance before now. I have seen a few here in PA. Along with Cimas from a couple of generations, other Crowns, some Honda Legends, a decent number of Toyota Seras, Honda Beats, a Cappucino or two, some Cedrics and Glorias. Heck, for months now I drive past a house with a first gen Q45-based Nissan President JS parked in the driveway every day on the way to work and occasionally see it out and about.
Fairly big cars V8 well made nice to rude in and durable, Im surprised they didnt catch on earlier These big Jappas are certainly popular here even with $10 per gallon gas, but they have to be near new or classic age to get in now. An aging Majesta onertook me yesterday I was about to change lanes when something blue flew past me on the left, (we have no fast or slow lanes),it was an old Toyota crown being flung thru traffic at speed,
If I had the resources (i.e., time, finances and mechanical skill) to get an extra car just for the fun of it, a big JDM sedan would be high on my list. The combination of traditional luxury and Japanese build quality is pretty alluring. I have not seen one of these Crown Majestas in person yet, but I’m sure I’d like it.
And the owner of this car seems to be a V-8 enthusiast, since the license plate (“UZS”) quite possibly refers to Toyota’s UZ engine family of V-8s.
Still looks like 2 cars joined somewhere between the B and C pillars
Now you mention it Roger, yes, and I can’t un-see it…
I’m afraid it is only a matter of time before a vast majority of states follow Maine’s lead and prevent these JDM cars from being registered.
In the days before the 25-year rule, people and companies were free to import whatever they wanted *as long as they were modified to meet US regulations*. Bumpers, lights, speedometers, side door beams, catalytic converters, etc. Of course some importers played fast and loose with the rules, but the rules did exist.
I’m starting to warm up to the notion, put forth on these pages before, that cars like this are hazardous to the motoring safety of the general public, and that state and federal regulations need to be rethought.
Even with the frameless windows , that thin B pillar makes such a difference in structural integrity.
Silky smooth, quieter than a LTD, effortless power, rock solid 4 speed automatic transmission, and the reliability of a Toyota.
I sure miss the 90’s.