So you desire luxury and comfort? A lazy straight-6 would be pleasing, and an automatic gearbox is a must. The status of owning a grand saloon appeals, but you also want something rare and different – something which demonstrates your individuality and shows the world that you’re not afraid to stand out in a crowd. Somewhat picky, aren’t you? And just to top it all off, you’re even on a strict budget. Well look no further…
The fourth-generation Toyota Crown was introduced in early 1971. Known as the S60 model, it was stylistically a huge leap forward compared to its predecessor. The square and boxy looks were left behind and the new Crown made its presence known with sweeping flanks, distinct wheel arches, inset grill and headlights, huge integrated bumpers melting into the bodywork, a subtle but effectful upward kink of the C-pillar, and of course that hugely characteristic – but also controversial – double-decker nose design. It was indeed a statement. On its home-market in Japan it was affectionately known as the “Kujira” which translates into Blue Whale.
Mechanically things were largely unchanged from the previous Crown. The popular and strong chain-driven 6-cylinder SOHC engine known as the M engine was retained in 2-litre form, but a new stroked and bored version called the 4M expanded the reliable 6-cylinder to 2.6-litres resulting in an increase in torque, while horsepower was largely unchanged. Both manual and automatic gearboxes were available. While delivering comfort and luxury on par with many of their European competitors, they of course also delivered that typical Toyota reliability, which few other than the much more expensive Mercedes-Benz had any chance of matching. At least mechanically. Rust on the other hand proved to be their biggest enemy, and most S60 Crowns have succumb to the sound of rapidly corroding bodywork. Add poor parts supply as the model grew older, and it’s easy to understand why so few have survived.
What we have here as this week’s Prime Find is a very original and unmolested UK-market Toyota Crown from 1972. It’s the range-topping MS65 model equipped with the 4M engine and a 3-speed automatic gearbox. The Crown is claimed to have a surprisingly low 62,000 miles on it, a current MOT and is said to drive well. It looks great in light blue metallic and judging by the pictures it presents really well both inside and out. Even the engine bay is surprisingly clean. Judge for yourself:
Nonetheless, the seller does admit to a few minor things which need sorting. The Crown requires a new rear silencer, the passenger wing mirror is missing and a few gauges don’t work. But this could possibly play to your advantage, as it might very well contribute to keep bidding down on the eBay auction, despite being simple and cheap fixes once you have the luxury Jap saloon in your garage. At the moment of writing these words, with 4 days to go for the auction, bidding is up to £ 4,000 with the reserve not yet met. Go on!! Place a bid and let’s find out where that reserve lies at – here’s the link for you: 1972 Toyota Crown 2600 automatic
So let’s recap. Luxury and comfort? Tick. Lazy straight-6? Tick. Automatic gearbox? Tick. Grand saloon? Tick. Rare and different? Uhmm, hell yeah! You’ll never meet another one coming towards you on your sunny Sunday morning drive. And that last point – budget? Well, not knowing the reserve is of course a bit of a joker, but I think it’s safe to presume that this will not be an expensive classic car. So go ahead – dare to be different. The only thing holding me back is that I just don’t do automatic transmissions. What say you?
With our Saturday instalment of Prime Find of the Week, we’re offering our services to the classic car community, by passing on our favourite classic car for sale from the week that passed. This top-tip might help a first-time-buyer to own his first classic, or it could even be the perfect motivation for a multiple-classic-car-owner to expand his garage with something different. We’ll let us inspire by anything from a cheap project to a stunning concours exotic, and hope that you will do the same.
Just remember – Any Classic is Better than No Classic! We obviously invite our readers to help prospective buyers with your views and maybe even experiences of any given model we feature. Further to that, if you stumble across a classic which you feel we ought to feature as Prime Find of the Week, then please send us a link to firstname.lastname@example.org