Barn Find 1972 Toyota Crown Returns On The Road After 25 Years Of Storage

This rare example of a Toyota Crown De Luxe was the brand’s most luxurious offering in the UK market back in 1972, making it an even more special discovery.

The car’s original owner bought it new from a Toyota dealer in Surrey, UK for £2,303 which is equivalent to around £29,500 ($36,800 in current exchange rates) in today’s money.

The car was delivered to Percy Cole on February 1, 1972 and from then on lived a pampered life. Its owner never really pushed it beyond 30mph according to his grandson, and it was always dry-stored when not in use. It even retains the dealership’s original running-in sticker in the rear window as an excuse for driving slowly.

The 1972 Toyota Crown De Luxe is powered by a four-cylinder 2.6-litre petrol engine with 140hp and 164lb-ft of peak torque. A three-speed automatic gearbox was mated to the engine, adding to the relaxing nature of the big Toyota.

Mr. Cole inherited his enthusiasm for the Toyota Crown from his father who owned the previous generation model. The car was maintained for more than a decade after Cole’s death by his son before putting into storage, where it remained untouched until last October.

It was then when the Cole family decided to try and recommission the Crown in preparation for sale, taking the car to a nearby garage. The garage then found a number of minor issues such as blown bulbs, binding rear drum brakes and a hole in the original exhaust system but the family wasn’t too keen of spending too much money on it. So the car was parked outside the shop while they decided what to do next.

It was then when classic car enthusiast Robin Shepperd spotted the Toyota Crown and got impressed by its originality. It was soon after that he became its new proud owner. The car was since then fixed and now it’s fully road legal once again.

It was then when Shepperd realized that his close friend Nick Garrick was the grandson of the original owner, telling him the valuable history of the car in rich detail and joining him for the photoshoot 45 years after the car’s first registration.


  • Mind Synthetic

    truly a sexy car, always loved these.

  • Bo Hanan

    Great color.

  • Tumbi Mtika

    And what a find it is.


  • Craig

    That 2.6 litre engine is a STRAIGHT SIX. Not a four cylinder. And it makes 128 bhp (130 PS/95 kW) of power at 5200 rpm, and maximum torque of 196 N·m (145 lb·ft/20 kgm) at 3600 rpm. That said… there are a lot of cool Japanese cars.

    • Six Thousand Times

      Aggreed but for one of these to survive…priceless.

    • Obsequious Lickspittle

      Pfft, details, details…

  • Six_Tymes

    oh damn. lucky person the own this!

  • Ilbirs

    What I like in this Crown is the fact of being an unmistakeable Japanese designed car that doesn’t try to mimic Euro or American contemporary designs of this times. OK, one or other cue may resemble models of brands outside the archipelago, but as a whole it say in a non-verbal way “I’m a Japanese car made by a Japanese brand and not ashamed a bit to show it to the world”. As Japan is the other main automotive school to the world, the others being Europe and U.S. and other nations more or less inspiring in these three parameters when it comes to their own industries, why not show this proudly for everyone to see?


  • Obsequious Lickspittle

    I love its squint-eyed look at the back.

  • psiqtas

    One of the greatest Japanese cars for me!

  • supermanuel

    I love 70’s Japanese metal. I had a Datsun 120Y for a while in the 90’s and then a 180B SSS Coupe which was completely fantastic, so it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure. If I won the lottery and built a car collection it would feature lots of these beauties. 🙂

  • Dodge Challenger made in Japan!!!

    • Eythan Aldrich

      wrong car pal….

  • ediotsavant

    Beautiful car.

  • Frightening McMean

    Love that car! Illustrated one for a children’s book recently. =)

  • Eythan Aldrich

    my favorite nostalgic toyota crowns of all time imho

  • Tacoma Car Nut

    It’s an unforgivable shame that the Toyota Crown never sold very well, either in the UK or here in the USA. I found it more attractive than the Corona of the same vintage. 🙂

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