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.