1977 Toyota Crown

The Toyota Crown always offered good value for money but never sold in large quantities, unlike smaller Toyota vehicles, compared with comparable Holdens and Fords of tits time. Perhaps its rather bland and conservative looks contributed to this situation for on driving aspects alone it was at least equal to and often better than the competition. The car certainly should have appealed to buyers looking for excellent finish, high comfort levels and solid basic engineering providing they were prepared to accept its tasteful and neat styling.

The 1975 Crown was powered by a 2.0-litre SOHC six-cylinder engine which ran very smoothly and was an excellent piece of automotive engineering. Whilst the car had only minimal insulation it never suffered from mechanical or road noise – always a sign of good design and build quality. Good acceleration meant you could reach 100 km/h in 14.4 seconds but it still gave excellent economy. An average of around 10.5 litres per 100km was achievable when driven conservatively.

Many of the Crown’s mechanicals were straight out of the superseded model but as Toyota engineers have usually followed a thorough development programme buyers could be sure that everything worked well. The Crown featured a fairly conventional front suspension system comprising coil springs and wishbones with an anti-roll bar. At the rear, like the Holden of that time, it had a live axle, with coil springs and trailing links.

Where the Crown did shine was in the interior. Apart from the dashboard which had an overdone plastic look unlike the conservative exterior, the rest of the interior said luxury. Good comfortable seats, an efficient heater with a quiet fan, all the usual and essential instruments and radio made for pleasant motoring. Storage wasn’t overlooked either, with a centre console bin and a combination armrest/glove compartment.

The Crown was a quality motor car which satisfied most owners’ needs for comfortable and reliable motoring. First introduced in Japan in the mid-1950s nearly two million of the marque were made up until this model was introduced so most bugs were ironed out in earlier development programmes.

Later models continued this trend and there can be little doubt that in any comparison with similar cars the Crown won hands down when it came to equipment. It had lots of clever little bits and pieces which the Japanese saw as not only standard but essential. In short, the Crown offered remarkable value for money and had a feeling of everlasting solidarity.

About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
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