As a big fan of these cars since the day I was born ;D(I came home from the hospital in my Dad's Japanese spec '62 Crown), I can shed some light on it's brief U.S. history in the U.S., from 1957 (Toyota's arrival in the Continental U.S.) to 1972 from the top of my head. In the past there have been various articles published on the history of Toyota in the major automotive magazines, but I note that there were some inconsistencies amongst them.
The first Crown sold in the U.S. was the 1958 model year as clearly documented in the following Toyota USA brochure:
http://www.socapsrcchapter.org/files/TO ... %201958%22
This car did not have any success in the U.S. and was discontinued from the U.S. market after a couple of years. The next two generations of Crowns, the MS40 series and the MS50 series, seemed to have the greatest marketing efforts and sales in the U.S. indicated by the cars I have observed for sale in the past 25 years and the U.S. Sales literature available. You will note, these are the models that you will see most often for sale on the Internet. The MS60 series was introduced to the U.S. market during 1971 and discontinued in 1972. However, cars titled as 1971 Crowns can be from either the MS50 or MS60 series.
By the time the MS60 series was introduced to the U.S., Toyota was no longer seriously interested in selling the Crown here. This car is usually missing in the U.S. Toyota line brochures of the period. Apparently, Toyota USA did not offer the car to journalists at the time to conduct road tests. One unique fact regarding the MS60 series is that it was the only Crown sold in the U.S. as a Sedan (MS65), Wagon (MS63), and Hardtop 2-door (MS75).
I can only speculate the Crown was terminated in the U.S. market due to the following:
1. Lack of sales
2. Introduction on an upmarket and up sized Corona MK II also utilizing the 4M six. The Corona Mk II had already an established U.S. following
3. High price relative to the competition
4. The upcoming U.S. bumper requirements would require a major redesign
5. Overall marketing consolidation of models in the U.S. The Japanese market had room for small model variations which would be confusing in the U.S. market. Another example of this is the termination of the Carina model for the U.S.
In the US, the Crown doesn't have much of a history except for being the first car they sold here. Even during the years it was offered, we only received a single mid-line trim level. At the same time in Japan, there were pickup truck versions (El Camino style), sport versions with twin carburetors, and luxurious ones with power windows and rear air conditioners.
In Japan the Crown model has always been an important staple for Toyota. Today the Crown is offered in many different variations from a Taxi model (Crown Comfort) to a Lexus like V8 model (Crown Majesta).
Hope my rambling helps....