KIDNEY, ANYONE? 29k-mile 1986 Toyota Cressida

1986 Toyota Cressida 01

Before Lexus, there was Cressida. The top-of-the-line Toyota from its 1980s glory days was a tech-laden luxo-barge with rear-wheel-drive and an M-series straight-six that will outlast the cockroaches. Obscure enough to have a cult following but cheap enough to be snapped up by any kid with an after-school job, the result is a perfect storm in which cars that have been preserved for decades are immediately slammed and literally driven into the ground. We hope that’s not the fate for this 29,890-mile 1986 Toyota Cressida currently offered for sale in Wilmington, Delaware. 

1986 Toyota Cressida 04

The X70 Cressida, built from 1985-88, is another one of those below-radar Japanese cars that went completely unnoticed for decades. It wasn’t hailed as anything special in its day, but its boxy looks have aged well, possibly better than many of its contemporaries. Most owners were sensible middle-agers who wanted something as luxurious as a BMW 5-series but none of the status. As such, Cressidas were kept well and are now reaching the market as these folks retire from driving altogether 30 years later.

1986 Toyota Cressida 06

However, the Cressida is also a poster child for the burgeoning stateside bosozoku scene. Sold as the Mark II, Cresta and Chaser in Japan, it’s a popular platform for the ultra-low, brightly colored sleds. And because most zokusha platforms weren’t sold in the US, the Cressida has become the go-to source for Americans wishing to emulate the Japanese lowriders.

Full disclosure: I have a 1986 Cressida wagon, and I am completely guilty of buying it from a lovely old lady, lowering it, and driving it all over southern California (and beyond). No matter how careful I am, harsh sun, poor parkers, and ridiculous amounts of SoCal road debris have exacted a toll. Nothing I’ve done to it is irreversible, and someday when it is no longer the primary car used to haul everything for JNC, I hope to restore it like Ludacris’ Ac.

1986 Toyota Cressida 15

Having said that, this sedan is very similar to what I would’ve ordered at a Toyota dealership in 1986 had I been old enough. Jade Gray on Black is a rare color scheme, the only two-tone offered on the pre-facelift 1985-86 models (and a $170 option according to the sticker). It also has a sunroof ($715) and a monument to 80s techno fanciness, a digital dash ($260). Even the rare Jade Gray interior is the proper deep-button velour, which I prefer to easily crackable leather. The only thing I would’ve forgone is the automatic transmission.

1986 Toyota Cressida 05

The seller says this is a one-owner car, always garaged and Sunday driven. It comes with the original sticker, and aside from a couple of tiny dings the body appears to be immaculate.

We hope it finds a good home. The current state of world Cressida supply is probably similar to that of an AE86 circa 2005. People are having fun drifting and dropping them, but in a few years the reserve will be dried up and clean ones like this will spike in value. As of this writing, the price is up to $3,181 with 11 bids and 4 days left. See the eBay auction here.

Thanks to Martin K. for the tip!

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16 Responses to KIDNEY, ANYONE? 29k-mile 1986 Toyota Cressida

  1. m1abrams said:

    The asking price for this car on craigslist (Delaware) is $11,900 so I’d expect the Ebay reserve to be pretty high also.

  2. Nigel said:

    If I had the money…this would be mine !!
    (TRD springs and some Watanabes).

  3. JHMAB2 said:

    I’m half surprised that you’re not jumping on this. I wish I had the money for it, we had a friend who owned one when I was a kid. I remember that hers played happy birthday on her birthday. Hah

  4. dickie said:

    this is the ultimate version of the x7. but no cressida is worth that kind of money in any condition.

    we just picked up a car from the original owner. little fading on the interior and some paint oxidization, but runs and drives just fine. $250.

    tell me how this car justifies a ~5,000% markup?

    • dickie said:

      the car we bought was also this 2-tone color, which is getting to be pretty rare. as of now it’s got complete suspension and 5-speed swap. come Monday it will be running and driving under 1UZ power on a standalone.

      all this and more for under the current (reserve not met) current bid of 3,850

      • me@nomail.com said:

        aren’t you just a cheap bastard with no regard to history and class.

        • dickie said:

          if you feel like it’s “classy” to spend $12k on a ~30 year old japanese car, don’t let me stop you with things like “reason” and “objective value.” maybe you’re one of those types who wants to get in early on the jnc collector scene and we’ll see some of your offerings crossing the block on barrett jackson or mecum in a couple decades. hope you make your money back, adjusted for inflation of course.

          if i can get 75% of that car for 2% of the money, i’ll do it any day and not lose any sleep worrying about what you think about me.

          go ahead and try to get an insurance policy for the asking price, or half the asking price for that matter, from any insurance company.

  5. m1abrams said:

    This car is almost as nice as the recent Craigslist (New York) ’87 Cressida wagon (9000 miles; asking $19,500). Both are being sold by dealers who tend to be “optimistic”. I’ll be watching both cars to see what prices they sell for.

    • Censport said:

      On my last trip to Japan, I looked at a really clean ’86 Mark II wagon. Cold A/C and 5-speed. Mild lowering (nothing crazy) and nice wheels. Asking about $5,200 at the current rate. I could have bought that wagon and shipped it to my door for half of what they’re asking for the Cressida in New York, and still had enough left over for the beater Miata I recently picked up. But I walked away from the Mark II because I couldn’t justify the overall cost.

      So yeah, I’m thinking $19,500 is a bit too high. 😉

  6. Gilluspe said:

    Was this car offered with a manual tranny in the USA? I’ve only seen one and that was swapped by the owner.

  7. OkieRA29 said:

    Nope, the 5 speed was offered all the way through 88. I know, I had one and stupidly sold it away… to keep the wagon… Still wish I had sold the wagon and kept the 5 speed.

  8. GeorgeP said:

    Wow. Bought a 1986 Cressida from the same dealership as this car. Mine was 5spd. Put 115K miles on it. Only problem was a faulty auto temp control for heat and ac. Good comfortable car. In stock form, more “relaxed” than a BMW 5 series of the era. Never had rust trouble, and I drove it year round.

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