Japanese Nostalgic Car — 1968 & 1970 Toyota Crown Wagons

15 Июн 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Toyota beige color 1970

The Maehara Brothers’ Crown run in the family.

March 5, 2007

have always gotten a rap in the United States. Originally more than oversized that shuttled passengers and from train stations town, in time these of burden evolved enough and comfort to be called into as baby ferries. Early had rear panels made of but the high maintenance required of woodies faded them fashion after World War II, by all-steel bodies that, still sported faux paneling. Tragically, the more surged in popularity amongst with a flock of kids in the quicker their coolness plummeted in the eyes of mainstream

If Chrysler had continued on its toboggan to bankruptcy in 1984, that may have stuck. Thankfully, released the minivan instead. year saw the debut of the Dodge and Plymouth Voyager twins and as a a cursed new conveyance inhibited the of sports car driver everywhere, league soccer membership quadrupled, and wagons were a small chance of being hip

Elsewhere in 1984, a young Maehara stepped off a plane at LAX to the Summer Games of the 23rd As an unpretentious high school and car enthusiast from Japan, the of swarms of Japanese cars the streets of Los Angeles surprised him to be but there was something else in the didn’t look quite The lights, the colors, the door-mounted these cars were

Inevitably, rarity begets In no place could this ring more true in our beloved Japanese car scene. a nice-looking JDM part and by the next half a dozen knockoffs by companies with vaguely names flood the adverts of the mags. Not that the nostalgic ourselves at JNC included, are completely free either. We all know and people who desperately hunt parts like fender flush bumpers and four rims as if they were lions stalking the last in Africa.

On the other hand consider where although vintage aren’t common, vintage built for the export market are The cars may have originated in but the preferences of overseas customers and the layers of government bureaucracy conspired to spawn a mountain of variances that would, later, create enough among enthusiasts to rival the of the Tower of Babel. In fact, differences have created a known as hokubei siyou . or American style, in which our counterparts obsessively chase the alternate minutiae of their available only on our side of the

For nostalgic hokubei enthusiasts Maehara, the sine qua non is the good Toyota Crown, second fourth generations. That’s not to the first generation’s significance in any After all, the chrome-decoed machine was top shelf stuff in Its (relatively) luxurious features and details suited a nation narrow streets and a yet to be developed system just fine, but the formula tanked it in the US circa thanks to its paltry 61hp and or lack thereof, at high

In September 1962 the second debuted, and though its 89 horses made it an underpowered alternative to land yachts at the time, the departure in styling meant at least it didn’t have to that way anymore. No longer upright and seemingly shaped any concern for aerodynamics, the new sedan was of broad surfaces and lines extended down the full of the car, giving it a low, and sleek silhouette. Ripe for a sojourn down a distant of highway, the S40 Crown set free the of vintage hokubei nuts who longed for life on the open

The design of the next generation expanded on this notion, its fluid character lines and the profile. It was September 1967 and by Japan did indeed have open roads one could on, but Crown sedans for the most remained the chariots of the elite. the rest of Japan got by on miniscule tin smooth and steadfast Crown prowled any turf marked by office buildings and besuited Most of these luxury cars served as chauffeur-driven almost always finished in or some similarly dark steering wheels handled by gloved hands.

In an effort to get regular folks on board, embarked on a wide-reaching advertising to distance Crowns from the of executive coach and came up the novel idea of dipping in the color white. The blitz and to this day observing rush from a Tokyo skyscraper is peering down at an endless of mahjong tiles.

By 1971, it apparent that Toyota had a little too carried away the ostentatious styling of the fourth Crown and gave up much of its to the Nissan Cedric and Gloria. the kujiras . or whales, sold at the time, nostalgic interest in times has given them new boosted in no small part by the popularity of the previous generations.

Oddly then, that in its heyday Toyota sold downscale variants of the Crown for commercial duty: an El Camino-like a short-bed double-pick complete rear seat, and of course, To clarify, what we recognize as wagon — four elongated roofline over a cargo area that in a vertically sloped stern, and front end shared with a — the Japanese might a van if intended for commercial use, a vehicle with an identical appearance would carry the label if privately used. Got Well, in post-war Japan were almost all vans. wagons were about as as a white Ford Econoline.

that that would be the view, and hokubei fans to fly in the face of that. An MS52 Wagon, like the one Katsuyuki’s father Katsunaga Maehara new back in the day to cart his family in, may have resembled a humble van initially, but it didn’t say that way for Paying tribute to the American wagons that had managed to their utilitarian roots, senior customized the nondescript with fat five-spoke wheels, rack, wood paneling last but not least, a bonnet-cloaking chicken a la Trans Am in grand style.

A truly dedicated he never sold this car and it became a catalyst inspiring a for all things nostalgic. Along his sons, the clan has, the years, amassed an astounding collection of vintage automobiles most of us would defile a man for, nearly all Toyotas and Crowns. Katsuyuki and younger Katsuo now reside in Tokyo and the tradition. Hokubei freaks to the they reserve a special in their hearts for third-gen like their father’s.

Toyota beige color 1970

As luck and eBay would it, one day back in 2000 the brothers a 1968 MS53L Crown sans engine, halfway the world in a place called Naturally, RHD cars hold a commercial-like spell over aficionados, and this USDM with its bucket seats, shifter, unique taillights, and a hinged on the left, was no exception. A few and a couple of faxes later, a was lugging it over the Rockies Los Angeles, where the Maeharas meet it in person for the first

If any lesson can be learned from the that soon unfolded, this: it takes cojones to buy a car sight unseen on the opposite of the globe and if you ever attempt like this, prepare for the unexpected. The first clue the previous owner may have less than forthright was the waft that immediately large-scale combat operations on the nostrils. If the condition of the interior the impression that it had only served as the primary residence of a animal, that’s because it The subsequent cleaning of the former got the Maeharas unceremoniously booted the garage that they had gone through considerable having no US mailing address, to

Both brothers work in the profession, and the five days of they have available year can only be described as Having used up a comfortable of this time cleaning up an unfastidious canine, they the car with a shop that to fill the gaping void in the bay.

Instead of another straight six M-series that the basis for the legendary Toyota mill, the Maeharas opted for a 350 cubic-inch Chevy V8 and accompanying four-speed automatic. When in was the concept. Sadly, this failed to progress without either, and soon the Maeharas, another trans-Pacific flight, themselves overheating on a Los Angeles At least they were frequent flyer miles.

The looked grim, but then, the were almost squashed by the miracle that dropped. By while searching for a mechanic to take a look at the Frankensteinian the Maeharas stumbled across an old that asked, flatly, I a car like that. Know who might want it? and showed his one-owner, garaged, all original, 1970 Toyota Crown

From nadir to instant that’s how it goes sometimes. time, the Maeharas slowly the wagons back to life, their holidays in America wrenches instead of seeing and bringing any necessary parts Japan in the belly of a 747. The products, the beige V8-powered and the blue museum piece, with Mooneyes coils up and ’92 Crown Wagon on the rear, are not only beautiful but for a brilliant pair of rolling to their father’s first


It’s a pity that the V8 probably never return to because the labor of love look right at home as of Maehara-san senior’s incredible The 350hp motor has less of passing Japanese emissions than a bucket of burning The stocker might, but for now it resides in to keep the other company. if you’d like to gaze some of the rarest Toyotas made, you can visit the Maeharas’ yourself. The collection now lives in a in Gunma Prefecture, housed in what else — a historic, 70-year-old building an important local textile Admission to Maehara 20th and Museum is free, and it’s the place where you can see such like a 1960 RS21, a RS26V Masterline wagon with … doors, a Crown pickup, and of course, the paneled MS52 wagon started it all.

A very thanks to Katsuyuki Maehara, Maehara, Satoshi Fruuchi, and Lee for making this possible! You!

Toyota beige color 1970
Toyota beige color 1970
Toyota beige color 1970
Toyota beige color 1970

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