Japanese Nostalgic Car — 1968 & 1970 Toyota Crown Wagons

15 Июн 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Toyota Crown Wagon

The Maehara Brothers’ Crown run in the family.

March 5, 2007

have always gotten a bum rap in the States. Originally nothing than oversized buggies shuttled passengers and luggage train stations into in time these beasts of evolved enough utility and to be called into duty as ferries. Early wagons had panels made of wood but the maintenance required of these faded them from after World War II, replaced by bodies that, nonsensically, sported faux wood Tragically, the more they in popularity amongst moms a flock of kids in tow, the their coolness factor in the eyes of mainstream America.

If had continued on its toboggan ride to in 1984, that stigma may stuck. Thankfully, they the minivan instead. That saw the debut of the Dodge Caravan and Voyager twins and as a result, a new conveyance inhibited the visibility of car driver everywhere, little soccer membership immediately and wagons were granted a chance of being hip again.

in 1984, a young Katsuyuki stepped off a plane at LAX to attend the Games of the 23rd Olympics. As an high school student and car from Japan, the sight of of Japanese cars cruising the of Los Angeles surprised him to be sure, but was something else in the picture look quite right. The the colors, the door-mounted mirrors: cars were USDM!

rarity begets desirability. In no could this statement more true than in our Japanese car scene. Debut a JDM part and by the next season a dozen knockoffs sold by with vaguely Japanese-sounding flood the adverts of the tuner Not that the nostalgic community, at JNC included, are completely guilt either. We all know and love who desperately hunt down like fender mirrors, bumpers and four spoke as if they were starving stalking the last antelope in

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 Crown Wagon

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 2-liter six M-series that formed the for the legendary Toyota 2000GT’s the Maeharas opted for a custom-fitted 350 Chevy V8 and accompanying 700R4 automatic. When in Rome. was the Sadly, this plan to progress without incident and soon the Maeharas, after trans-Pacific flight, found overheating on a Los Angeles highway. At they were accumulating flyer miles.

The situation grim, but then, the brothers almost squashed flat by the that dropped. By chance searching for a mechanic willing to a look at the Frankensteinian hybrid, the stumbled across an old greasemonkey asked, flatly, I have a car that. Know anyone who want it? and showed them his garaged, all original, post-facelift Toyota Crown Wagon.

nadir to instant summit, how it goes sometimes. Over the Maeharas slowly brought the back to life, spending holidays in America turning instead of seeing sights and any necessary parts from in the belly of a 747. The finished the beige V8-powered sleeper and the museum piece, lowered Mooneyes coils up front and Crown Wagon springs on the are not only beautiful but make for a pair of rolling homages to father’s first car.

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 suicide 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 Crown Wagon
Toyota Crown Wagon
Toyota Crown Wagon
Toyota Crown Wagon

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