Theme : Special – Polishing The Crown

We look at what people do to a Driven to Write favourite in the name of individualism.


Whenever the 1971 to 1974 Toyota Crown S60 is discussed in the pages of Driven To Write, it is notable that there is a fair deal of respect and affection for it, much more than there was in the UK and US at the time of its launch. But we are discussing the stock vehicle. What is our attitude to the various modifications, small or substantial, that have been visited onto this particular version of the ‘living legend’ (to quote Toyota)?

It is apparent that the S60 is very popular with customisers of various persuasions and, as is often the case, I look and I’m torn between thinking “I wouldn’t have done it that way because I can think of a better idea” and “I wouldn’t have done it that way because I’m a windbag who doesn’t find the time to get off his arse and realise his notions, unlike the people who have worked hard on the above cars”

So, whether I like them or not, they get my full respect, but make mine a stock coupe in white.

Toyota Crown Coupe A

10 thoughts on “Theme : Special – Polishing The Crown”

  1. Some of those examples are really nice. I like resto-mods because they ensure the survival of cars that might otherwise decline and be discarded, and often in a state far superior to how they rolled out of the factory.

    Personally I dislike the current trend for pushing wheels into the arches. Although I am not against reducing ride height if it improves handling, eliminating suspension travel almost entirely inevitably compromises the vehicle’s usability, especially at speed. I doubt this overly concerns the owners in question, who judge the success of their mods upon the car’s ability to cruise past the opposite sex at navel height, barely faster than walking pace, in a weirdly formalised version of curb crawling. Paradoxically for a resto-mod, eliminating dead cat holes in the pursuit of fashion often leads the oversized wheels to chafe against the metalwork, creating rampant rust inside the wings and actively reducing the lifespan of their investment.

    1. The idea that reduced ride height looks cool escapes me. Were I the opposite sex, I’d just assume that the occupants were so lardy that they had broken the car’s springs. Not a good look.

    1. A good question. A similar generation Granada would not engender such a cult following. I would hazard that its unusual (but not ugly) styling, relative rareness and cheapness (an unusual combination as American classics appreciate), a Californian market presence and its Japanese origin all play their parts in endearing the car to the resto-mod and tuner crowds.

    2. In France the Renault 12 was one of the most tuned/customised car up until the 80s. No idea why.

  2. A bog standard estate for me please, any colour but black or white will do, no problem if it shows its age. Slightly banded white steel wheels work on any car for me.

  3. Sam: I can understand the attraction of the R12 – it is bland and cheap like a Fiesta, Civic and Saxo. The Toyota probably has an appealing engine and a low price though the Opel Rekord and Ford Granada were cheap and bland too.
    I suppose the answer must be found by asking the people who do this to these cars.

  4. The coupe could be categorized as a Opel Rekord C Coupé with more style – or more lametta.
    I really like this japanese interpretation of the american coke bottle design.

    It seems that Opel and Toyotas with a sporty touch are very popular in tuning communities, maybe because they have a simple but solid technical layout.

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