Classic Cars

Why Can't Toyota Build New Cars As Cool As This Rare Crown De Luxe?

This discovery represents one of only two existing examples in the UK.

On the surface, a Toyota Crown barn find may not sound like the most interesting discovery compared to, say, an abandoned BMW M1. That is, until you find out the fascinating backstory. Back in 1972, the Toyota Crown De Luxe represented the most luxurious cars in the manufacturer’s UK line-up. It was bought by the original owner Percy Cole from a UK dealer for a modest £2,303 – in today’s money, that’s around $36,800. Over 40 years later, it’s been miraculous reunited with the grandson of its original owner.

This Toyota Crown De Luxe lived a very sheltered life. According to Cole’s grandson, it was never driven hard and rarely exceeded 30 mph, which is supported by the dealer’s original "running-in" sticker which still remains on the rear window. When not in use, it was dry-stored. The 1972 model Toyota Crown De Luxe is powered by a 2.6-liter gasoline engine producing 140 horsepower and 164 lb-ft oftorque,and has only done just over 60,000 miles in its lifetime. Eventually, it was passed down to Mr. Cole’s son, who maintained the car in storage for ten years.

From the year 2000, it remained untouched until October last year when the Cole family decided to recommission the Crown De Luxe to sell it on. A garage discovered numerous problems that needed repairing, such as blown bulbs, binding rear drum brakes and a hole in the original exhaust system. While the family wasn’t prepared to spend too much money on it, the classic car caught the attention of a passer-by who happened to be a classic car enthusiast. Robin Shepperd bought the car, fixed it up and made the Crown De Luxe ready to ride again.

Little did he know, however, that his close friend Nick Garrick was Mr.Cole’s grandson who rode in the back of the Crown during its early years - talk about a crazy coincidence. Classic car enthusiasts can normally only dream of learning about a car’s backstory. If that didn’t already make this relic a unique find, this Crown De Lux represents one of only two roadworthy examples in the UK according to Toyota.

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