14 January 2019
More than an old car #90: Toyota Cressida X80
Classic Japanese luxury cars are not that common here, partly due to the high road tax one had to pay. To find one that still looks pristine is a big surprise, such as this 1990 Toyota Cressida MX83 here!
The Cressida, or more commonly known as the Mark II, was initially positioned between the more luxurious Crown and the lower-end Corona. It was introduced to the Japanese public in 1968: the naming convention was derived from Jaguar with its "Mark __" series of cars, and was supposed to project it as a luxurious model. The Cressida was formally introduced in 1976 as the model name for export versions: its name comes from the lead character in William Shakespeare's play Troilus and Cressida.
The X80 series Cressida was introduced in 1988. It was well-known for being reliable, good gas mileage and cheap spare parts. However, it began to find fame among drifting enthusiasts, who enjoyed its rear-wheel drive capability. Partly because of its sleek classy style, many were heavily modified by stancing and converting into the outlandish "bosozoku" style. It was powered by a 2366 cc 22R i4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 164 km/h, with an acceleration of 13.7 seconds [0-100 km/h]. It was 4690 mm long and weighed 1279 kg.
Production of the MX83 Cressida stopped in 1995. There are still a handful of units left on our roads, making them a dying breed. Interestingly, our late Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew was driven around in a Cressida, and he is also credited for allowing Toyota to establish itself in Singapore. This unit is a pre-facelift version due to the more fanciful logo on the grille. It's quite heartening to see these non-flashy old cars that are still plodding on here, much respect goes out to them for going against the odds!