Toyota Crown GS-120 Station Wagon 1955

In the CIS, the culture of station wagons historically did not take hold. You would think that with our country houses, picnics and desire to often transport wardrobes to buy everything that has a straight roofline and a huge trunk door – but no. Sedans. And then optionally complain that there is not enough space in the sedan. Wagons are not fashionable. But as it turned out, crossovers are fashionable, but we are not ready to write about such vehicles yet. So today we talk about wagons.

In the distant 1955, Toyota launched the Crown model on the conveyor belt, beloved by drifters. At that time, this sedan (although there were wagon versions, including two-door models) served the purpose of adding a little chic to post-war Japanese people – and this could have been the end of reflections on the first generation if it hadn’t had a special feature – the so-called suicide doors. The front doors opened as we are used to, but the rear doors opened in the opposite direction, as if moving with the flow. This forever linked the car to the luxury segment.

Do you know how many generations the BMW 5 Series has had? 7. And how many for the 3 Series? 7. With Mercedes, it’s a bit more complicated, but still not a lot. And how many generations for the Toyota Corolla? 12. The Toyota Corona, which appeared in 1957, had only 10 generations before 2002. Why did I supply you with this absolutely useless information? The Crown has a whopping 19 (!!!) generations. Think about this number, look at these photos again, read our article about the Crown 110 and answer the question – is this not the recognition of infinite love and popularity?

In honor of this popular (and not only Japanese) recognition, the Crown even received its own emblem, resembling a stylized crown, placed on the radiator grille and steering wheel. But not everything is so simple in this theater! The Toyota Corona, the name of which in Latin will be “Crown,” received the status of the younger brother of the Crown – do you see the connection? And the Corolla, which we all know, is a small Crown in Latin translation! Thus, we have already linked the Crown with 2 models and now the top of all Japanese cars, which “make things happen”: the name Camry is derived from the Japanese phrase “kanmuri,” which means “little crown”. And yes, this is not accidental either. That is, this lineup became the starting point for as many as 3 other models!

In the photos, you see the seventh generation with the index 120. Since today we are talking about a “barn” body – the full name is GS120 station wagon. On the outside, this Japanese car also has familiar American features – for example, a slightly expanded radiator grille and narrow rectangular headlights relative to it. The huge window area is simply gigantic – sometimes this is missing in modern cars! By the way, there is a small bonus: the glass insert in the roof is not a sunroof, but rather an additional viewing window. Once the owner went on a trip and decided to spend the night in the car – this window had an excellent view of the stars. The romance of the 80s – it’s like that.The car is generally well suited for travel. In addition to the initially large body, the roof is additionally raised in the central part. Not an exclusive solution, but one that highlights the thoughtfulness of details. 

The car’s interior is made in the Japanese favorite velour – in this case, even in red! The Super Saloon badge here is not just for show – the car is truly well-equipped. Here, for your understanding, there is a dual-zone climate control, although in an unusual button variant unfamiliar to us. The audio system is a whole fetish subject, you can look at its scales for quite a long time and still not understand why a semi-touristic wagon needs it. But it does! And in the rear armrest, by the way, you must have buttons to control the climate and audio – I think those who have these options in a car these days have already appreciated their annoying feature of being fiddled with by the most annoying passengers. The seat adjustment is also electric and with a single button, it allows for folding the interior into a relaxation area.
The dashboard and instrument panel, again, are designed in the spirit of the time – everything square, neat, but in this case without solutions in the style of an “electronic panel” – all analog and “retro.” The steering wheel with the crown yielded to Leonard Volanti, but this is in the spirit of Japanese tuning.

Sedans and hardtops could also be of simpler configurations, but up to a certain point – the car was quite prestigious and it did not have the right to drop to the “drum” level. The cheapest modification had the F292 suspension, while the other configurations came with PEGASUS (Precision Engineered Geometrically Advanced Suspension) – a fully independent suspension. The Royal Saloon modification also had the TEMS system (Toyota Electronic Modulated Suspension) – electronic suspension control, available to operate in both automatic and manual modes.

The range of power units is huge – as many as 11 petrol and diesel engines. There were no V8 engines, but the engine capacity was not less than 2 liters – after all, the heaviest version of the car weighed as much as 1.8 tons and the lightest – 1.4 tons. This particular model is equipped with the 1G-EU engine, which is a not-so-new inline “six” type SOHC with 2 valves per cylinder. Such an engine developed around 125 hp and, in combination with an automatic transmission, was not the peak of power, but confidently moved the wagon around Japan, consuming not too much fuel. On the contrary, the 6M-GE was a DOHC “six” with as much as 190 hp. This engine was also popularly installed in Cressidas and Supras of the same years instead of the slightly less powerful 5M-GE.

And do not confuse this car with the Mark2 – they had slightly different tasks and for this reason, Crowns did not become popular in drifting – they initially had slightly more weight, had richer equipment, and therefore a higher price. Did this make the “right” crown less popular? Not at all, it allowed it to pass through the years and survive in the numerous intricacies of Toyota’s tactics. Amen.

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