Toyota built 147,826 examples of its 155-series Crown, but less than one percent were finished in '1A8 Dark Grey metallic'

In a colour that's almost contemporary, this unusual Toyota Crown takes on a totally different look and feel.

The 150-series Toyota Crown was made during a time where Toyota – at least domestically – were targeting the Europeans in terms of quality and design.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Japanese couldn’t get enough of all things European. Parallel-imported left-hand drive cars were all the range, and this later-model Toyota Crown clearly draws inspiration from the three-box Mercedes-Benz cars that came before it.

If you squint, you might just see some Mercedes-Benz W142 about its front end. Toyota went further than just styling however, as the Crown also rides and drives like a European car, too.

The engine is a variable-valve timed and naturally-aspirated 2JZ-GE – a buttery-smooth 3.0-litre motor as found in the Toyota Supra. The amount of thick carpet and sound deadening is plentiful too, meaning the cabin is quiet and feels high-end as a result.

And depending on the model you buy, you’ll get awesome things like electric heated front seats, electric rear reclining seats, automatic headlights and plenty more goodies along the lines of 1990s excess.

The 150-series is affordable, inherently quality, and shows great potential in terms of modification. They built 147,826 examples of this car in this format, and only 1453 were finished in ‘1A8 Dark Grey’ metallic.

That makes this car extremely rare in this configuration and colour; which does make it striking. You rarely see 1990s cars in more contemporary colours like gunmetal grey, and in this case, we think it really suits!

Maybe lower it a few inches – but we’ll leave that up to you…

About the car pictured – 1996 Toyota Crown Royal Saloon (JZS155)

Our Toyota Crown was built in March 1999 and is a “Royal Touring” trim level.

That means it features a 3.0-litre, straight-six and naturally-aspirated ‘2JZ-GE’ engine, four-speed automatic and is also rear-wheel drive. Standard features automatic headlights, remote central locking, climate control, an electric driver’s seat, electric rear seats, dark wool interior and traction control.

Dealer-fit options include genuine Toyota wool seat doilys. These are easily removable, but we think they look formal, yet fun.

It is one-of-1453 examples ever built in ‘1A8 Dark Grey metallic’, Only 0.98% of all JZS155 models ever built were painted in this colour. It was a privately-owned vehicle purchased off the owners in Japan via their domestic auction network and was graded 4.0B

Quick facts

  • Rare ‘1A8’ Dark Grey metallic
  • 74,160km
  • 2JZ 3.0-litre straight-six engine
  • Four speed auto / rear-wheel drive
  • Dark wool interior option
  • Climate control air conditioning
  • Electric driver’s seat
  • Rear electric seat
  • CD player and eight-speaker stereo
  • Remote central locking
  • Genuine Toyota seat doilys
  • Auction grade 4.0B
Clearly looking to Europe for inspiration, Toyota took the idea of a large, rear-wheel drive and six-cylinder sedan – and made it even better.

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