Saturday, March 7, 2015

5k: Repeat Offender: 1985 Toyota Cressida, Lexus V8

 Eighteen months after our first feature of this Lexus V8 Powered Cressida, it is still for sale, possibly from the same seller and for the same price.  It features the same hella-flush stance but is now adorned with a few more flatbrimmer stickers. Huzzah!  Find this 1985 Toyota Cressida with Lexus V8 offered for $5,000 in Hayward, CA via craigslist.  Tip from Kaibeezy.

The seller was nice enough to take some pictures in a mall parking lot (instead of the awesome gas station chic look from the previous photo shoot), and includes an interior plus under hood shot.  The inside is expectedly egregious (leopard print shifter boot, donkey schlong shifter, air freshers, et cetera) but under hood doesn't look too bad.

Original Feature: 26-Sept-2013: The Toyota Cressida was a mid-sized flagship sedan that capped the top of Toyota's US lineup from 1976-1993.  The third generation (1984-88) was internally designated the X70 and featured such innovative features as electronic shock absorber control, but was powered large, low output, inline-6 engines driving the rear wheels. What would fix that better than a 1UZ-FE? Find this 1985 Toyota Cressida with Lexus V8 for $5,000 located in the SF Bay Area, CA via craiglistTip from Kaibeezy.

This Cressida has had its inline-6 removed and it is now powered by a 1UZ-FE 4.0 liter V8 from a Lexus LS400.  Depending on the year of the donor vehicle it could put out anything from 250 to 290 horsepower and is thankfully mated to a W58 5-speed manual gearbox.  With a stock curb weight of 3200 lbs the Cressida should be very willing to accelerate with the new engine.  Unfortunately the ad text leaves much to be desired in the details and punctuation department...and the pics were taken on a mid '80s cell phone camera at a gas station in the middle of the night.

See a better V8 swapped rear-drive Japanese sedan for less? email us here:


  1. I want to go to his smog guy... maybe I can finally get my completely emissions illegal Legacy GT to pass visual? I mean, if the dude missed a freaking V8 in the engine bay of a Cressida, he'll likely also miss the massive turbo and straight through exhaust on my Subie...

    1. In CA it is entirely possible to do a smog-legal engine swap. A quick overview: it needs to be from the same model year or newer than the vehicle, all emissions equipment from the donor vehicle must be installed, engine has to be from same type/class of vehicle (i.e. no truck engines into cars), and a CA-emissions engine must be used if your car was originally sold new in CA (but not the other way around). Once the swap is done you take it to a BAR referee station and they give you an approval sticker if you did everything right.

    2. Well aware of that reg. Done it 3 times with OM617's into 1st gen 4Runners. Much easier to do when going gas-to-diesel vs. gas to gas.

      I assumed this wasn't the case with this particular swap due to lack of mention. It's a really big deal to get a swap CARB / BAR approved, so one would typically mention that when trying to sell instead of glazing over it by saying "the car is registered with a new sticker". Unless he lives / maintains an address in one of the counties that doesn't require smog.

      As mentioned in the most recent entry in the DTPC series... getting the engine that originally came in the car to pass the sniffer by itself is a difficult process. I can't imagine getting a V8 with OBD to pass the sniffer unless it was a very meticulous swap... dashboard, harnesses, computers, catalysts, sensors, all vac line routing (with diagram) etc.

      Bottom line: He's asking $5k for the car, I can only assume shortcuts were taken. Especially with a rockin' description and no under-hood (or dash) pictures.

      If it's not an approved swap, the buyer should definitely check the date on the smog cert to ensure it's within the window required by CA motor vehicle code before they go and try to transfer registration. And then you have 2 years to get the swap right before the next time you smog it.

    3. OM617 4Runners...sweet! Sounds like a great marriage of chassis and engine. I imagine the increase in low-end torque vs. a 22R would help in offroad situations, especially with an automatic.

      Good points about the swap above. Lack of any mention of BAR sticker likely equals a response of "...what's a BAR sticker?" when you ask the question about legality. I would tend to agree that likelihood of this car being smog-legal is very low; just wanted to point out that it *can* be done, if one is inclined to stay within the law on such matters.

    4. It is a pretty sweet deal. It's not what I call a popular swap (most people outside of CA typically shove whatever SBC they have hanging from a tree in their front yard in there and call it a "hunting rig") but it has been done before. Youtube is full of videos.

      Has anyone bothered to contact this seller and ask the above questions? Or perhaps let him know his car is featured on the world stage?

  2. This car is full of awesomes. Stick shift V8. Yes. Now.

  3. I beg to differ about the stance being the same as 18 months ago.

    Back then, it looks like it sat low-ish, but with a modicum of tire-fender clearance (at least when stationary) and more-or-less proper camber angles. Today it looks sick (and no, I do NOT mean that in a good way - no flatbrimmer here!).

    No love from here.

  4. I'd much rather have it be a sleeper than it's current boy-racer form. That said, it's a really appealing concept.

  5. The following is a ragingly personal opinion:

    If the rims stick out beyond the sidewalls the owner's an idiot.


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