Family Toyota takes the crown
A family connection has been revived with a 1972 Toyota Crown De Luxe that’s been restored after emerging from 25 years in storage.
After purchasing the 2600 Automatic De Luxe saloon from a garage forecourt last year, Robin Shepherd learned that his friend, Nick Garrick was a grandson of the original owner. As a result, Nick was able to join the Toyota’s anniversary photoshoot and share his childhood memories of travelling in the back seat of his grandparents’ car.
‘ The Toyota was something of a spontaneous purchase for my grandfather,’ says Nick, whose recollections of day trips came flooding back, prompted by seeing buttons again that he wasn’t allowed to touch!
The Surrey couple, Percy and Ethel Cole had purchased the Crown, delivered on 1 February 1972, new from a Toyota dealer in Ewhurst, Surrey. The list price of £2303 is equivalent to around £29,500 in today’s money.
Mr Cole did not believe in overexerting the car, rarely driving above 30mph and kept it in dry storage when not in use. He even kept the original ‘running in’ sticker displayed on the rear window to warn others of this low speed driving habit. Percy Cole’s father had owned an earlier generation model, while his own son caught the bug and bought a later model Crown Coupé from the same Surrey dealer.
Following his father’s death, Mr Cole junior cared for the Crown saloon for a decade before putting it into storage, where it remained untouched until October 2016.
Robin Shepherd recognised the 1970s’ classic’s rarity and bought the car then had the necessary repairs carried out so that the Toyota can once again cruise gently around the Surrey hills. David Brown www.toyota.co.uk
current owner robin shepherd (left) with Nick Garrick, who is the grandson of the Toyota crown’s original owner.