Fam­ily Toy­ota takes the crown

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

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.

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