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First Generation Crown Development Story
---Investigating the origins of Toyota’s car-making---


The catchphrase, “At some point, it’s a Crown” leaves an impression of the Toyota Crown, the
car that represents Japan. Domestic cars like the Celsior and Infiniti have a more luxurious
appearance, but yet, only the Crown can claim to be Japan’s “Prestige Car.” The 9th generation
Crown was announced on October 11, 1991, and with each period it has been refined; with an
evolution that is amazing. The symbolic front grill has a moderate thickness, and with out
destroying its traditional style, it is becoming the most important car in Japan’s domestic

The announcement of the first generation Crown was 36 years ago from now. From this first
generation, the Crown has continually protected its reputation as the representative Japanese
car; that major concept remains. Also, there are cars with history that rivals the Crown’s, but
theirs doesn’t always have the some consistency. The ideology of the first generation has
endlessly passed through the generations through today; an idea that exists nowhere else in
Japan. Furthermore, even today, its status as the representative car of Japan’s representative
car maker remains. It should be called the car that is the face of Toyota, a representation of the
company that supports Japan’s prosperity. With the manufacture of a large number of cars, it
exceeded cars like the popular Corolla and Mark II; without allowing any maker to follow in this
class, it has continued to support Toyota’s profits.

Driving a Crown, it’s ok to say that you are regarded as a successful person. Toyota is aware of
this, and continues to develop it; the Crown also exists as a barometer for the Japanese to
show splendor and luxury. Therefore, the Crown itself, as the epitome of the Japanese car, is
the sole influence on the Japanese view of a cars. Furthermore, the making of the car
comprises the essence of the way Toyota Motor Company should be, I suspect.
The first generation Crown wasn’t just a Crown, it was the beginning of all of Toyota’s cars
extending through to today. That is to say, it is the origin of the Toyotas of today.
How was that first generation Crown developed? To explain it, it’s impossible not to intensively
present Toyota’s history as well.

Looking to present this history as one half, I gradually put this book together after having
continued collecting info for over a year. Of course, when I say “half,” I mean that I also have an
interest in researching how the people from our father’s generation lived, what the cars of that
time were like, and that possibly, I would find an interesting story. Therefore, the contents of
this book may vary at times.

This story (?) starts from about 40 years ago. It was 6 years after the disastrous Pacific War had
ended. It goes without saying, but life was poor beyond compare to today, and to a young
person of today, that time was like something you might see in a monochrome movie. From
people’s clothes, their lifestyle, and moreover, the development of cars was different from today.
However, Toyota has always kept the spirit of cars made in that era; one that still exists today.