This page is dedicated to the history of the Toyota Cressida. There is a actually a lot of history behind this car. Did you know the Cressida was based off many other vehicles such as the Supra and the 2000GT? For it's life in America up until 1992, it was Toyota's flagship car. When Lexus was established as Toyota's "luxury" line up of vehicles, the Cressida ceased to exist -- in America at least. The Cressida is still being produced in Japan but it is called, and has always been called, the Mark II. For it's entire existance, the Cressida has always had an inline six cylinder motor.

The beginnings of an era
Toyota wanted a sports car. In 1968 the Toyota engineers answered the call with the 2000GT, which unfortunately never made it to America. The Toyota 2000GT was a high-performance grand tourer that fully realized the skills of its designers and engineers through its long-nosed, balanced styling and six-cylinder, twin-cam engine. It garnered three world records and 13 international records, creating numerous legends as a high-performance car rivaling world standards.

Built upon a sturdy X-backbone frame, the 2000GT's 4-wheel independent suspension had double-wishbones front and back. The engine, a 1988cc DOHC 6-cylinder with 3 Solex carburetors, produced 150 horsepower. This could propel the car to a top speed of over 220km/h. The 2000GT also possessed exceptional durability and safety. Other features included a cross-ratio 5-speed transmission, limited slip differential, and Japan's first 4-wheel disc brakes with vacuum booster.

For more beautiful pictures, see Toyota Japan's Museum. Also, in James Bond - You Only Live Twice, the 2000GT was 007's car!
These pictures used to be on Toyota Japan's Museum website, then they changed it and they no longer exist. Well thanks to archive.org, here are the images! Pic 1 Pic 2 Pic 3 Pic 4 Pic 5

The next step
Now the Celica had been around for a while, but there had to be something faster and sportier. The first Celica Supra was introduced to America in 1979 as Toyota's response to the popular Datsun (Nissan) Z-Car. Built on a Celica chassis that was lengthened 5.1 inches, the Supra replaced the Celica's 4-cylinder with a 2.6-liter SOHC inline-6.

In appearance, the Supra was distinguished from the Celica by it's longer wheelbase, wide "B" pillar, unique grille (styled after the 2000GT) and its badging. The first generation Supra is commonly referred to as the Mark I (MKI).

Next came the Celica Supra Mark II (or second generation). It looked like this:

After that the Celica line and the Supra line split, and each car was given it's respective name. The Celica, and the Supra. Now, back to the (American) Cressida. Toyota took their best car, the Supra, and made it very luxurious. It had the suspension and engine from a Supra. The first (American) Cressida got the 4M-E fuel injected (SOHC) inline six motor. Then came the 5M-E (SOHC), and then the 5M-GE (DOHC) in 1985 (from the second generation Supra). In 1989, the Cressida received the 7M-GE motor. Remember now, the M series motor started with the 2000 GT back in 1968. It's a proven design, incredibly reliable, and can take a lot of punishment.

Here are some horsepower figures for the M series motors:
5ME 2.8L SOHC 12 valve - 145hp
82-84 5MGE 2.8L DOHC 12 valve - 145hp
85-86 5MGE 2.8L DOHC 12 valve - 161hp, eventually reached 175hp after 86
6MGE 3.0L DOHC 12 valve - 190hp (Japan)
7MGE 3.0L DOHC 24 valve - 190hp naturally aspirated, 230 turbocharged

Non-America Cressida (Mark II) History Pictures:
The 1968 Corona Mark II Hardtop

The 1972 Mark II Hardtop

The 1976 Mark II Sedan (First generation Cressida in America)

The 1980 Mark II Sedan (Second generation Cressida in America)

The 1984 Mark II Hardtop (Third generation Cressida in America)

The 1988 Mark II Hardtop (Fourth generation Cressida in America)

The 1992 Mark II Hardtop

The 1996 Mark II Hardtop

The 2000 Mark II Hardtop
Image not found

The 2004 Mark II Hardtop

Toyota seems to have a four year pattern going on here, hmm?

Well I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane. Here are some links that can educate you further:
Toyota Japan's Mark II Lineup (in Japanese)
Search Google for 2000GT
A great website dedicated to the Celica Supra
Toyota Japan's Museum. Everything is in English.
Supra Owners Group International
Toyota's Pressroom on the Supra - Cached copy