Junkyard Gem: 1997 Toyota Cresta Exceed G 2.5

JDM vehicles, or Japanese Domestic Market vehicles, are a popular choice for car enthusiasts looking for unique and high-performance cars. While these vehicles are commonly seen on the roads of the United States, they are not often found in self-service car graveyards. However, a final-generation Toyota Cresta recently appeared at a junkyard near Denver, sparking interest among enthusiasts and car aficionados.

1. History of the Japanese Toyota Cresta
The Toyota Cresta was a part of the trio of midsize rear-wheel-drive sedans offered by Toyota in Japan, alongside the Mark II and Chaser. The final generation of the Cresta was built between 1996 and 2001, after which it was replaced by the Verossa. These luxury sedans offered a range of trim levels, with the Cresta being the most luxurious option.

2. Features of the Final-Generation Cresta
The Cresta featured a G Package which included various comfort and convenience upgrades, making it an appealing choice for buyers looking for a luxurious driving experience. The crashed Cresta found in the junkyard had a 2.5-liter 1JZ straight-six engine, generating 197 horsepower.

3. Crash Impact Analysis
Despite the severe crash that led to the Cresta being discarded, the airbags deployed correctly, and the cabin remained intact, showcasing the safety features of the vehicle. The body structure effectively absorbed crash energy, highlighting the importance of wearing seat belts for all occupants.

4. Unique Features of the Cresta
The Cresta showcased in the junkyard had some distinct features, such as 18″ Lexus wheels with low-profile rubber that were likely swapped by its final owner. The possibility of salvaging mechanical components for other vehicles like the Lexus SC or Cressida is also discussed, shedding light on the interchangeability of parts.

5. Pop Culture References
The final-generation Toyota Cresta was popularized in the “Great Teacher Onizuka” anime series, adding to its cultural significance. The Cresta held a position in the late-1990s Toyota prestige hierarchy, sitting between the Crown and Celsior in terms of luxury and status.

The discovery of the final-generation Toyota Cresta in a junkyard near Denver offers a glimpse into the world of JDM vehicles in the United States. Despite its tragic end due to a severe crash, the Cresta’s unique features, luxurious design, and cultural references make it a noteworthy find for enthusiasts. As the vehicle awaits its fate in the junkyard, its legacy and impact on the automotive industry live on in the memories of those who appreciate the beauty and performance of JDM cars.

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