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Toyota Garage Project: Matt's Toyota Crowns

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The Crowning Glory

There’s not a lot of people that can claim they own two vintage Toyota Crowns, but Matt is one of them. He owns two generations - a ’69 MS53 Wagon and a ’71 MS65 Sedan.

Matt’s MS65 has been his main project. In the six years he’s owned it, he’s done some impressive rebuilds and modifications. All of which have kept this Crown part of the Toyota family.

Sacrificing a Toyota Supra JZA80 to be his donor car, he restored the Supra’s 2JZ-GE engine and W57 gearbox before dropping this in to the MS65. He also modified 2 sets of individual throttle bodies from a Corolla 4A-GE, while also adding technico adjustable cam gears, 264 camshafts, and raising the compression – making it a whole lot more powerful than the Crown’s original 30+ year old motor.

To keep in style with the Crown’s classic look, Matt says that these customisations were fabricated to make the engine bay look ‘more ‘70s’.

The Crown’s interior and exterior, which originally had the Crown’s Deluxe trim, now looks more like the Crown’s luxurious Super Saloon. Matt achieved this by sourcing parts from NZ and abroad, including the Super Saloon hubcaps, and a very rare MS75 dash. As a finishing touch, it’s been resprayed to ‘Land Cruiser Green’, and his tyres have fitted whitewalls.

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Once his MS65 is finished, Matt will move on to his ’69 MS53 Wagon. He brought this back in 2016 from an estate sale in Rakaia, and he believes it is the only registered ’69 Wagon in NZ. He’s slowly been sourcing parts to help with the restoration. This includes a ’67 MS55 Crown AMI, which was only suitable for parts, and a car-load full of parts from Australia, Thailand, Norway and Canada. He plans to drop in a 1KZ engine with automatic column change from a Toyota Granvia.

Coincidentally, being in Matt’s garage is not the first time these two vintage Crowns have been together. Matt tells us that his ’71 MS65 was once on the same farm as his ’69 MS53 Wagon.

Thanks Matt for sharing the story of your two Toyota Crowns! Do you want to be our next Toyota Garage Project profile? Head to our Facebook page and message us about what you’re working on.