A “one of a kind” 1986 Toyota Cressida GLE in mint condition is priced at R1.1m.
It’s been decades since a 1980s box-shaped Toyota Cressida sedan has received extra-special attention.
An online advert for a 1986 Cressida, 2.4 GLE, with automatic transmission and priced at R1.1 million became the latest jobbie to lower jaws.
The other notable occasion was February 11, 1990.
That was the day former president Nelson Mandela was released from prison.
Instead of being ferried from the Victor Verster Prison to Cape Town’s City Hall in a trendy German set of wheels as originally planned, at the 11th hour, much to the surprise of many, the ANC’s decision-makers of the day opted for a blue Toyota Cressida to be Mandela’s ride.
High Select Auto, a dealership in Midrand, Gauteng, has been responsible for ratcheting up the Cressida’s profile a few notches higher by pricing a metallic green, “in mint condition”, version of the car more than a million rand.
Waseem Fareed, the dealership’s owner, said the Japanese-car with just more than 100 000km on the clock, was as original, one of its kind in the country and possibly Africa.
Therefore, the price was justified.
Fareed assured discerning car people would understand the pricing when they viewed the shiny vehicle with immaculate bodywork.
He said it had its original black carpets and wheel caps, which were hardest to keep intact.
“The day-one rubber mats were usually the first things that wear-out, the interior is original and makes the car look like it was delivered yesterday.”
Also, the car's interior panels bore no abrasions from the seatbelts rubbing against it and the original factory-fitted radio player was still in position.
“If you pop the hood, you will see the engine resembles the interior.
“It looks fresh from the factory. No repair work was done on this car.
“A slight twist of the key gets it started.”
Fareed said they got the car more than a month ago from a dealer network and they were busy creating a museum at their 11 000 square metres dealership, which also included top-of-the range exclusive cars, affordable ones and vehicles for auction.
“The Cressida was not for a rushed sale but meant our museum. If there is a buyer who appreciates it enough and is prepared to pay the price then it would be sold.
“If not, we are happy to keep it in our museum. It is a car with great history and not something you can buy easily.”
He mentioned that there were various bidders for the vehicle when he made the sizeable outlay for the car.
“Any exclusive dealer who inspected the car would understand how we priced this car. Therefore, we paid the special price.
In today’s economic climate it is not about the book value, but a case of willing buyer, willing seller.”
Fareed said he was proud to have the Cressida and it changed the vibe in his dealership ever since he got it.
He’s been in the car sales business for nearly 20 years, which dates back to his humble beginnings as a teenager, but the Cressida evoked special memories for him.
“Its smell, its feel reminds one of an uncle or elderly person owning such cars, fishing trips and visits to the park.”
George Mienie, chief executive of AutoTrader, one of the country’s leading online used car sales platforms, agreed that dealerships could mark-up a vehicle at a market based price if they were able to justify its value.
Usually, rare vehicles were priced higher because the supply was low and demand high.
Mienie said, as a classical car, you can’t paint the 1986 Toyota Cressida GLE with the same brush as any current or non-historic Toyota or vehicle.
“This is a historic car and has been kept in almost mint condition.”
About when a car is classified vintage, Mienie said there was no definitive definition.
However, the Classic Car Club of America defined a car as being a classic if it had aged between 30 and 49 years, with modern classics being defined as cars aged between 15 and 25 years old.
“Additionally, the vehicle also needs to be in good condition with original factory parts”
Mienie said the Cressida in question was not aimed at the average local automotive consumer.
“This listing targets collectors who are prepared to spend money on vehicles that have a personal connection with them.”
He believed the price tag was justified if the Cressida met the following criteria, which included being limited in production, was a special version, had cult-like status amongst collectors and enthusiasts, was in showroom condition and was from a revered manufacturer.
Some of the other expensive vintages on AutoTrader’s books includes:
1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 – Price On Application (POA)
1986 Chevrolet Camaro SS Auto – POA
1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 – R4.9m
1960 Bentley S1 4.1 – POA
1964 Ferrari 330 GT Series 1 – R3.49m
1970 Dodge Charger R/T – POA
1984 Ferrari 308 GTS QV – R1.55m
Some of the expensive recent sales that featured in AutoTrader included:
2021 Rolls-Royce Cullinan – R11.9m
2019 Lamborghini Urus – R5.6m
2021 Aston Martin DBX – R4.8m
2021 Mercedes-AMG G-Glass G63 – R3.9m