1996 Toyota Celsior V8

Sold: $11,495

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Toyota had perfected its luxury sedan, the Celsior, by 1996 when this one was produced. Our Diamond White Pearl (051) example was designed to stand the test of time boasting reliable mechanicals and a premium passenger catered cabin with abundant space and amenities. Fresh off a recent service, including a timing belt, water pump replacement, and professionally rebuilt ECU with a lifetime warranty, this turn-key saloon is offered with a mere 68k verified and documented miles. Aside from some light dings, chips, and scuffs associated with normal use, the exterior is in good shape and is just as it left the factory. As a daily driver, comfortable commuter, or unmolested platform to build a VIP car, you can't deny how good this certified Japanese Classic is!

The cabin is in above-average shape overall. It's cavernous on the inside and the occupants are surrounded by plush electric amenities everywhere. Two desirable options were ticked on this particular car which we don't typically see. The functional power sunroof lets plenty of natural light and ventilation into the cabin. The other item of note is the OEM leather seats. The front two are powered as you'd expect, and while the cowhide is common in the states these are hardly seen in Japan. They're in good nick overall and lack any major rips, cracks, or holes. They are also supportive on longer journeys providing both passengers and drivers with loads of adjustments and settings to choose from. Complemented by a set of colorful OEM floor mats, the headliner, and carpets have withstood any major abuse over the years. Up front, the view of the road ahead is clear and commanding, and forward visibility is fantastic. For some added peace of mind, dual-front SRS airbags are on standby should the unthinkable happen. The switchgear is all at hand for the driver, and the power windows, door locks, power-folding mirrors, and an electric tilt and telescoping column all work as they should. Not enough electric equipment? Toyota even powered the driver and passenger seat belt adjusters for an extra degree of opulence. Even the factory air purifier and cruise control systems function, as does the OEM audio. Keyless entry makes daily use way more enjoyable and two spare keys were sent over from Japan. The trunk is humongous and the OEM spare tire and wheel are onboard in case of an unforeseen roadside emergency.

Mechanically the UCF21 is known to be nearly bulletproof. Examples have logged over a million miles on the 1UZ-FE V8. Ours is fresh off an oil and filter service and whirrs to life instantly thanks to a new 12v battery we installed here in the shop. The 4.0L idles with little, if any, vibration puncturing the cabin thanks to a new set of eight spark plugs and a new engine air filter. To give the engine a new lease on life, one of our trained techs has performed the costly and time-consuming timing belt and water pump service. Good for another 6 years or 90,000 kilometers the new owners can rest assured knowing this is one less thing they would need to take care of. For good measure, we also replaced the thermostat while we were there. Mated to a smooth-shifting automatic gearbox, power is sent to the rear wheels as it should be in a proper luxury sedan. It accelerates smoothly and highway cruising is effortless. The OEM air suspension handles large and small potholes without even the slightest shrug, and the height adjustment function works properly, too. The ABS brakes are strong and the power steering is light as a feather. To complete the list of maintenance, we mounted and balanced a set of new all-season tires. The new rubber quiets down the ride and most importantly will last for tens of thousands of miles to come. That's not to say this Celsior is perfect, as we wanted to note some noise from the valve shims that you can hear from outside the cabin. The noise doesn't seem to enter the passenger cell unless you have the windows unfurled. We did want to take this into account when pricing the vehicle, in case the new owner wanted to budget for the repair. Aside from that this sled is really hard to complain about and was obviously cared for in a prior life overseas. It's a timeless luxury design that's easy to service and comfortable to drive and the new owners will surely agree!

*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB compliant first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website

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