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1974 Toyota Cressida - JDM Lowrider

PJ Bonifacio's Slab: Slow, Low And Bangin'

Chuck Tee
Dec 1, 2008
Photographer: Terence Fitzpatrick

What does a guy do after building a handful of fast old school Toyotas? A '74 four door Cressida! Being Filipino, is like being obligated to build old school Toyotas. And if you haven't been in cave for the last decade, you'd know PJ has been supplying our BITD section with Corollas, Starlets and various other imports. His name is synonymous with old school Toyotas.

This time around, he's serving up something different on them deep dishes. No, it's not a hatchback; it's not a coupe; it's not even fast. The Cressida is more known as your grandpa's car. But after the PJ treatment, this is your grandpa's car as if he were a JDM pimp.

Toyota made the first generation Cressida in both coupes and sedans, but only the sedans made it to our shores. Sharing the same front end, the sedan displays the smooth flowing bodylines of the '70s. This old style is long gone and hard to emulate. We never really got the larger Japanese cars of this era. Japan was still in the infant stage of bringing cars to the US at that time. They didn't think we would want anything but small grocery-getters. So Toyota held back on sending over the Cresta, Chaser and Centry. Nissan held back with the Cedric, Gloria, Laurel and of course, the ever so elusive, Skyline. This MX32 Cressida is one of the very few gangsta sedans of the '70s that we did get from Japan.

PJ definitely saved this grandpa ride from going the crusher, or better yet, from just being a boring grandpa car. Rather than adding a gallon of Bondo and going Bosozoku crazy, he kept it simple. Really simple and clean, just the way an old school car should be built. He was fortunate enough to get this car for under a G, and with a full OEM interior that needed nothing but a good cleaning. Everything was there and nothing was torn. Even the air conditioning still works. Before getting the PJ paint treatment, the fenders were worked with the hand of God. Yes, all hand work there. No fiberglass work, and no flares welded on. Fenders were rolled and flared with a smooth gradual line to perfectly wrap around the wide 15" Work Equip rims. In widths of 9" and 9.5" the rims are wider than what most sports cars can handle.

With so many of the Japanese car styles already mimicked and mainstream, old school JDM cruisers definitely aren't as popular as they should be. My Cressida isn't nearly as cool, but I'm definitely going about it with the same theme. "Slow and low, that is the tempo."

Fast Facts
1974 Toyota Cressida (MX32)
Owner PJ Bonifacio
Hometown la puente, CA
Daily Grind Owner of PJ Bonifacio Motorcars, Autodesign and Autobody

Under The Hood 2.4L inline-six 4M
Drivetrain
Hands-free automatic
Brains No thanks, carb'd baby!
Stiff Stuff AE86 Ground Control coilovers; KYB AGX sturts/shocks
Outside Work Equip 01 15x9"/9.5"; Falken Ziex ZE-912 205/50R15; metal flared fender work; JDM side mirrors; custom-made front air dam
Inside All original black interior
Props Everyone at PJ Bonifacio Motorcars and of course the new Super Street goonies!
www ground-control.com, falkentire.com, kyb.com, pjbonifacio.com, workwheelsusa.com

By Chuck Tee
3 Articles

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