Rare Rides: The Toyota Origin – Vintage Luxury and Suicide Doors From 2001

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Sometimes an automaker goes out on a limb and gives consumers what they say they want. Toyota attempted to appease Internet Car Enthusiasts with the GT86, though it didn’t really work. A few years before that sporty coupe debuted, the company tried to woo the traditional sedan consumer with a very special, limited-production model for the Japanese domestic market.

Presenting Origin, by Toyota.

Always intended as a limited-edition special offering, Toyota worked to create a modern sedan that hearkened back to the first Crown Toyopet of the 1950s. Turning up the nostalgia dial, the Origin had suicide doors, jewel-effect tail lights, and a C-pillar which sloped backwards.

The Origin was based on the awkwardly styled Progrès model, and as such was classified as a midsize car by the Japanese government. That meant its lucky owners would have to pay a higher road tax; to make up for it, the classically-styled Origin got plenty of modern power. It was one of the very last vehicles to receive the 3.0-liter straight-six JZ engine, which you’d find in a Lexus SC300 or Supra.

Toyota continued to reach into the parts bin to find interior materials for the Origin. Everything is a high-quality assemblage of components from familiar Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

Most surfaces are coated in wood and creamy leather with contrast piping. That formal roof lets passengers enjoy the soft rear recliners without hair mussing concerns.

As new, the Origin was 7,000,000 yen in 2001 ($84,898 USD, adjusted for inflation). That price put the Origin firmly in the prestige category, with an assist from its low-volume production of about 1,000 examples.

This one’s driven just 56,000 miles, and is of course eligible for importation into Canada. The Origin would seem to hold value better than other similar-era JDM cars, as it asks nearly $23,000 of your dollars.

[Images seller]