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Junkyard Gem: 1995 Toyota Avalon with 389K miles

From the 1978 via 1992 mannequin years, the rear-wheel-drive Cressida was probably the most luxurious Toyota sedan bought in the US. The arrival of the Lexus LS 400 and ES 300 as 1990 fashions shoved the growing old Cressida out of the limelight and — beginning in 1993 — left American Toyota sellers with simply the Camry to do battle with the Nissan Maxima, Mazda 929 and Mitsubishi Diamante. That downside was remedied with the introduction of the Toyota Avalon as a 1995 mannequin, and I’ve discovered one of many first Avalons ever inbuilt a Colorado automotive graveyard.

This automotive rolled off Toyota’s Kentucky meeting line in December 1994, and the VIN ending in 009XXX tells us it is one of many first of the greater than 72,000 Avalons constructed as 1995 fashions. 

That alone provides this automotive historic significance, however its remaining odometer studying would have certified it for this sequence in any case. This is not the most important quantity I’ve seen on a discarded Toyota’s odometer (it is topped by a 1995 Previa with 413,530 miles and a 1988 Tercel 4WD Wagon with 413,344 miles) and one in every of many with higher than 300,000 miles on the clock, nevertheless it’s one of many most-traveled American-built autos I’ve ever present in a junkyard. Proper now it stands at #4 on that checklist, after a Tennessee-built 1990 Nissan Sentra with 440k miles, an Ohio-built 1991 Honda Accord with 435k miles and an Ohio-built 1996 Honda Civic with 435k miles.

The primary-generation Avalon was based mostly on a stretched Camry chassis and was thus an in depth cousin to the Lexus ES of the period. The primary technology was constructed via the 1999 mannequin 12 months.

The XLS was the upper of two 1995 Avalon trim ranges, and the MSRP for this automotive was $26,688 (about $54,517 in 2023 {dollars}). A brand new Lexus ES 300 listed at $31,500 ($64,347 in at present’s cash) and was a bit smaller with the identical powertrain. In the meantime, a brand new 1995 Mazda Millenia value $25,995 ($53,101 now) and the Nissan Maxima GLE was $24,199 ($49,433 at present).

This automotive has the elective leather-based upholstery, which added $975 to the worth ($1,992 after inflation).

It additionally has the elective cassette/CD audio system, which value $1,185 ($2,421 in 2023 bones, or clams). This automotive got here with loads of further extra-cost choices that I will not checklist however added loads to the out-the-door value. Hey, in case you needed this sort of stuff as customary gear, you needed to get the ES 300!

Energy got here from this DOHC 3.0-liter V6, which made 188 horsepower and was the identical engine because the one discovered within the ES300 and nicer Camrys.

Each Avalon ever constructed (for road use) had an automated transmission. This one is a four-speed. The U.S.-market 1995 Camry may nonetheless be bought with a guide transmission, however solely with a four-cylinder engine; in reality, you would purchase a brand new Camry with V6 and five-on-the-floor guide all the best way via early within the 2001 mannequin 12 months.

The Avalon remained obtainable right here till the 2022 mannequin 12 months, after which it was executed as a result of elevated loathing for sedans inside the hearts of American car consumers. New Avalons are nonetheless being inbuilt China.

Expertise the tranquility.

Georgetown-built Avalons have been exported on the market in Japan, bringing a style of suburban gaijin tradition (full with golden retriever within the again seat) to that facet of the Pacific. 


I was born on March 15, 1980, in Detroit, Michigan. I grew up in the heart of Motor City, surrounded by the culture of automobiles. I had a close-knit family, including my parents, two older siblings, and a younger brother. I attended Roosevelt High School in Detroit, where my love for cars began to flourish. From a young age, I showed an early interest in automobiles. I would spend hours tinkering with my bicycle and helping my father fix up our family car. It was clear that I had a natural affinity for all things mechanical. This passion for cars led me to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

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