Photos: Stefan Lindeque/ANM Image Credit: Supplied

That’s a beautiful Cressida you’ve got there Farhan. Where did you find it?

It was found off a lead from a friend of mine. It was a bone stock import and I am the first registered owner of the car as it was on VCC papers when I bought it.

The previous owner bought it at an auction but never got round to registering it and sold it on to me.


You were after something like this weren’t you?

Yes — I wanted something from the Toyota family but it had to be old school. My first car was a 2009 Suzuki Swift and it was great for the city, however I always wanted a classic. So when I first saw this car, I knew I had to have it as it ticked all the right boxes for me. I didn’t give it a second thought and got the deal done right away.


It looks in good condition; tell us about all the work that’s gone into it fromstart to finish…

Well, I have owned it for almost three years and had the exterior resprayed as the original paint had faded in areas. The engine was a stock 2.8-litre inline-six (5MGE) motor, however it wasn’t in good condition and was burning oil. I wanted to rebuild the engine but found that certain parts were not available in the local market.

So then I had a decision to make; do I buy parts online and pay for the shipping, or find another engine here and swap it in? Ultimately, to save time and money, I went with the latter option and got myself a 1JZ JDM world. It is reliable and can be found cheap here in the UAE. Performance-wise it gives enough boost to go head to head with far newer cars.

Then I added a new set of wheels and though there aren’t many other modifications that I’d like to make to it, I may get a suspension upgrade and a tiny boost gauge put in.

I have to say that this car is a lot of fun to drive and I especially love the sound of the blow off valve. Ever since I did the engine swap I drive the car almost every day. So far, I haven’t had any issues with it and I hope this continues into the summer months.


What do you like best about it?

The 15in SSR Longchamp wheels. I love the look of them and they are rare, too. It was difficult to find a set but fortunately I did.

Now my car always gets a positive reaction from people. The thumbs up is the most common while I am driving the car and that makes me feel good.

Also, I have been stopped on the road by other drivers on a few occasions who want to know where I got the car and what it is like to drive, and if I would be interested to sell it.

But I wasn’t too impressed when one time, a guy saw the car and was ever so excited — but when he said my Camry was nice, I knew he was as nutty as a fruit cake!


Oh dear. Howdid your passion for cars begin?

Since I was a teenager I was so tempted by fast cars. I used to watch Fast and Furious every other day and the Nissan Skyline GT-R BNRC34, which appeared in the movie, is my dream car and I hope one day I’ll be able to own one, stock.


But you are a massive Toyota fan, too, right?

Yes, I am a real diehard fan of the brand and have owned many models. It started with the 1996 Corolla powered by a 4AGE silver top engine pumping out roughly 160bhp, which was followed by a 1992 Corolla, again with the 4AGE engine, however this time it was a black top with a six-speed manual.

Quite a few friends at that point owned rear-wheel drive Toyotas (such as an AE86 with a swapped-in 3S-GTE engine) so the urge for rear-wheel drive cars kept growing. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a 1983 KE70 Corolla GCC spec at a very reasonable price. It was, however, falling apart, so I began to restore it and transplanted a 3S Beams from an Altezza with a six-speed manual into it, and ended up having a drift machine!

But it is an ongoing project and I’ll be upgrading the brakes, differential and suspension.


Is that the best car you’ve driven?

No, I would say my friends Cressida with a 1JZ-GTE and single turbo T78 is the best. I still can’t forget that feeling.