Spotlight Feature – Big Dusty Mexican, Mark’s 1980 Toyota Cressida.
Words Matt Lindsay & Mark Ocampo. Photographs Matt Lindsay.
The Cressida that you see before you stood out to me from the moment I entered the gates at Winterfest. I had a quick look over it, however being that I arrived late to the Toyota specific event I only had a short period in which to cover the cars that had attended. I did a couple of sweeps of the paddock area shooting what appealed to me and before I knew it, said paddock area was slowly but surely emptying of cars. Fortunately Mark’s Cressida was still sat parked with both an equally appealing Cresta and MX73 and so I was able to have a proper look over it. I instantly recognised the car from last year’s 100mm Certified event where it was styled in a more traditional Japanese Shakotan/ Kyusha outfit.
Cal-style or lowrider inspired cars of the JDM variety have always appealed to me, as I grew up around traditional custom’s and muscle car’s, yet being that my growing up occurred throughout the 90’s and 2000’s, my eyeballs were flooded with images of modified Japanese cars, whether it be through magazines, film or the internet. So seeing Mark’s Cressida sitting with the perfect stance in a lowrider style, dropped on a set of 14” 100 spokes and rocking a Mexican blanket, I just had to know more…
What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Mark Ocampo and I’m from the dirty south of CLA (Clarinda).
How did you originally get into cars?
I remember watching a pirated CD of ‘The Fast and the Furious’ on my portable DVD player and I was immediately drawn in by the culture portrayed. The sounds, visuals and friendships started my passion for cars. From the redirecting pizza routes to Ja Rule’s one liners; I knew the automotive scene would become an integral part of my life.
I spent a large portion of my early years designing cars and researching the engineering behind each component. As I grew older, most of my expenses equated to cars and related parts. Part of me wishes I didn’t get into cars because of this but at the end of the day, you can’t put a price on the experiences and friendships.
What are we looking at and what made you purchase it?
Back when I owned a more modern car (by modern, I mean late 90’s), I remember seeing this yellow metal bumper car with a chin spoiler and black mirrors mounted on the fender. It had so much more character and charisma than most cars I’ve seen on the road. After a bit of discussion and research, I found out that this car was a MX32 Toyota Cressida. Most of my friends by this time had older cars such as KE70 Corollas and R31 Skylines.
So I began my 3 month long search and finally found a 1980 MX32 Toyota Cressida with minimal rust. I found it on a farm and it was owned by old man, who kept the car in the family since new. It sported a ‘custom two-tone’ finish that I fell in love with. The simplicity of the whole package really takes you back to that era.
How long have you owned it?
I have owned Big Dusty for about 2 years now. I don’t plan on selling any time soon either. It’s a car I could almost keep forever.
What restoration/modifications have been done to it?
I haven’t really attempted to ‘restore’ it as the paint looks like it has stories to tell. I have done all the things that have allowed me to drive it. It has gone through the regular rust repairs and general cleaning.
As for the modifications, it’s pretty simple with:
– BC coilovers from an MX73 Cressida.
– Extended LCA’s also from an MX73 Cressida.
– 14×6 -53 100 spoke wheels.
– MX41 fender mirrors.
– Custom tri-spoke headlights.
– Mexican sarape.
– Tucked exhaust with custom ‘speed holes’.
What inspired you to modify it in the style that you have?
I actually get really bored and go through many stages of styles. It started out with some simple white walls and some hub caps for daily duties.
I eventually got bored and decided to add some tasteful 14’s, fender mirrors and chin spoiler for a more Kyusha feel. At this stage, I just wanted a simple, cheap and metal bumper drift car.
Then I wanted to go all out with super wide, flares and livery. I just couldn’t bring myself to drill holes and only rarely be able to drive it on the street.
Now, we have a more lowrider-esque look on the wires and I couldn’t be happier. It’s the perfect cruiser.
Do you have any other plans for it?
Mainly for reliability, I plan to dump the old 4m engine and put in a manual 2jzge. Hopefully down the track I can respray it in a clean gloss black.
I’d like to thank Mark for taking the time to answer these questions.