The highlight of the annual Toyota Grand Prix in Long Beach was an annual Pro/Celebrity race in Toyota street cars that was first run in 1977. The race has always had lots of carnage and is typically more fun to watch than the Indy/IRL/ChampCar parade of high-powered wing-equipped spec-chassis ‘race-cars’ held later in the day. […]
It has been 15 years since Toyota sold anything with the Celica name on the back, which probably means it is time for a retro styled reboot. But I don’t want a retro styled electric self-driving Celica anymore than I want fake meat that tastes/looks/chews/grills like meat. If I want a Toyota with 4 square headlights, then I’ll get a this one. Find this 1981 Toyota Celica GT Liftback offered for $6,500 in Albuquerque, NM via craigslist.
Cars that are born to be driven hard around race tracks or tricky mountain roads (lookin’ at you Nurburgring) need to have certain assets like power, handling, and torsional rigidity. But if you chop the top off that same car, you’ve now got something that is more for cruising and now the vehicular aesthetics are more important than the ratio spacing of the gearbox. Because when you’ve got a soft top, you need cool looking wheels…and this next car delivers in spades. Find this 1983 Toyota Celica ST convertible offered for $8900 in Atlanta, GA via craigslist.
The 2nd generation Celica was great little rear-drive coupe from the makers of our favorite appliances, Toyota. It was built in Japan from 1978 to 1981 as a 2 door coupe or 3 door liftback, but it was not available from the factory as a convertible version. US dealers complained enough that Toyota outsourced the hacking of the roof off to the Griffith Company which installed a targa-style top with folding rear convertible back to roughly 2000 examples to make the Sunchaser. Find this 1980 Toyota Celica GT Sunchaser offered for $6,850 in Vancouver, WA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
The ST185 generation Toyota Celica All-Trac was known as the “Super Round shape” version of the high performance version of Toyota’s liftback Celica (1989-1993). It combined a turbocharged 4-cylinder 3S-GTE engine with all-wheel-drive and a 5-speed manual gearbox. With 200 horsepower in the USA version, it won’t be the fastest car you’ve ever driven, but it is a part of Toyota’s rally history and will be a desirable classic someday…if it isn’t already. Find this 1990 Toyota Celica All-Trac offered for $7000 in Katy, TX via craigslist. Tip from Graham.
The 2nd generation Toyota Celica released in 1985 on an all new transverse front-wheel-drive platform (previous generations dating back to 1970 were rear-wheel-drive). The new Celica was more refined than the previous version and a new 2.0 liter engine promised more performance, but it wasn’t until the release of the GT-S version (ST162) with 135 horsepower from its 3S-GE DOHC inline-4 that performance was improved over the previous Celica. With the GTS you also got disc brakes at all four corners and 5-lug wheels…but not a turbo or all-wheel-drive (for that you had to pony up to the Turbo All-Trac GT-Four version). Find this 1989 Toyota Celica GTS offered for $5900 in Watsonville, CA via craigslist.
It never fails. I open my big mouth and start gabbering about how “the days of sub $5k classics on craigslist is behind us, we are all going to be leasing electric google-cubes because all the interesting cars are being speculatively purchased/sold on the auction sites that keep popping up…and, lo and behold, the $5k modern classics start flying around the DT tips line like covid19 at a frat party. Leave your solo cups at the door and buy this goldenrod classic before it gets away. Find this 1984 Toyota Celica GT offered for $5500 in Land Park, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
The days when sub $5k classics littered craigslist is just about gone. You can’t hardly find anything that is below $5k and has a manual gearbox, rear-wheel-drive, fun, and isn’t a total basket case. One owner? HAH, for less than $5k you just hope the last owner didn’t turn the car into a crack den. Classic? Forget anything fun from the 60s, and even things from the 90s have started to appreciated…so you have to dig deep and head for the mid 80s and learn how to fix pop-up headlight mechanisms. Find this 1984 Toyota Celica GTS offered for $4350 in Burbank, CA via craigslist. Tip from MikeD.
The 3rd generation (internally called A60) Celica was the final rear-drive chassis to use Toyota’s Celica name. The next generation used a transverse front-drive setup that has become a de facto standard for economy cars, but up through 1985 you could get a Celica from the factory with a longintudinal engine and right wheel drive. […]
This next car comes as a tip from JB1025 who writes Pretty cool looking Celica GT awd be fun to drive and not many around in the States i would guess. The Celica GT-Four was available in the US market, but it was discontinued by the time the 6th generation Celica was launched in 1993, […]