If someone is twenty-something and still living at home, working on their GED, a kind way to describe them is a work in progress. Today's twenty year old Nice Price or Crack Pipe Celica All-Trac isn't presently working, and the seller hasn't made much progress towards getting there, but would its price make it worthy of living at your home?
While Bill Elliott may have once been awesome - and the Aerobird may have been the most awesome edition of the fox platform Ford ever made - it seemed that just like two wrongs don't make a right, a similar quantity of awesomes doth not a Nice Price equate. Fully 72% of you black flagged yesterday's Number Nine homage resulting in it receiving both a DNF for its price, and a WTF? for its incongruous lightbar.
In contrast to that loud and proud declaration of one's NASCAR love you long time, me so corny, today's 1991 Celica All-Trac is a subtle sleeper. The seller of this some-assembly-required Toyota says he's fanatical about the brand - a claim that's equatable to to saying your favorite color is ‘clear' or that Al Gore is your BFF. He also states that the reason for selling the car is due to the double-header of suck that is the pending loss of both job and spouse, so that's all we're going to say on the matter of his automotive ardor.
The second generation Celica All-Trac - factory designation the ST185 - packed a turbo-four and AWD pieces like the previous generation, but in an aggressively curved and be-vented body. Toyota's 3S-GTE offered up 200-bhp from its intercooled 1,998-ccs, and the ad makes the claim that this one has less than a thousand miles since a recent rebuild. Some additional goodies that have been appended to this relatively stock All-Trac include an aftermarket intake and popper under hood, as well as an A-pillar mounted gauge package (Yes!) to monitor the goings on. To its detriment, the seller says that a simple fuel filter replacement on the car turned ugly resulting in the gas tank no longer being on speaking terms with the engine. Replacement parts are included in the purchase, and perhaps after the disassembly fustercluck, it might be better for the buyer to put them on.
There's also some issues inside - in spite of those sweet A-Pillar gauges - and the center console looks like a murder scene. That's again due to some half-completed repairs. The seller also notes the driver's leather should be replaced, which creepily sounds like something from the Silence of the Lambs, but I think he means the seat, so consider bringing one of those taxi driver bead seat covers along for the ride. Other issues are a trunk carpet that's gone missing and a fanless radiator meaning all your trips should be either super short, or only across the arctic tundra. With all that, it's pretty obvious that you won't be driving this All-Trac home unless you enjoy wrenching on a former owner's property- something I personally feel is akin to wearing somebody else's fart-warmed skivvies. Awkward.
Outside, the Celica looks complete despite the vampiric night-only photos, although the seller says that over the years and miles the white on rice body has managed to pick up a few dings and shows the start of ferrous oxide's day off. The hood pins look a little out of place, but then those awesome A-Pillar gauges more than make up for that transgression, while the 17" six-spoke alloys provide an excellent view of the red-painted calipers and underbody grunge. The seller advertises the mileage as 142XXX, which may mean either no one under 17 is allowed to buy this car, or that he's concerned about being too specific regarding the mileage on a NON-OPERATIONAL CAR.
Regardless, it's a Toyota and it takes more than age and distance to kill one of those. In fact short of a gallon of kerosene and a road flare, this Celica could easily slide through the impending Apocalypse, along with the cockroaches and Larry King. Part of the reason Toyotas are so popular, as well as so dull, is that they lack the drama of say an Alfa Romeo, which might not only break down on you at any moment, but could hurt you in the act. The Celica All-Trac is a Toyota that breaks the mold of the brand's motoring malaise, and, with only a couple thousand sold, it may even be one of the few to be collectible.
Collecting this one will take $4,000 and a tow, and a little tea and sympathy for the soon to be single and job-searching seller. What do you think, has this Celica All-Trac had too much botched surgery to command that kind of green? Or, is that a screamin' deal for this work in progress?
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