Climate change remains a controversial subject these days, but if it's not yet warm enough for you, maybe today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Celica Sunchaser will light your fire. And perhaps its price will make it a hot commodity.
The hot pits is where you might find the 58% of you who awarded yesterday's whackadoddle wheelstanding Ford E100 a Nice Price win. That truck's brand-agnostic mix of American iron and ability to pop wheelies like it's been popping Viagra made for an inebriating mix. Not only that but the available trailer and rolling living accommodations for only five grand more offered the perfect chaser.
Today's contender is also a chaser, but instead of trap times, it chases that big burning ball in the sky. One definition of a stellar day - also referred to as the sidereal period of rotation - is a measurement of the Earth's rotation relative to the fixed stars in the sky, which are any other than our own Sun. Another description may be the day when you come across a rare 1981 Toyota Celica GT with a Sunchaser conversion. That would make this a stellar day.
The Sunchaser was a pretty simple concept, and as applied to Toyota's second generation pony car, provided a heightened level of wind in the hair and pigeon poop on the plastic interior than just opening the windows of the stock coupe. Converted by the Griffith Company - who also did targa versions of the Celica hatch, and Sundancer editions of AMC's Hornet/Concord.
This one being an ‘81 comes from the last year of both second generation A40 and Sunchaser production, as the following year debuted the cheese wedge A60 Celica. In ‘81, American-bound Celicas were powered - as this one is - by Toyota's robust but unremarkable 22R. That 2.4-litre SOHC four put out a modest 97-bhp, but at least here the W55 5-speed gearbox will allow you to have a say in how those ponies are applied. Its black-booted shifter sits in an equally ebony console amidst a sea of I<3 the eighties azure. The seats, dash cap and door coverings may all smack of smurf ass, but at least they look to be in reasonably good shape.
The seller notes all the amenities that the standard GT package afforded - A/C, tilt wheel, cruise control ,and a lumbering driver's seat. Outside you get a trunk-mounted luggage rack because keeping your picnic basket in the boot would make your egg salad sammich and cole slaw taste like gas fumes and spare tire, which is not yummie. There's also a locking gas cap - an advantage in the era of $4/gallon gas - and styled steel wheels with shiny beauty rings. Also beautiful is the sassy red and orange tape stripe applied to each flank, just above the equally eighty-licious ribbed rocker molding.
But it's what tops this Celica off that really makes it special. The Griffith conversion lets the sun shine in while still providing a modicum of body integrity and adding multiple permutations of roof configuration. The fold-down rear section and hard fiberglass front are independently removable, and the hard cap stores in the trunk. The soft section in back represents one of this car's disclosed flaws as the seller says that it has a tear on each side of the vinyl window. He also notes that the heater valve is on the fritz, so you'd need to go talk to Fritz about fixing that.
Other than that, it's about as super-dee-duper a Sunchaser as you're likely to find, and it's the more desirable manual GT model. The seller claims twice in his ad that only 3,000 Sunchasers were built, but doesn't manage to reveal the mileage of this particular one. Regardless, it's an eighties Toyota - an entity that is as tenacious as herpes or a secondary school loan debt. That means it's probably got enough miles left in it to literally chase the sun. The question is, does its $6,000 price eclipse its position as a unique and desirable ride? Or, is it dawning on you that this Sunchaser could brighten anyone's day?
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