The ad for today’s Nice Price or No Dice Toyota Celica is a confusing mishmash of words and numbers but still manages to communicate the gist of the car’s current condition. Let’s see if its price manages to come through as clearly.
Hey, do you remember Gumby, the anthropomorphic little green slab of clay? Did you know that Gumby once had a dog named Nopey? Unlike Gumby’s somewhat amorphous semi-humanoid shape, Nopey looked something like a real dog, some sort of pit bull or the like. Nopey got his name from the singular response he gave any and every time he was addressed, which was an annoying “nope.”
We had a lot of Nopeys in the comments on yesterday’s 1996 BMW M3 Coupe. It may have looked nearly immaculate, and like Gumby, it came in a pleasing shade of green. But its $16,500 asking price proved just too much for those factors to overcome. In the end, it went down in a narrow but incontrovertible 57 percent No Dice loss.
While yesterday’s Bimmer may have been too dear for most of you, there’s no denying the inherent lure possessed by almost all of BMW’s offerings. The same can’t always be said about the products of the Japanese carmaker Toyota, however. Although sometimes it, too, makes something that might just tighten one’s trousers.
This 1992 Toyota Celica GT is one of Toyota’s wilder moments. Yes, it is little more than a four-seat convertible based on a fairly mundane front-drive coupe, but Toyota got a lot of the important bits right. First off, the car has pop-up headlamps. The Celica started out its life in the ’70s as a mini Mustang clone. Once it found its own identity, however, the Celica diverged from the pony car look to something more distinctive. For three generations, that look included cool pop-up headlamps.
Like its immediate predecessor, this fifth generation of Celica came in three body styles — coupe, liftback and convertible. As with all previous generations, the convertible started life as a coupe and was converted by the American Specialty Corporation (ASC) in Rancho Dominguez, California.
This Celica has done 130,000 miles since leaving ASC. Seeing as it carries California plates, it likely has done most of those miles under sunny skies and on dry, unsalted roads. That’s not to say it’s had it easy. A sizable dent in the right-front fender makes that fairly evident. There’s also the seller’s assertion of the car’s condition as “Fair” in the ad. Speaking of the seller’s description, here’s the supporting copy in its entirety:
We’re fine convertible Celica $130,000 MI power steering power brakes power windows power mirrors power door locks cruise control tilt wheel tires are like new runs great clean title currently registered.
I can’t explain the dollar sign ahead of the mileage, nor the communal pronoun at the beginning.
Regardless of those questions, I think we can get the gist of the car’s condition and features from the ad. Along with that, we can see in the pictures what’s going on here. First off, the tires seem to have plenty of tread. The body, save for that dent, appears to be solid and without major issues. There is what looks to be a broken radio antenna on the back fender, but who listens to the radio any more?
The interior looks a bit worn, what with the discolored plastic on the steering wheel’s airbag cover and some staining on the upholstery. Additionally, the front bucket seats appear to be in mourning. The rest of the plastic bits all look intact and in serviceable condition.
Under the hood, the engine bay looks as you might expect, and this being a ’90s Toyota, nothing in there should be headache-inducing. What you’ll find there is Toyota’s stalwart 2.2-liter DOHC four. Here it makes 130 horsepower and gets coupled to a four-speed automatic for muss-free cruising.
The only thing we don’t see on the car is the top, and that’s kind of a big deal if it’s ratty. Mitigating that somewhat, the seller says the car “runs great” and that it comes with a clean title.
Unlike yesterday’s BMW, which was being offered as some sort of museum piece to be curated, this Celica feels more like a beater, maybe something you’d buy to drive to the beach over the summer. It has enough room for some friends and maybe some snacks from Trader Joe’s.
A beater car always demands a beater price. This Celica asks $2,300. Is that beater enough? What do you think, is this ’90s convertible worth that as it sits? Or, is this beater too beat up to ask so much?
H/T to Danny G. for the hookup!
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