At $25,000, Is This 1992 Toyota Celica All-Trac All You Need?

A fresh Gen-5 3SGTE engine lives under the hood of this AWD racer for the road.

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Nice Price or No Dice 1993 Toyota Celica All-Trac
Photo: Craigslist

The new Corolla GR isn’t the first rally-inspired rocket Toyota has offered. That honor goes to the Celica All-Trac, one of which happens to be today’s Nice Price or No Dice candidate. Let’s see if it’s honorably priced as well.

With all the No Dice results that plagued our candidates last week, I was giving up hope that there were any good deals left in the world. Then came Friday—beloved, life-fulfilling Friday—and for our final chance of the week, a somewhat tired but totally serviceable 1986 Merkur XR4Ti. That quirky but desirable former Ford tugged on our heartstrings and, at $5,000, it contrastingly tugged only lightly on the ol’ pursestrings. Its combo of quirkiness, condition, and that price earned the old Merkur a narrow, but solid 55 percent Nice Price win, thus saving the week and bringing added meaning to TGIF.

Okay, now it’s Monday. It’s the start of a whole new week and we’ve got to see if we can keep this tenuous streak going. To do so, let’s have at it on this 1992 Toyota Celica All-Trac and see if we can feel any collective tugging from it.

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Image for article titled At $25,000, Is This 1992 Toyota Celica All-Trac All You Need?
Photo: Craigslist

For just a bit of context, Toyota used the All-Trac name on all its ’90s AWD cars and the wonderfully weird Previa van. On most of those cars, the on-road AWD was intended to be unobtrusive. On the so-branded Celica, however, it was a different story. This was Toyota’s effort at the time to compete with the likes of Subaru’s WRX and Mitsubishi’s Lancer EVO both on the streets and on the multi-surface tracks of the World Rally Championship circuit. Called the Celica All-Trac Turbo in the U.S., the car assumed the alias of Celica GT-Four in its home market and Celica Turbo 4WD elsewhere. The model was built across three generations of Celica, and in 1993 and again in 1994, All-Trac Turbo racers earned Toyota both the WRC driver and manufacturer championships.

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This All-Trac presents in black over… well, we don’t get any interior shots so who can tell? As a ’92, it is the later wide-body edition of the second-generation All-Trac, based on the standard Celica hatchback body. All-Trac-specific mods include a unique front valance and hood, the latter featuring a functional hood scoop positioned to feed the engine’s top-mounted air-to-air intercooler. Out back, there’s a sizable spoiler that wraps around the hatch. Other than that, it doesn’t stray too far from its standard Celica roots.

Image for article titled At $25,000, Is This 1992 Toyota Celica All-Trac All You Need?
Photo: Craigslist
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This one does offer a bit of visual excitement with its white OZ Racing-esque alloys. Those, along with low-profile tires fill the wheel wells more fully than did the factory 15-inchers. A more notable update appears under the hood. That’s where the original 200-horsepower 3S-GTE 2-liter four has been replaced by a JDM Gen 5 edition. That updated version of the engine offers improved injector placement among other changes that, in factory guise, can provide up to 256 horses.

The nice thing about the updated engine is that it’s from the same family and aside from a slightly smaller intercooler and a few other minor differences, it looks right at home here. According to the seller, the car is in “fantastic operating and physical condition” and that engine swap is apparently a fairly recent bit of work. The title is clean and the car carries only 119,500 miles on the chassis. No mention is made of how much heavy lifting the replacement engine has done, but if it’s a JDM mill, then it’s probably in pretty good shape. There’s not much more info in the ad, with the seller stating that there’s “To much to list” like Craigslist has some sort of character count limit or something.

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Image for article titled At $25,000, Is This 1992 Toyota Celica All-Trac All You Need?
Photo: Craigslist

Despite that, I think we have enough to go on to judge both the car and its $25,000 asking price. Yes, admittedly that is a lot of cabbage. This, however, is a lot of Celica. In fact, it’s probably the one Celica save for an OG liftback that we can all agree each of us wouldn’t mind owning, if only for a bit.

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Speaking of bit, do you think that that $25,000 price tag will get a buyer to bite? Or, is that a price that likely means the seller isn’t all that interested in actually, you know, selling?

You decide!

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Washington, DC Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Ed Duane for the hookup!

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