Despite their having just brought back the Supra, it’s still unlikely that Toyota will resurrect the once venerable Celica. With cars like today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe GT-S around, that may not be a big deal. Let’s see if its price proves otherwise.
If you were a fan of the HBO epic, Game of Thrones you most likely had issues with the series’ final season, which wrapped up last Sunday evening. That’s often the case with many long-running series—one or more of the segments may be a clunker. The auto industry suffers the same fate, with editions of some models that somehow miss the mark—I’m looking at you Mustang II.
Yesterday we looked at a 1993 Chevrolet Corvette, a model that hailed from the line’s 40th anniversary year. That was also a late edition of the C4, or fourth generation of ‘Vette, and that’s a version of the hallowed sports car line that to some holds less appeal than both its predecessors and its descendants.
The handsome green convertible we considered rocked a rare ZF manual and just 24K on the clock. Those attributes, along with a $14,750 price tag, earned that C4 a narrow but decisive 54 percent Nice Price win, our third win this week. On a side note, I like C4s just fine.
Another car that had a good run, and which it could be said had some questionable decisions cast upon it over the course of that run, was the Toyota Celica.
The Celica was introduced in the early 1970s as a blatant attempt by Toyota to muscle in on the Ford Mustang’s pony car success. Toyota’s take, especially in later liftback form, was mini Mustang in all aspects, and like miniskirts, mini golf, and mini Eggos it was a hit.
Today’s 2000 Toyota Celica GT-S is many generations later, and is a model that has eschewed all semblance of its pony car past. It looks more like… oh, I don’t know, a Stinger missile. It’s also, in additional un-pony car fashion, FWD.
The pointiness is the hallmark of the 7th, and to date, final edition of the Celica model line. Few people are interested in buying sporty coupes these days so don’t expect the model to make a return appearance like its Supra big brother did.
The 7th gen Celica was one of the line’s most aggressively styled, and at just a little over 2,650 pounds in fighting weight, it wasn’t too fat to live up to those looks. In GT-S guise, the cars carried Toyota’s rev-happy 2ZZ-GE DOHC four under the fast sloping hood. With its VVTL-i variable valve timing intake, the 1.8-litre four could muster a respectable 180 horsepower at a heady 7,800 rpm. There wasn’t much of a party off the line with these, but sink a toe in and the fun begins.
Even more performance was just a TRD catalog away where items like a less restrictive exhaust and more aggressive suspension could be had for mere money.
This GT-S comes in Super White II which amazingly is the second sequel paint color we’ve featured in a row after yesterday’s Corvette’s humorous Polo Green II. The bodywork beneath that paint looks to be straight and free of rust or other malfeasance. Badging is complete, as is the GT-S wing on the large hatch. The car wears the optional 16-inch alloy wheels with recently acquired 205/50 R16 Firestones for rubber.
There’s some flaking in the wheel rims here, perhaps the result of curbing or of inconsiderate wheel weight placement. The headlamps are appreciably free from issue however, giving the car a decent appearance up front. In fact, the only thing that detracts on the body is the multiple holes that have been drilled into the front bumper cap for license plate placement. It would be nice if those weren’t there. On the plus side, the heavily tinted windows really set off the car’s aggressive lines. They probably keep the interior cooler too.
Stepping inside that interior, you’re greeted by an appreciably late-‘90s Toyota aesthetic. The leather surfaces on the seats, steering wheel and six-speed shifter knob all look to be intact and without problem, and the sweeping dashboard is free of cracks or errant banana brand stickers.
The instruments are a mixed bag of analog dial and faux analog dial, and come with a jaunty orange italic font for all the indicators. A single DIN aftermarket head unit provides tunes and looks a little lost in its double DIN cave.
The seller says he’s the second owner having bought the car from an “elderly lady.” Props to the elderly lady for rocking a hot three-pedal coupe. Mileage is a modest 73,000 and maintenance is claimed to have been done on the car on the regular. It’s described as having never seen a shunt and comes with a clear Florida title. The seller lists its condition as “excellent” and says the car as a “must see.”
Now that you’ve given it a look, let’s talk about its $5,300 asking price. That will buy you any number of vehicles, across multiple categories these days. The tough question though, is who would consider the Celica? Is being the object of disinterest actually an attribute that makes it of interest?
If so, what do you think this car should go for? Is that $5,300 asking a decent price for a GT-S in this shape? Or, for that much, is there just no point in considering this pointy car?
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