Unicorn 5-Speed: 1985 Toyota Celica GT-S Convertible – SOLD!

Jul 2020 | Classifinds, Topless Thursday

July 2020 Update – we confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

While it may seem like eons ago that Toyota’s spunky rear-wheel-drive Celica burst onto the import scene, the company has lately been making strides to routinely include a sports-themed model of some variety in the lineup. Still, one wonders whether the Scion FR-S or BMW-powered Supra will ever be as cool as models like this 1985 Toyota Celica GT-S convertible originally found listed on Craigslist in June 2020 in Deering, New Hampshire. Equipped with the rare-for-a-convertible 5-speed manual gearbox, it’s far from perfect but definitely worthy of being driven as-is or restored to showroom condition.   Checking the NADA Classic Car Price Guide reveals that a Celica convertible of this vintage in top condition is worth around $7,900, or slightly below the seller’s ask of $8,500.

The Celica of the mid-80s was perhaps one of the most perfect summations of the era’s styling cues: fender flares, wide wheels, pop-up headlights, and cassette decks with equalizers, all standard. It was also incredibly dependable, with the venerable 22R-E engine under the hood. Far from exotic – some would call it downright truck-like – the engine never pushed the Celica into elite sports car territory, but rear-wheel drive certainly helped to inject some athleticism into the driving experience. The convertible models were a collaboration between Toyota and renowned factory conversion specialist ASC, which provided the necessary vision for creating a Celica drop-top that looked like it rolled off of Toyota’s own assembly line.

The listing is brief, but everything the seller mentions seems to indicate a robust laundry list of pricey fixes. Well, pricey in Toyota terms, at least, as these cars are well known for being cheap to maintain.  For example, the seller still proceeded with an engine rebuild, new convertible top, fresh brakes, replacement clutch, new tie rod ends, and more. The mileage is listed as 108,000, which is fairly low for the year. I’m surprised the engine already had to be rebuilt, as this mill is known for being notoriously long-lived; still, it’s one less thing for the next owner to worry about. The cosmetics look somewhat shoddy in the listing photos, including faded paint, some scrapes/body damage, and a torn-up driver’s seat – so there will still be a laundry list of improvements to make. Good luck with the purchase if you decide to pursue this tatty-but-complete 5-speed Celica GT-S convertible.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Car runs and drives well. Rebuilt engine, new convertible top, new shocks, brakes, clutch and tie rod ends. Original paint and interior. Only made 4000 of these cars. 108,000 miles. $8,500.00 firm. If ad is up we still have the car.

Do you have a Celica GT-S story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.