Rad Droptop: 1985 Toyota Celica GT-S Convertible – SOLD!

by | Mar 2021 | Classifinds, Topless Thursday

March 24, 2021 Update – none of us here are surprised at how quickly the seller of this very clean Toyota Celica convertible  “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.

The Toyota lineup of the 1980s is a far cry from what currently occupies the automaker’s new car lots. From Supras to Cressidas, four-wheel-drive trucks to turbocharged hatchbacks, the company didn’t shy away from winning the enthusiast vote. This rare 1985 Toyota Celica GTS convertible originally listed in March 2021 on Craigslist in Dunedin, Florida is yet another reminder of just how cool Toyota was in the peak-rad era of the middle 80s. This one is a bone-stock survivor that came from the garage of the proverbial little old lady and is listed with an asking price of $13,000. Comparing this price against the NADA Price Guide isn’t a perfect comparison tool, as this model has appreciated more than the pricing guides might reflect. It’s listed with “High” retail of $7,975 and “Average” retail of $4,225, both of which are too low considering the rarity of the model.

Over the last few months, a few of these have popped up for sale, and all but one was listed in Florida. I wonder if the Florida dealership group for Toyota got a bigger allocation than other regions, and for obvious reasons. Like many other non-standard models, the aftermarket stepped in to help Toyota convert the last rear-wheel-drive Celica into a drop-top. American Sunroof Corporation answered the call to lop off the top, install powered rear quarter windows, custom moldings, and weatherstripping, and the power top. The convertible roof itself was a high-quality unit, coming equipped with a full headliner and heated rear window. Mechanically, not a thing was changed from the production line model, with the underpowered but reliable 22R-E four-cylinder engine under the hood, and paired to either a five-speed manual or automatic transmission.

In a rare break from his typical American Muscle Car videos, the creator of the YouTube channel OldCarMemories provides this overview of the Celica Convertible:

This example is propelled by the latter, which will make the Celica’s adequate acceleration even more so. Still, a car like this is more about the looks, with its fender flares, aggressive alloy wheels, pop-up headlights, thickly bolstered sport seats, and a radio with more equalizer buttons than your home stereo. The seller notes he is just the second owner of this Celica convertible, having snagged it from an older female owner’s garage where it was apparently parked for 20 years. The seller installed a new battery and claims the brakes are “…fairly new” and the soft top is recent as well. Air conditioning has been converted to R134A but doesn’t blow cold at the moment. Mileage is indicated as being 97,000, and I can’t imagine there are too many Celica convertibles of this vintage with under 100,000 miles that present as well as this one. Good luck with the purchase if you come to terms, and be sure to take a few laps over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge before heading home.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1985 Toyota Celica Convertible. As of a couple of weeks ago, I became the second owner of this rare car. Believe it or not the original owner was a little old lady that keeps the car garaged and well maintained. So the car has never been abused. There were only 4200 of this year built and was the last rear well drive Celica. The car had to have a new battery after sitting in the garage for twenty years. The convertible top is new, the brake system is ferally new and the air-conditioning has been upgraded to 134A but needs service. Must see to appreciate. No trades, No offers without looking at the car in person and cash offers only.

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


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