1997 Toyota Celica GT 5-Speed Convertible – Sold?

by | Oct 2021 | Classifinds, Topless Thursday

November 3, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

By 1997, the availability of convertibles was at a level not seen since the 1960s, with just about every manufacturer offering at least one convertible model. Even Japanese manufacturers got in on the act, with Toyota partnering with American Sunroof Corporation (“ASC”) to convert its sixth generation Toyota Celica produced for model years 1994 through 1999. A rare stick-shift example for sale by the original owner is originally listed in October 2021 on Craigslist in Elizabeth, New Jersey appears to be in well-maintained condition for $7,900. Unfortunately, the only pricing data source providing insight on these cars is the J.D. Power NADA Guides Online Valuation Tool indicating the current “Low”, “Average”, and “High” retail value range is $2,425, $3,550, and $4,400, respectively.

For 1994, Toyota completely revamped the Celica line. It was only available in ST and GT trims in the USA for the 1994 model year, but the addition of the optional “Sports Package” to the GT produced GT-S-like handling. The ST had a new 1.8-liter 7A-FE engine which could also be found in the Corolla, while the GT was powered by the carried-over 2.2-liter 5S-FE engine which could also be found in the Camry. The 7A-FE is rated at 105 hp and 110 ft-lbs/Torque, while the 5S-FE is rated at 130 hp and 145 ft-lbs/torque.

Styling of the new Celicas was acclaimed by most publications as “Supra-esque” with four exposed headlights. Celicas were available in either notchback Coupe or Liftback form, with the GT Sports Package available only on the liftback. New safety equipment in the form of driver (and then later passenger) airbags as standard, and anti-lock brakes were available on all models. Many Celicas also sported CFC-free air conditioning.

1995 saw the introduction of the third generation convertible. Built off of the GT coupe, the conversion took place in the ASC facility in Rancho Dominguez, California. The vehicle arrived in the US as a partially assembled vehicle. At ASC, the roof was removed and a three-layer insulated and power-operated top was installed, producing a vehicle that was virtually water and windproof.

For 1997, the only change in the North American Celica was the discontinuation of the GT coupe. Another minor change was given to JDM Celica’s in December 1997. Projector headlights were optional for all models.

In this 1995 commercial currently posted on the Classic Cars Today YouTube Channel, Toyota launches the redesigned Celica Coupe and Convertible:

In addition to this being a clean, well-maintained offering by the original owner, the main positive setting this example apart from most other Celica GT convertibles is the fact this car is a five-speed manual.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“The price is pretty much FIRM.
Everything works.
Original owner car.
All service records from new.
Pictures speak for themselves.
Florida title in my name.
Only selling because I don’t drive it as much as I should and I need the space.
INTERESTED PARTIES CAN CONTACT ME TO ARRANGE TEST DRIVE by APPOINTMENT.
THANK YOU FOR LOOKING.
Call or Text with inquiries.”

Show or go: what would you do with this Toyota Celica GT Convertible?  Comment below and let us know!

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