Rare Droptop: 1985 Toyota Celica GT-S Convertible – Sold?

by | Mar 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Topless Thursday

(Click on the photograph below to expand it and navigate through all the others)

May 11, 2022, 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.

When it comes to the 1980s, there were some design cues that could make a car a permanent fixture of the era in which it was conceived. In the case of the 1985 Toyota Celica GT-S Convertible, it probably comes closer than most cars to checking all of the requisite boxes: fender flares, pop-up headlights, and a convertible conversion performed by aftermarket stalwart ASC. This coupe conversion is rare to find these days, so this example originally listed in March 2022 on Craigslist in Los Angeles is worth a look if you’ve been hunting for one of these rarities. The seller is asking $15,500, and when comparing that price against the NADA Price Guide, we can conclude the seller is asking top dollar and then some considering the “High” retail price is pegged at roughly half that number at $8,500.

Toyota’s Celica and Supra offerings from the 1980s were not the fastest or the best handling coupes around, but they just seemed right. The styling was on-point, the interiors were sporty bordering on upscale, and they were rear-wheel-drive. The only real let-down was that even the GT-S trim of the Celica featured a tractor-like engine that seemed to fall well short of what the aggressive styling promised. The Supra fared better in this regard, offering a powerful inline-six engine that provided very respectable performance for the era. No matter which model you chose, both signified that Toyota was eager to become a player in the sport compact class, even if years later, it has seemingly all but abandoned the segment save for the overpriced Supra and long-in-the-tooth FR-S, both of which pillage major components from BMW and Subaru. The droptop version of the Celica took this classic 80s experience one step further, and it’s no surprise we see these cars pop up in places like California and Florida, where they still seem just as at home on the strip all these years later.

The Old Car Memories.com YouTube Channel provides this nice if a somewhat monotone overview of the Toyota/ASC partnership that led to the Toyota Celica GT-S convertible:

Now, when you first look at the photos of this Celica GT-S convertible, I don’t blame you for being slightly put off. There are certainly some tacky add-ons that can easily be rectified in the course of a weekend, so don’t get stuck on those details. The seller explains that the engine and transmission have both been rebuilt in the last few years, which would seemingly give this extremely durable drivetrain a significant shot in the arm in terms of life expectancy. The listing also says the paint job is fairly recent and the interior has been restored, although I’m not certain I wouldn’t tear it out and start over considering the two-tone look is slightly cheesy. Regardless of the seller’s personal choices, you can begin to see why they’re asking the price that they are as a lot of time and money has been spent on improving this obscure rad-era convertible. The question is, given the obscurity, is anyone going to step up and pay the ask here for the privilege of driving a limited-production Celica GT-S convertible?

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1985 Toyota Celica GTS Convertible Super Rear, Original California Car. Everything works well
With rebuild engine and transmission in the last 2 years, running like new with four-speed automatic transmission plus over- drive. Air-conditioning AM/ FM / cassette stereo/ CD player . Independent rear suspension, power disk brakes, power windows, power convertible top. New interior, new paint job, new tires, and pass California Smog Check. Clean California title in hand. The asking price is $16000 OBO. Please call or text Kim

ASC conversion: have you ever seen one of these factory-authorized Celica convertible conversions in the flesh?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *