ASC Conversion: 1985 Toyota Celica GT-S Convertible – Sold?

by | Feb 2023 | Classifinds, Topless Thursday

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February 17, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “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.

There’s little doubt that the so-called “rad era” of vehicles is one of the hottest collector car markets.  Being part of this class of vehicles is primarily driven by being manufactured in the correct time frame – let’s call it the middle 80s to the middle 90s.  Still, some other criteria cars like this 1985 Toyota Celica GT-S convertible possess make it even more of an icon of the era. Fender flares, flip-up headlights, and fat wheels make the Celica GT-S a standout among other vehicles that would make logical props in an episode of Miami Vice. This 1985 Celica GT-S convertible last listed in January 2023 on Craigslist in Prescott, Arizona, has under 90,000 original miles and was offered for sale at $14,500. Comparing that price against the model guide shows that the seller is asking for reasonable money, given that the average sale price is $14,385.

The Celica GT-S convertible was not exactly a factory model. Toyota kicked the conversion over to American Specialty Cars to lop off the roof and create what looked like a vehicle that rolled off the Toyota assembly line. When you create a convertible out of an existing hardtop model, there’s always a risk that the end result isn’t as attractive as you’d hoped. In the case of the Celica GT-S, my biased opinion is that this car was always meant to be offered in convertible form. In addition, the durable but decidedly un-exotic 22R engine meant the Celica GT-S was always more a looker than a screamer, and the coupe could be perceived as a disappointment in the driving experience department because its racy looks would seemingly indicate the car was quick and cat-like in its reflexes (it wasn’t.) The Celica GT-S of this era placed an emphasis on building a sporty car with unflappable reliability, so using one in drop-top form was likely a more enjoyable experience than trying to make a hardtop into something it wasn’t.

The Bern on Cars YouTube Channel features a modern test drive of a virtually identical 1985 Celica GT-S convertible:

These custom convertible models were only produced for two years, so they don’t pop up for sale often. With convertibles, there’s always a high likelihood the car was used somewhat crudely, meaning the top gets left down and the sun cracks the dash and fades the upholstery, or the car in question is parked with a tattered top that lets water get into the trunk and rear tonneau area. Fortunately, our subject car appears to have been pampered throughout its many years on the road, as the cosmetic condition looks quite good. The GT-S wheels are unmarked; the interior looks far better than it should for a car with 86K miles; the top looks quite nice with a clear plastic rear window; and the seller confirms the air conditioning and even the power antenna all work as they should. The white-on-gray color scheme isn’t necessarily the first choice for a convertible (I would say red or black usually gets the nod). Still, the priority with one of these should be rust-free fenders over finding the perfect color – and this Arizona drop-top appears to be as corrosion-free as it gets.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“This Toyota Celica convertible is in excellent condition with 86,141 original miles. The car has every option, with a 22re motor and 4-speed auto. Everything works as it should: air conditioning, power locks, power windows, power top, and the power antenna works too. The car runs great and is stored inside and driven on the weekends. Call with questions. I do not have text. I live in Prescott, AZ. Accepting offers, I bought a new car.

Rad-era convertible: is this Celica GT-S one of the better-looking drop-tops to emerge from the 1980s?   


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