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1978 Toyota Celica GT: Lot Special


It’s sometimes entertaining to look at a seller’s other listings in addition to the classic project you’re checking out. This 1978 Toyota Celica GT here on eBay is an interesting specimen, but it’s slotted among a collection of plastic scale models, Hot Wheels die-cast and random clothing items within the seller’s eBay store. Nevertheless, this rust-prone Celica wears a clean body, wrapped around an interior in desperate need of a cleaning. 


See what I mean? The interior is just plain rotten. The driver’s seat is torn, the carpets are heavily stained and the steering wheel wrapping is just about gone. I’m not trying to slam this car – rather, I’m amazed at how a car of this vintage with such a clean body could be hiding so much filth. A good interior detailing is short money to improve first impressions of a car like this, but even a few hours with a rented Rug Doctor would likely do wonders.


The 20R motor is one of those powerplants you couldn’t kill if you tried, so it’s a definite positive to see a fairly clean engine bay. I don’t think this car is quite shiny enough to be hiding a quicky respray, but you never know. The paint fade from the strut towers to the fenders looks just gradual enough that I could believe it to be naturally aged – do you think the paint is original?


For the current price of $1,795, I think there’s too much work required on the interior to make it a deal. I could junkyard scavenge for a few months for a decent seat and carpet, but I’d rather the seller just make the improvements himself and ask for a few more dollars. For someone just looking to move inventory quickly, however, this stock Toyota Celica is probably a $250 discount from moving out the door with ease. Do you like this better than the Corolla SR5 we wrote up a few weeks ago? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Avatar photo Nessy

    I don’t know about this one guys. Come on. A basic 78 Celica with those wheels and that yuck interior? This 78 was the first year of this bland body style. Now, Toyota did wonders the following year with the new 79 Supra. Same body but with a longer better looking nose to hold that big 6 and a very plush interior. The cars are like night and day.

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  2. Avatar photo Chris in Nashville

    I would be loading up the trailer and headed to VA at the $1300-1400 or maybe even the $1500 mark but at best I see $1500 worth of car here, so add in a couple hundred in gas and my trailer is staying put.

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  3. Avatar photo mtshootist1

    I smell teenage girl driver here. My granddaughter drives our old 94 Caddy, and I swear it looks like a pigsty inside that car.

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  4. Avatar photo krash

    Owned one of these….a 5 speed that was orange w/black interior, back in the late 80’s….bulletproof until a Ford Bronco hit it on left rear quarter….never the same after, but a great little car prior…

    (by one of the photos), looks like this one had water sitting in the spare tire well…so there was a leak around the hatch seal…

    can’t imagine the interior smells like blossoms….

    some resourceful high school kid in a good voc. school auto program could make this a great ride….always impressed with what those students do with diamonds in the rough…and on a shoestring budget…

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  5. Avatar photo Leon

    JEN 76 ??? Wonder what the significance was. From an older car ? The plate looks like it was stamped on an Australia base

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  6. Avatar photo Steve

    Make a great Lemons car.

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  7. Avatar photo Chebby Member

    Rattle-can the wheels, wax the paint, bust out the vacuum and add some decent sheepskin seat covers and this would look a lot better. Rewrap the steering wheel and lose the meathead shifter handle while you’re at it. Easy stuff.

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