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Rare Manual Equipped 1985 Toyota Celica Convertible!

When selling a car, it pays to be thorough—answering potential buyers’ questions before they even ask them. Ed, of Asheville, North Carolina, knows what he’s doing selling his manual 1985 Toyota Celica GTS 22R-E-equipped convertible on eBay. He knows just what he’s got, and he wants to tell you all about it.

These GTS convertibles are relatively rare. They’re not a made-in-Japan item, but a special project for the vaunted California-based American Sunroof Company (ASC). This same company built the pre-production Saab 900 convertibles. Only 200 of these ragtop Celicas were built for 1984, but 4,248 in 1985. It’s unclear how many were five-speed manuals—probably not many.

The car is loaded with power windows, mirrors, and locks. It has cloth upholstery that looks quite good in the photos. And while we’re inside, there are known flaws: the trunk release cable is bad, but the “boot” can be opened with the key. The power rear window on the driver’s side doesn’t work, and the power door locks are there but inoperable. The radio antenna doesn’t fully retract, and the radio/CD changer is an unknown quality.

Ed is honest about the car’s condition. “This is a very original, unmolested example of the third generation of Toyota’s Celica,” he says. “This is the last year for rear-wheel drive on the Celica. Overall, this GTS is in excellent condition for its age. The paint on the car is original as [far] I can tell.”

That “as far as I can tell” is important, because this vendor doesn’t go where he’s unclear on the facts. He actually took paint thickness readings, which suggest that it hasn’t been repainted, but he doesn’t make final judgments. The underside is clean, too.

The car, with a clean title, has 114,950 miles on it, and an oil change was recently done (with filter). The Celica was bought from a Raleigh-based retired North Carolina state trooper—who got it from his mother. But it didn’t fit this “man of large stature” too well so he didn’t drive it often. It runs and drives without incident. “The only thing that I noticed is the brakes seem a little soft to me,” Ed says.

The owner provides both a cold start and walk-around video. Under the hood is Toyota’s rugged 2.4-liter 22RE fuel-injected overhead cam inline-four, rated at 114 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. What makes this car special is that it’s connected to a five-speed manual transmission.

The angular styling of these third-gen Celicas doesn’t stand up extraordinarily well, and the convertible top doesn’t do the looks any favors. But maybe you had one in high school? I used to see them around, usually with ragged tops. But this one seems to have stood the test of time, or was replaced.

Any questions? Ask Ed. “I’ve tried to be as complete and honest about the condition of this car as possible, but there may be defects not disclosed that I am not aware of,” he said. “Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have.” His phone number is provided. The bidding? It was at $5,600 when last checked, not meeting the reserve.


  1. RexFox Member

    This would be a nice and practical little convertible. It’s a bit on the not-pretty side, but we all have different tastes. As far as manual transmissions go, I’m pretty sure that many had 3 pedals (perhaps half), which is the main reason I’ve watched these over the years. My wife would love a convertible, but being hair impaired, I always opt for sunroofs instead.

    Like 5
    • Tadah23 Member

      I’ve owned five convertibles and I’m also hair impaired. However, a hat takes care of that problem and my wife can enjoy the convertible.

      Like 1
  2. Marques Dean

    One of my aunts had the coupe version of this generation. And hers was a 5-speed manual. I remember she was PO’d one time when the rotating brushes at a car wash broke her antenna-she threatened to sue the car wash! lol

    Like 0
    • Roykirk Member

      I have an 85 Celica GT. Bought it new, still looks new, if I could do it over I would have gotten the GTS with manual transmission.

      Like 0
  3. Blake, does my opinion really matter ???

    I had a co-worker back in the 90’s that had one of these in red. One of the links in the top mechanism broke and she could not get a replacement from ARC. Buyer beware, you may have to give 3d printing parts a chance here. otherwise, its an angled body Celica, what’s not to love here?

    Like 0
  4. Howard A Member

    Just for gits and shiggles, the local car lot had a Celica like this, not a ragtop, but real clean. I looked at it, but someone that worked at the gas station next door bought it. Some time passed, and I noticed the right front was crunched, headlight door taped open, he said he hit a deer with it, and can’t find any body parts ANYWHERE! Just sayin’,,

    Like 0

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