Rare Notchback: 1985 Toyota Celica GT

The notchback body is a curious thing, as we tend to get excited when we spot them, whether attached to a Mustang or a Celica, like this 1985 model. Typically, these vehicles are available as a hatchback and sold in far higher quantities with the liftback-style rear end. Sure, the added utility is nice, but the notchback is a far more attractive look, in my opinion. Find this survivor-grade Celica here on Bring A Trailer, where it’s listed at no reserve.  Thanks to Barn Finds reader j Liu for the find.

While your utility may have decreased, the trunk is still quite generous – just like the bumpers. Oh, those U.S.-spec safety bumpers were a terrible thing, especially when painted black in this poverty-spec example. While this is the less desirable mid-tier trim level, it’s hard to fault the impressive paint condition and largely stock appearance, even if those chunk wheels found on the GT-S are a huge upgrade in the looks department.

This example is equipped with an automatic transmission, which wouldn’t be the first choice of enthusiasts. These rear-wheel drive Celicas combined decent driving dynamics with the can’t-kill-it dependability of the utilitarian 22 R-E motor. Not exactly exotic, but the looks and handling helped make up for the reliable-but-boring motor. I dig the period car phone in this one, along with the minty interior.

Here’s a car from the large Georgia collection clean-out we listed as a Barn Finds Exclusive that I’m going to be taking a closer look at in my next visit: this is a GT-S spec Celica notchback, which I’ve walked past a few times but need to actually inspect. It does show some signs of accident damage, but if it’s not excessively rusty, I might work out a deal for this one. Stay tuned!


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  1. Dan

    When I was a young Airman stationed at Minot Air Force, N.D. (1987 – 89)there was an Asian stripper that drove a triple black Celica GT-S. She’d always smile and wave at me in my 1980 Z-28. Never did have the testicular fortitude to do anything but wave back. Wish I had her car today.

    Like 6
  2. Ramon

    Insert Adam Sandler joke here!

    Like 2
  3. Coventrycat

    Those bumpers were always a good place to put your beer.

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