Reader Ad: 1981 Toyota Celica Sunchaser

We’ve seen a few of these convertible Celicas, but this has to be one of the cleaner ones we’ve ever seen! The Griffith Company modified around 2,000 Celicas for Toyota and it’s hard to say how many of those have survived. Reader Dan P’s example is a nice driver that it’s ready to be enjoyed. The only real issue is the fuel gauge, which doesn’t seem to be working right. Fix that and you’ll have a unique convertible that will definitely stand out in a crowd! If you’d love to have this Toyota, be sure to take a look at Dan’s eBay listing via the link below.

What Makes It Special? Rare Sunchaser Celica. The odometer is showing 97k miles and it looks to be accurate.

Body Condition: Nice – fresh paint, stock interior, new vinyl top.

Mechanical Condition: Needs nothing and is ready to drive. I just recently put 200 miles on it and didn’t have a single problem.

Seller’s Listing: Here on eBay

So would you chase the sun in this Celica? Special thanks to Dan for listing it with us. If you have an oddball that needs a new home, please consider advertising it here on Barn Finds!

  • Asking Price: $8,195
  • Location: Dublin, Va
  • Mileage: 97,141
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: jt2ra43c8b0045605

List your car here on Barn Finds for only $50!

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  1. Maestro1

    It’s too far away but they are interesting cars.

  2. Rick Rothermel

    Haven’t seen one of these since…
    In 1989 I was doing some pinstriping work for George Barris at his shop in North Hollywood. A tired red Sunchaser pulls in and an exquisite young brunette woman exits and goes to the office, wishing to have the car freshened a bit. She leaves the car, comes back two weeks later to find it in better than new condition- I mean SHARP- and an invoice for IIRC $11000+.
    Shocked, and fortunate for having good credit, she did arrange payment, but it was GB at his lowest. He’d had the Maaco store up the street shoot the color, then had his shop guy wet-sand it and buff it to within an inch of its life. The upholstery was perfect, the rims were polished, the tires shiny, (yeah, I striped it…) and the car looked almost as good as its owner but ol’ George definitely saw her coming, probably pocketed $7k out of the deal.

  3. Tom Justice

    The Japanese 912 targa soft window. I love the idea behind this, I wonder why they were not more popular? I suppose they were pretty costly when they were manufactured; most cars like this were. Hope it goes somewhere to be used.

    • Rick Rothermel

      IIRC it was a $4500 add to the basic Celica coupe, and dealers back then always pumped that up with their ‘Additional Dealer Markup’ scam. Gave a sharp customer room to haggle, but that didn’t usually work unless the dealer was overstocked with ‘specials’.

  4. dgrass

    No mention of the color change (already flaking) or the most important bit, that front radiator showing signs of what looks to be recent issue.

    • Dan

      The car was repainted in July per it’s original color code, no color change, no door jambs or interior just a nice exterior re-coat. If you’re familiar with vintage Japanese vehicles, the black paint on the radiators starts to come off over time. I’d take an older brass radiator over a plastic re-pop any day… Lots of the Japanese crown take them down to shiny brass too, simply for aesthetics.

  5. Anthony

    I have one. Do not buy the automatic – the manual is the only way to go.

  6. Frank A. B.

    There’s a manual shifter for sale right now on eBay. Looks nicer other than a mileage discrepancy from Carfax, and to be a better deal.

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