Simply Amazing: 1985 Toyota Celica GT-S Convertible

In the late 1980s my uncle had a 2nd generation Supra, so those and their 3rd generation Celica siblings have long been on my radar. If they haven’t been on yours, maybe this one will get them there. This 1985 Toyota Celica GT-S convertible was sent in by a Barn Finds reader who found it here on eBay in Lakeland, Florida. After 13 bids the high bid is currently $7,200, but the reserve has not been met.

It’s understandable if you’ve forgotten or didn’t even know there was a 3rd generation Celica convertible. There were only 200 built for 1984 and just an additional 4,498 for the 1985 model year. Toyota was not tooled to build them on their own, so the bodies were reinforced at the factory in Japan before they were sent to ASC in California to undergo the conversion process to a convertible. They were offered for a base price of $17,669 while the GT-S coupe started at $11,199. That is a huge bump, but with the amount of work that went into the conversion – said to be a 27-stage process – I’m, at least, surprised there was only a $6,470 premium.

I can’t find any breakdown of production numbers by color, but red on grey, in my experience, appears to be the leader of the pack. This one has traveled less than 70k miles since new and looks to have been very well cared for in that time. The red paint is bright, the top looks excellent, the wheels are clean, and aside from the top of the rear bumper, the black trim looks very good. Unlike some convertibles that started life as a coupe, this one looks equally as sharp with the top up.

The interior also looks very well cared for. It shows like it’s recently received a detail, but all fabric looks clean and wear-free and all plastic is clean and crack/fade-free. The original radio is even still in place. It appears there’s no work to do in here.

Under the hood is the standard-issue 2.4L 22R-E 4-cylinder which is paired with a console shifted 5-speed manual transmission. That 22R-E sticker is torn off the front of the valve cover and there’s some surface rust on the top of the radiator, but, as the rest of the car, things have held up quite well here.

As mentioned, I’ve long been a fan of these cars. I was even on the hunt for a decent example about a year ago before shifting focus elsewhere. “Underappreciated” tends to be overused, but it might actually apply here. So, if these weren’t on your radar before, are they now?

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  1. DRV

    For me there are not many convertibles I would drive, bug this one would be near the top of my list. It’s a great period lasting design and I wouldn’t look like an old man trying to be cool, just an old man being cool.

  2. Miguel

    It is nice to see a stick shift in there.

    Most of the women that bought these opted for the automatic.

  3. Ace10

    That car sold at Mecum Indy two weeks ago.
    $11500 all in.
    The dealer wants $19k now.

    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      Well, I hope they really like the car and enjoy driving it, because I don’t believe they will get anywhere close to 19K for this. I do like the car though, and I believe Johnny is accurate when he describes it as “Amazing, but I would only be willing to pony up about what they paid for it, which is in the 11K range. I believe that is what it is actually worth. Too bad for the flipper :-(

      • Steve R

        A dealer is selling the car, not a flipper.

        They have a nice website. Everything is expensive, as one would expect. I bet they do a good business with overseas buyers.

        Steve R

  4. Marathon06

    The dealer is flipping the car, love the play on semantics… hahahaha It sold at the big and well known Mecum auction for $11.5k, thus you have the FMV of the vehicle. May be difficult for the dealer to flip with a 65% markup to $19k, but who knows, there is an ass for every seat as they say.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      $11.5K was ridiculous for this car.
      $19K is insame.
      It will never happen.

  5. Rustytech

    Dealers always price high so they have room to negotiate. I would expect this car to sell between $13.5 and $15k. Nice car and a fun drive.

  6. Bryan C

    This car would bring high teens on Bring Trailer if it’s actually as nice as described.

  7. Moncton(was Winnipeg)carnut Member

    Always liked these as a convertible more than a coupe, but like the hatch most. Not at $19K though. After currency exchange, shipping, provincial taxes here in NB it would be $35K+ CDN.

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