Unrepeatable: 14K Mile ’88 Celica All-Trac Turbo

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Since he began writing for Barn Finds, Scotty G. has revealed himself to be somewhat of a long-lost sibling of mine based on our shared affinity for oddball vehicles. The recent Isuzu Impulse post further established our potential separation at birth, as that is yet another Japanese classic of my youth I hope to own someday. Well, I’m betting we’ll both have our eyes on this 14,000 original-mile Toyota Celica All-Trac Turbo here on craigslist, a incredible find that won’t be repeated anytime soon. 

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The All-Trac Turbo was the proverbial rally car for the street, packing a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with full-time all-wheel drive. It was created to comply with World Rally Championship requirements that decreed competing manufacturers must offer a civilian version of their race vehicles in sufficient production numbers to qualify as a “production” car. The competition version was a successful competitor, and in some ways, paved the way for the continued dominance of Japanese manufacturers in WRC events.

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Unfortunately, as with so many limited production Japanese performance cars, extended years of low-price attainability and low-resistance to winters and rust means that supply has effectively vanished. The All-Tracs could provide year-round performance, so why wouldn’t you use them in Snowbelt states? To find one that remains in near-perfect cosmetic condition and completely stock won’t happen again any time soon. Frankly, I’m not even blinking at the $14,995 asking price – if I had it, I’d pay it.

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The All-Trac Turbos combined the hotter powerplant with a viscous limited-slip differential, which replaced an earlier unit that allowed full manual control. Toyota also added the aero enhancements and big fog lights for the U.S. market to set it off from standard-issue Celicas, which certainly made it even more attractive to boy racers young and old. Finding another one won’t be easy, and if Scotty and I lived in close proximity to each other, I’ll bet we’d be hashing out a plan to go halfsies on it right now.

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Comments

  1. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Oh man, that’s a stunning car, brother! I mean, Jeff.. And, as you mentioned, uber-rare in this condition. I’m in on a halfsies deal for sure! Although, it’d be $800 to ship it every time we switch over driving duties. Nice find here for sure.

    • Red'sResto

      Nice find! I’d drive it between you two!

      • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

        I like your thinking, Red’sResto!

        “Jeff, have you noticed that the tires are almost bald every time Red drops the All-Trac off?…”..

  2. RayT Member

    I vividly recall driving one for an extended period when it was new. Great canyon runner, worlds ahead of any FWD Celica. In true “rally” conditions — dirt/gravel roads, etc. — it could be hurled along with confidence (especially since I didn’t own it!).

    If I had the money, I’d buy it right quick. And I wouldn’t share! It would also rack up substantial miles in a big hurry…this isn’t a car meant for sitting on display, no matter how rare it might be today.

    The late 1980s were a time when Toyota built a few oddball rides — for example, this car and the first-gen MR2 — that belied the company image of Mass Transportation Units.

  3. Rob

    This and the AWD Turbo Supras were cars that I longed for as a teenager. Much better than my Mercury Capri II POS.

  4. Jeffro

    I’m in Ocean City MD for H2O carfest. Lots of vw’s but also alot of imports. Have seen some nice original 80’s imports. Of course haven’t seen my fav import…Conquest TSI

  5. Bobsmyuncle

    Very cool find! This design has aged exceptionally well!

    The problem I have with so many interesting finds, is that they aren’t quite special enough to be my summer car only, but I’d ruin them in short order driving them in the winter. Living in the rust belt sucks.

  6. Fred W.

    If this was driven several times every year and never wrecked, it’s basically a new car. Where can you get a new car for 15K? Especially one that could go up in value if pampered and driven sparingly.

  7. Paul B

    Great find! The amazing thing to me is that Toyota went to the trouble and expense of certifying this in the U.S. Cool.

  8. HeadMaster1

    Never like the styling of any Celica past 85, but this is still a cool car. I guess it could be kept for nice summer days, and buy a trashed Audi A4 for winters…WAIT, please tell me this doesn’t have those stupid motorized seatbelts….that would be a deal breaker

  9. Jeff

    I had a white one as my first car. Bought it used in 92 when I was 16. I lived in the mountains of western NC. Absolutely loved it. Drove it like I stole it though. Went through two turbos. One wreck. Threw a rod and did an engine swap. There was a bolt underneath the turbo that was almost impossible to get to. Rounded the edges off the tires. This car was very quick and would handle like a dream. Was very good in the snow too. Had all kinds of cool gadgets inside. Climate control (assuming my AC was charged), sun roof, really cool tape deck and sound system. Man I wish I still had that car. Thank you for giving this car props. Took me a long time to realize what I had.

  10. Sporty

    I like it.

  11. Nova Scotian

    Love the pop up lights on the older 80’s cars. Cool ride.

  12. Brad

    Amazing ride. Never heard of one. Sign me up.

  13. Glen

    Why did it need a new timing belt with only 14,000 miles on it?

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Deterioration due to age. Prudent in my opinion.

    • Oingo

      Age

  14. Matt

    Right in my backyard, I may go look at it!

  15. Oingo

    Put over100k on mine that was same as this. from 90-96

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