1994 Toyota Celica WRC Edition
Pending Sale: $17,995
Stock Number: 4227
Rally competition is sensational to watch on television, so why not live it from behind the wheel every day? You can do so if you own a Celica GT-Four, but until recently, you'd have to do so driving abroad. Not anymore, as the first slate of 6th generation Celicas come stateside, we finally get this hot shot WRC trim level. The WRC trim had a limited production of only 2,500 first-generation Celica's designed specifically for Group A competition. Finished in the sleek and timeless (202) Toyota Black, our 1994 is in good cosmetic shape. The vents, gills, wing risers, and scoops are all there, just like the racecar variant that saw competition. The body is straight and free of any large imperfections, other than the scuffs and light dings associated with normal use. Largely unmodified, except for some basic bolt-ons, this car drives just as you imagine Toyota wanted it to. With a grippy AWD system, peppy two-liter turbo motor, and a manual transmission, the Celica is hard to ignore as a performance enthusiast.
A distinct departure from earlier Toyota interiors, the Celica has a cozy and purposeful cabin. The angular dash lines of most earlier production coupes had been smoothed out to create a more modern look. The dash, charcoal in color is largely undamaged and doesn't have any major cracks or blemishes to note. The seats are trimmed in blue and gray, which match the door cards to create a little contrast. A Momo wood grain steering wheel adds some flair to the otherwise dour cabin. Except for some drivers side bolster wear, the front and rear occupants can enjoy decent quality material that still feels soft to the touch. Seat comfort is surprisingly good, but the rear passengers are going to be a bit cramped for legroom over longer cruises. The inside can feel smaller than a sedan, but a sunroof was optioned from the factory which brings a noticeable more light into the cabin. It has been disabled at some juncture, but most importantly it doesn't leak. The OEM audio is functional, and the cockpit is surprisingly quiet for such a sport-tuned design. Power mirrors and locks function properly, as does all of the switchgear.
The Celica's appeal is too good to ignore on the open road. The more you push the platform the more it seems to dig in. A tenacious AWD system and a 4th generation 3S-GTE seem to be a match made in heaven. At only 127K miles, this I-4 is only just now getting broken in, and benefits from a fresh oil and filter service. The startup is instant, and the Celica quickly reaches a stable idle. Revving quickly, a deeper baritone bark emits from the FGK polished catback. Acceleration is brisk up to highway speeds, and the five-speed manual is a gem. Without a grind or a hitch, the gearbox gives a satisfying thud when being shifted into gear. The OEM suspension is pliable, and unless you are opposed to the wheel gap, unnecessary to replace. Feedback through the steering wheel is decent, as the power-assisted system feels anything but artificial. The brakes also do a top-notch job slowing the coupe down to manageable speeds. Grip comes from four new all-season tires, mounted onto silver 17" Volk GT-N wheels.
Two-door, AWD rally rockets aren't a thing here in the US, until now. The ST205's racing pedigree, rugged reliability, and tenacious performance make it impossible to ignore. Because of this, our fully legal WRC version is surely a Japanese Classic.
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB complaint first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.