Toyota Celica has always been linked with the World Rally Championship. However the eighties and the nineties saw the Celica create its own path of success starting with the Toyota Celica GT Four ST165. Driven by the Spaniard Carlos Sainz the ST165 saw 13 wins to its name.
Then came the ST185 Celica GT Four which gained even more success in WRC taking over where the ST165 left off. Thanks to the help of three prolific rally drivers Sainz, Kankkunen and Auriol totting up 16 WRC wins.
The Celica GT four spawned a limited rally edition model with 5000 made. This was launched in 1991 in Japan and was called the GT Four RC. The export version is known as the Carlos Sainz (CS) Limited Edition. Special features included water to air intercooler, a much lighter bumper for competition use, triple cone synchromesh on gears and a special numbered plaque on the center console. These models command higher prices than the standard GT Four models. With Carlos Sainz being Toyotas greatest driver through the ST165 and ST185 era in the late eighties and early nineties.
Body panel alignment is often a problem with the Celica. This is due to shoddy repair work after accident damage or poor restoration work. Check carefully for rust in the usual places as rear bumpers will have to be cut from the body if they need replacing.
Push down on each corner of the car. It should rise back up to ride height in one smooth motion, if it wobbles or has trouble rising, the shocks are probably on their way out. Check when timing belt was last changed and make sure the radiator is at an appropriate level.
Whilst under the bonnet take a look at the oil if there is a mayonnaise type grease under the oil cap then beware it could have a blown head gasket. Take the car for a test drive but firstly start up the engine. Engage first gear with handbrake on and slowly release the clutch pedal if it is going to stall then the clutch is good if not that’s a problem.
Check the boost by hitting the accelerator and looking in your mirrors for signs of smoke. Blue smoke is normally burnt oil. Black smoke indicates an engine in bad health and white smoke means there’s water in the exhaust gasses, this can also mean a blown head gasket.
Check inside the car, does the interior condition match the mileage? It should. Look out for any moisture as a damp carpet could spell a leaky heater matrix. Lift the carpet in the boot to make sure the spare wheel is present and if it’s had a rear end shunt you’ll be able to tell from the boot area.
The Toyota Celica GT Four ST185 model took over in World Rally Championship where the ST165 left off. During the 1992, 93 and 94 seasons it racked up an incredible 16 WRC wins, 3 WRC Drivers titles and 2 WRC Manufacturers titles. Ensuring its place in the WRC history forever.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:
“Group A rallying had gained momentum through the eighties with Toyota Celica GT Four (ST 165) seeing out the decade in style. Then in the early nineties the ST 185 Celica did it all over again with the Fifth generation GT Four and Carlos Sainz. Nostalgic we know but you had to of been there!”