Celica Group A #001

There’s quite a story with #001.  I’m currently in the process of piecing it all together, so the following text will be a little all over the place.  It’s a work in progress.

Group A #001 appears to be one of the best remaining examples, and is in original condition showing just 39,000km.

The car is currently for sale via Royal Steer with an asking price of $47,500.

Comments from another user on Facebook in May 2018 stated that they had seen the car recently.  It had been with the same owner for 22 years after they purchased it from a deceased estate.  Photos were shared showing the #001 plates in the engine bay and interior.

Of the 80 cars on our register where the build number and VIN are 100% confirmed, the vast majority show that the two numbers increase together, i.e. the higher the build number, the higher the VIN.

The only ones that don’t conform are #067 and #068 which seem to have been flipped.  They still sit within the overall sequence however.

Build #001 is unique in that its VIN is not only out of sync with the others, but is higher than any other confirmed Group A VIN.  It sits almost 600 higher than the other highest VIN we have, which is the last build number #150.

The other ST185 register at turbocelica.nl states that #001 should have been red.  Online sources also state that the car was red.  I have magazine articles from the original release of the Group A, and it is always a red car used for testing and photos.  I’m thinking this was the original #001.

Multiple online sources state that the original #001 was written off:

“Now the Group A’s that were bought to Australia 1-150, I know 001 was written off.” Toymods forum.

“1 & 2 were owned by Mr Bates, one of which got written of and the other got sold (to some dude in Africa i think)”  Toymods forum.

“001 was definitely red, I saw it back in the day”. Facebook.

Two different VINs have been quoted for the original #001, both on the same Toymods post:

“No. 1 00014860 Sydney”

“I think the VIN for this one is actually 14868.
The paint code for the VIN I mentioned is 3E5 (Super Red)
It is definately a Group A and was built in 06/1991″

Both quoted VINs (14860 or 14868) are below every other confirmed Group A VIN I have on record.  The build date is also quite a few months earlier than the rest.

A REVS check on JT764STJ500014868 shows that the car is a 1991 Celica, however it states that the car is white and is not recorded as being written off.  It was last registered in NSW.

The engine number is 3S9145740, which would indicate that it is a 3S powered car, which would have to be a GT-Four, either standard or Group A.

A REVS check on the other quoted VIN, JT764STJ500014860, returns no result so is presumably incorrect.

So the records from Toyota state that the original #001 was red, and other people have also stated they saw #001 and it was red.  It’s also rumoured that the car was written off.

However the REVS check states that the car is white and has not been written off.  So, where is that original #001?  Perhaps it’s just that the information entered back in 1991 was not super accurate.

Following the alleged writing-off of the original white #001, it appears that another Group A was produced in white and sold by Toyota Australia as #001.

Assuming that the original #001 was only ever a press car and was never sold to the public, it makes sense that they would have produced a new #001 to make up the full set of 150 cars.

The gold plate in the engine bay confirms that this car is #001 and the VIN matches both the gold plate and the car itself.