Celica 25th Anniversary in Madrid

Celica Anniversary Madrid

I found these photos on Facebook recently.  There’s not a lot of information other than the text “25th anniversary in Madrid”.

The post was from 2017.  I can’t find anything else about the event anywhere online, so I’ve shared the photos here to ensure they’re never lost.

If you know more, please get in touch…

Celica Anniversary Madrid

Celica Anniversary Madrid

Celica Anniversary Madrid

Celica Anniversary Madrid

Celica Anniversary Madrid

Celica Anniversary Madrid

All Japanese Day 2018

I took the Group A out for its first event on the weekend, which was the 2018 Brisbane All Japanese Day.

Here are a couple of shots of the car taken by me and a few others:

Credit: @brennakaye_

Credit: @shabi_205

Credit: @shabi_205

Credit: @shabi_205

Credit: Toyota Heritage

And here are a couple of my shots, both of my car and a few other GT-Fours in attendance:

This next one is Group A #067.  So similar to mine other than the non-standard wheels.

One non-GT-Four made it into my photos, this beautiful Honda NSX.  This definitely isn’t its best angle, but they are an awesome thing to see.

Overall it was a great day, and great to meet a few other GT-Four owners.

Was the Toyota Celica GT-Four the most successful rally car of the 1990s

This is a quick post on the success of the ST185 in rallying, as I don’t believe it gets the credit it deserves.

In this post I’m referring to the driver’s championship rather than constructors, because really, whilst constructor titles might mean more to the carmakers, it’s the drivers championship that most people care about.  The same is true of any form of motorsport.

When people think 90s rally cars, it’s the WRX and Evo that probably come to mind first.

But how successful were these cars?

The WRX is enormously popular as a road car, but it’s only ever won three driver’s titles.  It’s only title during the 90s was 1995 in the hands of the legend Colin McRae.

The Evo was very successful in the hands of Tomi Mäkinen, taking four driver’s titles between 1996 and 1999.

Those four titles are the only ones Mitsubishi have ever won in WRC.

So what about Toyota?  Aside from their 1990 win with Carlos Sainz in the earlier Celica (ST165) they took a trio of championships with the ST185 from 1992 to 1994.

Given that the ST185’s trio of wins came with three different drivers, I believe this says even more about the brilliance of the GT-Four.

So the GT-Four was more successful than the WRX, and just as successful as the Evo if you count both different GT-Fours (ST165 and ST185) against the four different Evos (III, IV, V & VI).

People could argue forever about which was the best 1990s rally car, but I think the Celica GT-Four has a very strong case.

Here’s the list of 1990s WRC drivers champions:

  • 1990 – Celica GT-Four (ST165) – Carlos Sainz
  • 1991 – Lancia Delta Integrale – Juha Kankkunen
  • 1992 – Celica GT-Four (ST185) – Carlos Sainz
  • 1993 – Celica GT-Four (ST185) – Juha Kankkunen
  • 1994 – Celica GT-Four (ST185) – Didier Auriol
  • 1995 – Subaru Impreza – Colin McRae
  • 1996 – Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III – Tomi Mäkinen
  • 1997 – Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV – Tomi Mäkinen
  • 1998 – Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV & V – Tomi Mäkinen
  • 1999 – Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI – Tomi Mäkinen


The Journey Across Australia Begins

My Celica was collected from its owner of 27 years on Friday last week.

From there it starts a mighty 4,200km journey from the west coast of Australia to the east coast.

Brisbane to Narrogin

The first leg ran from Narrogin to Perth, which is just under 200km.  This was completed on a flat-bed tow truck.

She spent the weekend at the Prixcar depot, at Perth Airport, and today she’ll be moved to the Kewdale Rail Terminal which is right next to the airport.

That means my Celica is being shipped across the country via rail, which is not what I was expecting, but is pretty cool.

I’m using a company called Prixcar to move my Celica.  They weren’t the cheapest, but they do seem to have a good reputation.

They have a great online tracking tool which allows me to track where my car is and where/when it is expected next.

So far so good.

The previous owner has told me this was the first GT-Four Group A to be registered in the state (Western Australia), which apparently had something to do with the rural location of the dealership.

She also told me that her husband and the dealer were awarded with leather jackets to celebrate the first delivery in the state!  The owner’s jacket has been given away, but she’s going to try and find a photo for me.

Thanks also to the previous owner for providing plenty of photos along the way.

I bought one

This week I purchased my ST185 Celica, or to use it’s full name:

Toyota Celica GT-Four Group A Rallye, Carlos Sainz Signature Edition.

Mine is number 138 of 150 Australian delivered models, and one of 5,000 Carlos Sainz editions sold worldwide.

Toyota Celica GT-Four Group A

The car is currently in a town called Narrogin, which is around 2.5 hours drive south-west of Perth in Western Australia.

I’m in Brisbane, which basically means I’ve purchased my Celica from as far away (within Australia) as possible!  Over 4,200km from my home…

Brisbane to Narrogin

But there’s good reason for this, and it’s because of the history and originality of this particular car.

It’s a genuine one-owner, 100% standard, and from the photos it appears to be in incredible condition.

The Celica was ordered new from Narrogin Toyota and has had all of its services completed at this dealership.

The below photo shows the dealership on Google Street View back in 2008.  Who knows what it looked like in 1991 when the Celica was first delivered!

I certainly don’t mean this in a derogatory way, but more so just pointing out that it is truly a small rural dealership.

A bright red Group A Celica must have been quite a sight out there.

Narrogin Toyota 2008

Before purchasing the car I spoke with the service manager there, Russell, and he has known the car for all of his 20 years at the dealership.

He was able to confirm that the car has never had any major damage, other than a run in with a kangaroo which required no repairs to the actual bodywork.  Only the bumper was damaged and it was repaired or replaced at the time.

The owners were Merle and Norm, whose name appears on the gold plate as the original owner.

The plate is missing a rivet as seen below, however Merle confirmed that it has never been removed, so presumably it has just worn off over time.

Group A 138 plate

Despite Norm’s name on the plate, the car was purchased for Merle who used the car for travelling back and forward between their home in Narrogin and Perth.

It’s a five hour round trip, so the car has certainly seen a lot of highway miles.  This makes me feel a lot better about the mileage on the car, at 273,000km.

Merle tells me the car hasn’t been used regularly since 2011, but does get driven around once a month when they take it to Williams for a coffee run, which is around 20 minutes away.

Norm is now in his 90s, so given the car is almost 27 years old, he would have been in his 60s when he purchased it.

So what we have is a one-owner car, purchased and serviced at the same dealership for its entire life, 100% original, with predominantly highway mileage driven by mature owners.

See why I was happy to buy this car from over 4,000km away?

The distance means I won’t be seeing the car in Brisbane for a full month.

It’s going to be a long month of waiting, but will no doubt be worth it.

Here are the rest of the photos that have been provided to me by the owners.  I’ll be adding a lot more of my own once the car arrives in Brisbane.