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.
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…
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.
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.
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.