1992 Toyota Celica GT-Four Turbo 4x4 MOT 3/20 ST185 For Sale
Toyota Celica ST185 GT-Four - A great example of a very accomplished and desirable rally car for the road - the wide body version with 4 wheel drive, twin entry turbo, manual gearbox and extremely rare to find in original unmodified condition.
At a glance:
1994 Toyota Celica ST185 GT-4 Type A 4WD twin entry turbo, manual
Imported from Japan in 2000 with one owner from 2000 to 2019
Rare to find in factory original specification with only two minor modifications - a Clifford alarm/immobiliser and replacement stereo
126,880 miles (204,195 KM)
MOT to March 2020 with no advisories
The car will be freshly serviced prior to collection by the new owner.
The Toyota Celica GT-Four was a high performance model of the Celica, with a turbocharged 3S-GTE engine, and full-time AWD. It was created to enable competition in the World Rally Championships, whose regulations dictate that a manufacturer must build road-going versions of the vehicle in sufficient numbers known as 'homologation special vehicles'. The Celica GT-Four came in three generations; ST165, based on the fourth generation Celica, and manufactured between October 1986 and August 1989; this 'Super Round' ST185 based on the fifth generation Celica produced from September 1989 to September 1993; and the ST205 based on the sixth generation Celica built from February 1994 to June 1999. The first 21 units of the Celica ST185 were built in December 1988 as prototypes for various tests. The production model was launched in Japan in September 1989, and delivery began a month later. The 3S-GTE in the ST185 GT-Four features an air-to-air intercooler and CT26 twin entry turbo to eliminate exhaust gas interference. The Japanese market GT-Four has 225 PS (165 kW; 222 hp) of power and 224 lbf?ft (304 N?m) of torque, a result of more aggressive ignition advance and ceramic turbine. The Full-time 4WD system in the GT-Four has viscous coupling centre limited slip differential. In August 1990, the wide body GT-Four A was added into the Japanese lineup. Like other Celicas, the GT-Four received minor changes in August 1991 for the 1992 model year. This facelift included the new Toyota ellipse emblems on the bonnet and boot lid, restyled tail lights with smoked red frame, and shorter gear shift. The Japanese models also got round-shape front fog lights. The ST185 was a very successful WRC car in the 1990s winning 16 full WRC series and 3 WRC Driver's Titles for Carlos Sainz in 1992, Juha Kankkunen in 1993, and Didier Auriol in 1994, plus WRC Manufacturer's Titles in 1993 and 1994. The significance of the Toyota Celica GT-Four in WRC history, previously dominated by European manufacturers, is that it was the first time a Japanese car manufacturer entered the WRC with an AWD turbocharged car, took trophies and won the titles. Since then other Japanese manufacturers have been successful in the WRC, but Toyota's GT-Four preceded, and perhaps paved the way for the all-conquering Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Galant VR-4 and Subaru's Legacy and Impreza.
The history of this car:
The car was first registered overseas and imported into the UK in 2000, with only one owner from 2000 to 2019 plus one other owner for 3 months in 2019. It was used up until 2013 at which point it was put in to storage, being recommissioned in early 2019 followed by a new MOT. The most recent owner builds rally cars professionally and intended to convert this to full rally specification, but decided against it as he realised it would have been a shame to convert such an original unmolested car. He also worked for TTE in the late 80s and early 90s whilst these ST185 WRC models were being prepared and used in numerous successful rally campaigns. He's a huge fan of these road going rally cars, which are now becoming very scarce, particularly in unmodified form.
This particular car is the "E-ST185H-BLMVZ GT-Four A Type" wide body lift-back with E150F transmission, which were produced from August 1990 to September 1993. Presented in stunning (and slightly menacing) black with blue grey interior. The car is in fully original specification apart from the following additions; a Clifford alarm immobiliser and a updated stereo (as the original Japanese factory radios don't pick up UK radio stations!)
Being a Toyota, it is quite well specified, and as you would expect with a Toyota, switches, controls and components tend to work as they should... One of my favourite gadgets is the electric side bolster control. At the push of a button, the electrically operated driver's seat bolsters can be adjusted inwards, giving you a squeeze to stop any lateral movement in spirited cornering. Same as on the later BMW M5s, but Toyota were doing it in 1992.
It has the original Toyota alloys 15" wheels which have been refurbished, plus roof mounted air circulation system. Under the bonnet everything is in original specification with no aftermarket modifications, and has just had a replacement alternator.
The 3S-GTE was Toyota's 2 litre inline 4 turbocharged performance engine used to power the most powerful versions of Toyota Celica and MR2 models between 1986 to 1999. The aluminium alloy head featured dual over head cams and 4 valves per cylinder that measured 33.5mm for intake and 29.0mm for exhaust. To increase combustion efficiency, cross flow intake and exhaust layout was coupled with pent-roof combustion chambers. Fuel injectors were placed on the side of the head as opposed to 3S-GE which had the injectors on its top. Toyota continued developing 3S-GTE through out its life span. Although there is no such official classification from Toyota, 3S-GTE engines are generally collected under four generations. Toyota introduced this third generation 3S-GTE in late 1990 which offered 225 PS (165 kW; 222 hp) @ 6000 rpm as used in Japanese market cars, GT-Four & GT-Four Rally, plus the MR2 Turbo. The engine starts well, warms up quickly and ticks over very smoothly with no untoward noises, pulls very strongly through all of the gears and is refined and responsive throughout the rev range.
The 5-speed manual E150F gearbox feels very precise with no sloppiness in the linkages and snicks into gear as you would expect. The clutch bites positively, and the gear change is very easy to perfect. The ratios for this transmission are:
The car has covered a low 126,196 miles (under 4,700 miles per year) supported by the MOT history. The car retains its original speedometer and odometer which is still in km/h and currently shows 204,195km, but it is easy to convert this in your head when driving as 50km/h is 31mph, 65km/h is 40mph, 80km/h is 50mph, 100km/h is 62mph and 110km/h is just under 70mph. Alternatively it is simple to get them converted if you prefer.
Mot until the 19th March 2020 with no advisories.
As you can probably see from the pictures, this Celica is in very good condition for its age and appears to have been well looked after and not abused. As the pictures show, the paintwork is still in very good condition and has a deep shine. It's in very good condition for its age, but upon very close inspection does come with a little 'patina' as 27 year old cars tend to do. The interior is also in very good condition and is one of the cleanest I have seen. It’s always difficult to express in words the condition of any car, and most people have differing opinions about condition, so the best way to get a true impression will be to view this lovely car in person. This is one of the nicest ones I have dealt with and I’m confident that anybody with realistic expectations will be delighted to own and enjoy this awesome turbocharged four wheel drive. The best way to work out if it is the right car for you, would be to come and have a look.
On the Road:
These cars drive really well, with seemingly endless acceleration, it's very well balanced offering astonishing AWD grip and a powerful turbocharged engine. It can be driven gently as an everyday car just like a standard Celica as they are extremely comfortable and capable of covering long journeys with ease, but there is always a rip-roaring turbocharged beast lurking under the bonnet waiting to be unleashed whenever the mood takes you. Watching the revs increase and the boost gauge shift from - to +, and as the engine note changes to a howl with the accompanying turbo whistle, this can become quite addictive. The exhaust has a very deep tone, reminding you you are driving a significant high performance car, but it's not too loud to be tiresome. This particular car drives very well.
According to online sources there were only 30 GT-Fours taxed and in use on UK roads in the last quarter of 2018. These include the ST185 and ST205 models, making this an increasingly rare car.
These cars seem to be appreciating rapidly, finding favour amongst rally enthusiasts, keen drivers, JDM aficionados, and also ther Gran Turismo generation where these cars are a firm 'virtual' favourite. There are lots of standard Celicas still on the road, which is a testament to their build quality, and are great value for money. However, this rare turbocharged monster is becoming increasingly desirable in the UK and Europe and the prices seem to be steadily rising. The car is priced very attractively at £5,950.
This is a very rare car and they are fast becoming desirable modern rally classics. Few were made, of which only a small number were imported to the UK, and of that small number, many have been modified beyond recognition, and some are no longer on the road. So if you are in the market for one of these astonishing Japanese rally cars in original specification, look no further. To the uninitiated, the Celica GT-Four, a rally homologation special that remains all sorts of cool to this day, may look like a slightly more well-ventilated Celica, but with turbocharged inline 4, permanent all-wheel drive system to get all that power to the ground, plus a number of suspension tweaks and lightweight parts similar to those used on its Group A rally sibling, it's a lot more besides. As you can see, it looks fantastic turns heads wherever it goes - perhaps if Darth Vader ever needed a 1990s Japanese turbocharged rally car, this would be top of his list..?
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