The autoTRADER.ca Find of the Week this week is a more modern classic. One that lets you and some friends, or you and the kids, or you and the dog enjoy some top-down time this summer. With a little more sport than most four-seat convertibles.
When Ford launched the pony car with the Mustang in 1964, Chevrolet's Camaro wasn't the only response. Toyota launched its own effort to compete in the low-cost but high-fashion entry-level coupe segment. That car was the Celica. Like the Falcon-based Mustang, the 1971 Celica was based on a more humble sedan platform. In this case, the Toyota Carina – a car one-size larger than the Corolla in the Toyota line. The Celica came to North America in 1971, though unlike the Mustang's V8s, it was powered by a 1.9L four-cylinder engine.
Over 20 years later, the Celica had evolved separately from the American pony cars. It was a small sports car, boasting four-cylinder engines. It was rear-wheel drive, and turbocharged versions found success on the rally circuit. Then in 1985, the fourth-generation arrived.
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The 1985 Celica was an all-new model with some big changes from its predecessors. Like a switch to front-wheel drive, and an all-new platform to go with it. While the third-generation car was very angular and boxy, the new car offered more curves and a much more 1980s style. It also boasted some sweet 1980s features like pop-up headlights.
The switch to front-drive was for multiple reasons. It allowed the Celica to better fit into the growing front-drive sport compact scene along with the increasingly popular Civic and CRX Si models. It also separated the car from the Supra, which was then still badged as a Celica Supra.
North America got four versions of the Celica, ranging from the base ST to the exceptionally rare all-wheel drive Turbo 4WD All-Trac.
Our find this week is a convertible version of the GT model. Under the hood is a 2.0L four-cylinder engine. It has dual overhead camshafts and fuel injection that let it produce 125 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque. Not huge numbers, but in a car that weighs 1,200 kg and has a five-speed manual transmission, the figures were good for the time and the car offers good performance.
This car, for sale in Edmonton, AB, is a 1988 GT Convertible, with fresh-looking red paint and a black cloth interior. The seller says that the car has been restored, and the interior looks much newer than 172,000 km of open-top motoring would suggest.
This car also has a comprehensive audio upgrade, featuring a new head unit and large subwoofer installed in the trunk. Since this is a four-seat car, the Celica convertible lets you share that roof down experience with some friends. As long as they don't mind being cramped. Or share it with the kids. Or bring the dog along.
If you're looking to enjoy what's left of this record-breaking summer and let the sun in, this 1988 Toyota Celica GT Convertible could be just what you're looking for.