Skip to content

1984 Toyota Celica GTS Convertible: Rare, Especially in This Condition

We’ve discussed before how convertibles were very much a dying breed going from the 1970s into the 1980s. While there were a handful of holdover cars from another era from Alfa Romeo, Fiat (badged as Pininfarina or Bertone due to Fiat’s official withdrawal from the U.S. market), and the like, it was widely believed that convertibles would soon be consigned to the history books thanks to ever-increasing safety standards from the US Department of Transportation and other safety Nazis. Still, a few mainstream manufacturers kept the torch burning for the convertible in the form of special, low-production convertible versions of their sporting coupes. Today’s case in point is the attractive Toyota-ASC collaboration on the Celica GTS Convertible. They were only produced for two years – 1984 and 1985 – with just 250 1984s hitting the streets, making this clean red car for sale here on eBay in Katy, Texas for just $4,200 especially rare. There were about 4,500 produced for 1985.

As children of the 1970s and 1980s, we are always up for a good wedgy, boxy sporty car – as you’ve seen from various other features here on TTS like the Lotus Esprit and TVR 280i. We also have a soft spot for period Japanese cars. People talk about Japanese cars as having no personality or soul, but to me the older they get the more character they seem to have. These Celicas, like the contemporary 2nd generation Preludes (of which we have had three between us), the MR2, and the Nissan 200SX to name a few are sort of “junior” GTs, and are actually engaging, pleasant cars to drive. At a cost of about $17,000 new, the Celica Convertible filled a niche between standard Japanese sporty coupes and higher-end European GTs.

This car represents the third generation of Toyota Celicas, and the last of the rear-wheel drive cars in the line. Handling is well-balanced, although the convertibles do feel markedly heavier than the hatchback or notchback versions. The steering has variable-speed assist which is a little numb at low speeds but at is firms up feels distinctly sporting. The interior is very 1980s Toyota, which is to say that angles and acres of plasticky plastic abound. This car has had substantial interior refurbishment, but looks very presentable. Likewise the paint is recent – hopefully not masking horrific bondo-laden metalwork. The aftermarket stereo is unfortunate, but is most certainly an improvement in sound quality over the factory unit. Being a double-din chassis, options for audio upgrades are somewhat limited. The seller reports that the convertible top, heat and AC work, making this a very usable car year round.

The 105hp 22R-E fuel injected motor is a little underpowered for the bulk of the car, achieving 60mph from a stop in a leisurely 11.5-12 seconds. Someone interested in keeping this car for the long-term could likely find some improvement through either performance upgrades to this motor or JDM engine upgrades. We like the Celica GTS models for their wider-than-stock stance courtesy of fender flares and very wide (for the day) 225/60/14 tires on nice alloy wheels. It’s also great to find one of these in good condition that has the 5-speed manual transmission as opposed to the lethargic automatic. Again, you’re not going to win top dog at the drag strip, but there are far worse ways to spend a Saturday in the rolling countryside – top down, music playing, and the whole family on board.

In addition to the cosmetic work, the recent mechanical work to this car makes it very appealing. The seller indicates that the clutch, brakes, exhaust, tie rod ends, and so forth. All this work, however, and the associated expenses make me wonder why the seller is selling at what I have to figure is a not insignificant loss. On the surface, his loss could be your gain, but it’s worth checking out thoroughly. The other thing to bear in mind on these cars is that 15,000 mile valve adjustments are critical, so regular maintenance should factor prominently in the decision to buy one. Ultimately, while 3rd generation Celicas once littered the streets, they are unusual these days to say the least – all the more so in convertible form – and the represent good fun for the whole family (assuming four or less of you!) for less than five grand – and with Toyota reliability. How can you go wrong?


14 thoughts on “1984 Toyota Celica GTS Convertible: Rare, Especially in This Condition Leave a comment

  1. Hi,my name is Lance McDougall im from Prince Albert,Saskatchewan,Canada.I bought one of these 1984 toyota celica gt convertables last summer and what a beautiful car it is.My car is in pretty mint shape ,the body looks like new,paint looks new and not a spoy of rust on it.I couldnt believe all of the comments i would get when i drove it and people would even stop me and ask me about it.When i bought this car i didnt realize how rare of a car it was.Near the end of last summer someone sideswipped me on the front driver side.There is damage to the the front panel and drivers door.I am definitly getting this car fixed and am asking anyone who reads this or might have any advise or help for me that they contact me PLEASE!!!! You can phone me at (306)422-5552 or (306)981-3110 or email me @ looking for the parts that i will need so if anyone out there can help me that would be much appreciated. THANK-YOU

  2. I have a red 1984 Toyota Celica GTS convertible for sale. its in good shape, runs good, 286 k miles with rebuilt engine. its a 5 speed, AC blows cold, original cassete player, clean tittle, for more info or pics please contact me at 209 261 0969 call or text.

  3. I have 1 of these fantastic automobiles I’ve had mine for 8 yrs now and is almost completely restored its the 85 model red 5spd and have been looking all over the place for replacement carpet.. ebay or the 4 major molded carpet companys dont make it they say the rear floor pan is differant then the notchback the car was orginally made from.. Any idea where I can find any????, the car in this picture looks like the carpets been replace when the interior was redone.. 937 684 0268

  4. I have a 1984 Toyota Celia gts I would like to know what’s the name of the part that is a hard plastic that lay flat over the convertible top when you have it down there is a name for it can someone tell me the name. Thanks

    • Yes indeed… I have a 1984 Celica GTS Convertible in red with 139k miles. its definitely an eye catcher. I cant wait to the spring and summer gets here so that I can go for long cruises.

  5. Sir Reed: I may be wrong, but Toyota talks about adjusting the valve on 20R, 22R, and 22RE motors every 60K. They are all the same the 20R and 22r/re motors regardless of what they came in. (.012 Intake/.008 exhaust, truck or car) Let me know if I am incorrect, but this what I have found so far. Mike

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: