Motafrenz Car Club

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Member Vehicle: 1991 Toyota Celica “The Celica That Almost Got Away”

Words & pictures by James M Heaney.  

I have a 1991 JDM Celica convertible in addition my E12 BMW. I’m not the type of person who just buys a car. It must be a particular car, in a particular shape and colour.

5 years ago, I needed a run around I didn’t want the usual shoe box. I have 2 European cars. I wanted something utterly reliable without the European service costs, that meant Japanese of some sort.

When Celica’s were popular, I would never consider them as they were never on my radar. I think I preferred the Honda Prelude with the pop-up lights. As well as a BMW E30 convertible which I have both.

Until I saw a Black 1994 to 1996 Celica convertible, I loved the look, I’d never seen one before. I realise how rare these were. This was the model I was going to get.

There was one on the net in Sydney which I had kept my eye on. I eventually went to look at this car, which they were asking a bit for. The pictures looked immaculate.

Once I viewed the car, I was shocked to see the car was a mess, it was a different car. I wasted a trip and told them they be lucky if they would get $1000 for it.

Some time went past and the ones that were advertised were in ordinary condition. They were asking too much for the condition, further work would be needed.

Time went on, I decided to view a Black 1991 convertible the model before, I decided I liked these, also pop up lights and the organic shape appealed.

What to do? Wait for the 1994 to 1998 model in black or go with the generation before? I never noticed this model before, but it was beckoning me, pop up lights and yes 4WS (4 Wheel Steering).

I didn’t know Toyota had 4WS as well as leather. I decided to buy it, unfortunately he sold 30 minutes before I had contacted him.

My now red convertible came up. I went to look at it, but bright red was not on my list. I took some time to come around.

I did like the black fabric roof and red exterior. I’m glad I made that call, I prefer this rare red Celica now.

I think at the time I didn’t want to fit into that screaming red sports car crowd but now I don’t care, it’s rare and great looking the shape confuses people.

This baby has all the fruit: leather Recaro style seats, 4WS, power and sports mode, overdrive, MR2 engine, climate control, airbags, and GT4 power bulge and the air vents, yes all this in 1991. I also like the cockpit.

This was an imported model never sold in Australia. These all were the other things that sold me on the car.

The Celica is well known in the diverse Daylesford Chillout parade as the red convertible with the bug eyes and the shark’s nose.

My brother calls it Maxwell Smart’s gadget car. As it has lot of buttons and switches that do different things. This one is in top condition; it’s not going anywhere too soon.

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