Celica ST Convertible
Celica ST Convertible
- Body Color
- Engine Size
- 2.0 Liter
- Transmission Type
- 5 Speed Manual
1980 Toyota Celica ST Convertible
1980 Toyota Celica ST Convertible
Throughout the 1970s, Americans were becoming more safety conscious and were demanding higher standards from the NHTSA. Entrepreneurial small businesses have always found a niche where large businesses can't be cost-effective and in the late 1970's and early 1980's, numerous coachbuilders in America stepped in to meet the steady but small demand for convertibles. Sometimes they did a one-off Cadillac, Mercedes, or Ferrari for an idiosyncratic individual. Other times they bought cars in small quantities from the manufacturer, converted them to convertibles and delivered them to be sold in the automaker's new car showrooms.
With at least five companies converting Toyota Celica coupes to produce about 3,000 custom Celica convertibles, these particular cars are difficult to find. However, following our mantra "you never know what's going to come through the door next", gracing our Hallowed Halls and for consignment is a consignor stated 1 of the 1,000 estimated production run of cars converted by American Custom Coachworks of Beverly Hills, CA. Production records are all second hand as the facility was consumed by a fire and all records were lost and all that remains are secondary data and the few cars that have survived the years. Not only did this example survive, but it continues to thrive with its original window sticker, tons of service records and a timeless look that was much appreciated during the days of no factory-built drop tops.
Bathed in its original red hue, (no fancy names like today), this custom drop top sports a black rubber bumper up front just below the stainless trim highlighted protruding black plastic grille with outboard quad rectangle headlights. Adorning the hood is the Celica Dragon logo, why was this ever dropped? A lower body trimming in satin black and stainless is on and runs the full length of the sides of the car stopping about 1/3 the way up the doors and fenders. A thin stainless band encircles the passenger compartment and vies for space along with black plastic around the raked back windshield. All panels are good with well minded gaps, but we note some invasive rust and some prior repairs on the rockers, otherwise the body remains rust free. 14-inch chrome wire wheels are wrapped in blackwall rubber and up top is a black convertible canvas top with some staining and a 3-piece clear plastic rear window. A small trunk lid flows down to the multi-colored taillights and a sporty light up "CELICA" filler panel. Sporty but practical, all in red paint.
Puffy overstuffed but sporty upgraded black leather buckets with age wrinkles and a few repaired tears are seen in front of the original dash. These chairs have large bolsters to aid in comfort and keep you in that seat when negotiating a curve possible at too high of a speed! In back, a bench, in the original black vinyl, which takes the form of 2 bucket seats with a common mid panel fills the space between the inner panels. Nice black carpeting floods the floor, and for the doors we see a mix of black vinyl, black carpeting and a peppering of chrome for delineation, window cranks and door release bezels. A center console with the parking brake lever, various switches, frontal storage and the shifter races between the seats and ends under the black dash. Rounding out the interior is a black topped dash pad with no cracks which hovers over an applique coated cluster with 2 large round gauges and smaller rectangle multi-gauge pods as well as the AM/FM/CD stereo and the heater/defroster slides.
A pop of the hood and we see an original all unrestored 2.2 liter 20R 4 cylinder engine. This is fed by a Weber 2bbl carburetor, (the original carb is included), and has a 5-speed manual transmission on back. The rear axle is a 4.10 geared version.
Independent coil sprung suspension is seen on the front and a 4 link with coil springs is seen on the rear. Providing the stopping power are power front disc brakes and power rear drums. The surfaces of the floor pans, frame, and rockers are slightly faded, patina'd and spattered with surface rust, otherwise all is structurally sound. A single exhaust system is on with a factory header, new catalytic converter and new muffler to efficiently handle spent fossil removal.
My partner and crime and all around good guy wouldn't stop telling tales of his ownership of a similar model Celica during his misguided youth, so I gave him the keys and casually took the passenger seat. The car fired right up and performed well on a cruise, curvy road or our test track which includes both. All functions were working fab, and it has some power to its traits, and the top going down didn't hurt either.
Looking good for this hard to come by 1980 version is the Celica with its near bulletproof 2.2 Liter 20R engine, updated Weber carb and the luxury of top-down motoring from an era when soft tops were taboo. Now readily available, in our halls of Classic Auto Mall.
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 650 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.