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Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
2/21/24 9:11 a.m.

I was looking at Marketplace for potential rallycross candidates recently, and decided Celica's might be fun.  Found a $2k possibility & saved it.  But then this popped up, about 2hrs away from me.

Reading the listing, I thought this might be fun.  Already race prepped, cage, battery to the trunk, electric cut-off, coil overs, etc.  But after I learned what the Toyota Pro/Celebrity race series was, I thought this might just be fun to own.  (A half-joking message to my former WRX's buyer asking if he was bored with it became fruitful so that took care of RX needs.)

I was able to look up quite a bit of history for this car, and between that and the seller (that purchased it from a Toyota dealer in CA that had it on display) I found a BaT auction from last year with ~140 photos, race results from the 1990 race (he started 14th and finished 9th without crashing), and even a Youtube video of Motorweek doing a piece on the race.

The seller bought the car in a bit of sorry state, refurb'd quite a bit, and bought another Celica to completely refinish the interior to (mostly) street driver.  I'll dig into more specifics later, including some photos and documents from the race.  The key has 20 stamped into it from the race.

Here's the Youtube video: 

 

We finally settled on a date to see it.  It only has ~14K miles and he was wanting to keep it low, so my first time seeing last night in person was go/no-go.  I brought $8k in cash (left in my notary friend's car) & we met him and his dad in a Kroger parking lot in Chillicothe (about 1.5hrs for me, an hour for him).  Quick spin around the parking lot was enough for me if he had already driven it an hour to get there.

I figured out where the fuel door release was before it got dark so I could fill up for the drive home.  But did not check to see how to adjust the mirrors, they were close but not great, and that vinyl on the back window blocks the rear view...  But I made it home without issue & garaged it until I can get insurance today and title/tags on Saturday.

Bouncing over Rt-35 overpasses on the coil overs made me laugh out loud.  I think this is going to be fun.  When's the first Cars and Coffee?

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
2/21/24 9:24 a.m.

That is way cool. A little before my time, but I love the Pro/Celebrity races.

Do they still do anything like that nowadays?

wae
wae PowerDork
2/21/24 9:28 a.m.

That is so damned cool!

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
2/21/24 9:36 a.m.
Colin Wood said:

That is way cool. A little before my time, but I love the Pro/Celebrity races.

Do they still do anything like that nowadays?

No more pro/celebrity race at Long Beach after Toyota moved to Texas and pulled its sponsorship. It ran from 1977-2016.

The celebrity with most wins? Alfonso Ribeiro. No joke. Four of them.

Nice find, Jerry!

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 HalfDork
2/21/24 9:37 a.m.

What an amazing score! Have you bought the matching 1980's themed racing with neon color yet?

Is there a RADwood race series yet?????

karplus2
karplus2 GRM+ Memberand Reader
2/21/24 10:24 a.m.

Dwight Yoakam - A Thousand Miles From Nowhere (youtube.com)

This car needs a desert road trip with this song on repeat. Nice Score! 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/21/24 10:54 a.m.

That is super cool!

Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
2/21/24 7:24 p.m.

Found this when I put the insurance card in the glove box. No autograph unfortunately.

RonnieFnD
RonnieFnD HalfDork
2/21/24 7:30 p.m.
J.A. Ackley said:
Colin Wood said:

That is way cool. A little before my time, but I love the Pro/Celebrity races.

Do they still do anything like that nowadays?

No more pro/celebrity race at Long Beach after Toyota moved to Texas and pulled its sponsorship. It ran from 1977-2016.

The celebrity with most wins? Alfonso Ribeiro. No joke. Four of them.

Nice find, Jerry!

I have one the Neons he raced.

 

That being said have a blast with your new Toyota, it's neat having a car with a lil bit of odd history.

Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
2/22/24 11:07 a.m.

I didn't check the date code but wrote down the tire size last night.  I'm going to assume they are quite old, haven't even looked up Lexani TR-203 tires yet.

But a quick check on TireRack shows me that I can get old school white letter tires and this makes me happy.  (Riken Raptors are much cheaper but out of stock.)

Aaron_King
Aaron_King GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
2/22/24 1:51 p.m.

My wife had a 90 GT when we got married, white over blue with a 5 speed.  Aside from going through starters that car was dead reliable, sold it to a guy in the early 2000's with north of 300K miles on it.

Datsun240ZGuy
Datsun240ZGuy MegaDork
2/22/24 4:25 p.m.

I forgot how awesome the mullets were back then.  
 

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/22/24 5:01 p.m.

Trying to think which Dwight Yoakam tune is most topical, and it occurs to me that a lot of stuff about love and loss and bad decisions seems somehow racecar-appropriate...

It Only Hurts When I Cry

Heartaches by the Number

and of course... Fast As You

Datsun240ZGuy
Datsun240ZGuy MegaDork
2/22/24 5:20 p.m.

One of the Celica racers was Larry Csonka - I bought my Honda Accord from an older sales guy that talked up that he went to high school with Larry Csonka.

I mentioned - it won't be long before younger people are going to start asking; who?

stan
stan GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/22/24 5:52 p.m.

 Jerry, Cars and Coffee (Dayton) will start in April. Haven't seen a date yet, but their FB page should be updated soon. I'm hoping to see you and your new ride there!

Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
2/22/24 7:39 p.m.

In reply to stan :

I've known Kenny since he started it, I will definitely be copying the schedule when it happens.

Just went down to get a couple things out of the trunk/hatch (two posterboard signs and a Haynes manual), the hatch struts are completely shot.  Guess I'll be looking up that part number this weekend.  Along with checking the local locksmith for a dupe key.

Datsun240ZGuy
Datsun240ZGuy MegaDork
2/22/24 8:10 p.m.

In reply to Jerry :

Rock Auto has the single strut for my 240Z and it works great - all for like $10.  Only issue is the $10 shipping cost.

GTwannaB
GTwannaB GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/22/24 10:09 p.m.

Ok sure, Dwight made music, but I think his best work was Doc Miles in the movie Crank. 
 

Way cool find. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/22/24 10:13 p.m.

In reply to Jerry :

This looks like a super, super fun car to own, especially at that price. Well bought. 

Also, I like saying Chillicothe.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/23/24 7:21 a.m.

Sweet car. Looks like someone put an All-trac front bumper on it which is really cool. I love the look of it.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/23/24 7:50 a.m.

I wonder how many of these Toyota Celebrity Pro/Am cars are still out there. I remember seeing several generations of Celicas in these races, with maybe a dozen cars per race. They probably prepped about 20 or so cars per generation, and then used the same cars for about four years. Still that's a fair number of cars. I hope more of them turn up. 

camopaint0707
camopaint0707 Reader
2/23/24 8:25 a.m.

pleaseeeee race this thing

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/23/24 8:38 a.m.

I seem to remember that the Celebrity cars were white, and the Pro cars were red, and they would start well behind the pack of celebs. Then the pros would work their way through the pack and often overtake everyone. It was a great series. 

Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
2/23/24 8:40 a.m.

In reply to Woody (Forum Supportum) :

Google found this car a few times, mostly a BaT auction last year and the LA dealership that had it for sale before that.

I did find one on a Toyota forum that someone bought to make into a Lemons car, #10 I think?  And looking for Celica-based Facebook groups (might be handy) I saw one or two newer one's from BaT.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/23/24 8:47 a.m.
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) said:

I seem to remember that the Celebrity cars were white, and the Pro cars were red, and they would start well behind the pack of celebs. Then the pros would work their way through the pack and often overtake everyone. It was a great series. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Pro/Celebrity_Race

 

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