eBay Find: 1981 Toyota Celica Sunchaser – Spring and Summer.


Ah summer. For us living in the tropics it means we’re about to roast our nuts off under the inclement nuclear reactor in the sky. For people who live further north however it’s a relief, an end of the weeks of shoveling snow, heating bills up the wazoo and having to wear so many layers of clothing you start wondering if hypothermia isn’t preferable. And what better way to enjoy your newfound freedom than a convertible. Especially one as rare as this one.

The Celica Sunchaser has already had some time in the limelight here at CC. Dave Skinnner found a rather sad looking one slowly succumbing to the forces of entropy and neglectful owners. A shame because not many of them were actually made. Around 2000 were made between 1979 and 1981 by Griffith before the Celica was refreshed and the Sunchaser project canceled. Who knows how many of them are still around, much less in good condition so what you’re looking at here is really a treat.


So what do you get for your money? Well, it’s a 1981 Celica finished in bone white with a detachable black targa top and roof. It has a blue interior without any visible battle scars apart from normal wear and tear. Mechanically it’s completely unchanged from its hardtop brother, so you get the unkillable 2.4-liter 22R engine in the front which sends power to the back through a 4-speed automatic transmission. Mileage is indicated at 89,920 miles. Air conditioning to keep you cool while you’re being cool is also included in the price.


The seller seems particularly excited about this car and goes on in the listing about how this car is going to be collectable and worth goodness knows how much in a couple of years’ time, citing the insane values of cars such as the Toyota 2000GT. Yeah….I’ll just say that if I owned something that I knew would sell for a vast amount of money I wouldn’t be selling it on eBay, I’d wait until it peaks and then sell it. Due to rarity it will certainly hold its value better than a Celica of similar vintage but don’t go around thinking you have the next Ferrari 250 GTO or Porsche 993 Carrera RS just waiting for a bidder in your garage. A wise investment it’s not, especially when you consider its current $12,000 asking price. Rare does not equal desirable, but in this case it means expensive. Oh, and if you misplace the targa roof…good luck getting a replacement. The site that I visited for info jus plain said that it didn’t exist and the best way of going around the problem is looking for a junked Celica and sawzall yourself a replacement.


1984 would bring an altogether more traditional Celica convertible and a more traditional partner, ASC, in charge of making them. If you wish to enjoy the fun in the sun and the knowledge that the chances of finding another one in the street are very slim indeed. The listing is here. Just don’t buy it as an investment. At least the stock market has chances of a return.