PH CARPOOL: TOYOTA CELICA GT4
Unmolested Celicas are rare but this week's PHer scored a true 'one lady owner' minter
1995 Toyota Celica GT4
"I run a Golf TDI day to day and sold a Mitsubishi FTO to buy the Celica."
"When I was at college in 1996-1998 I always used to see a UK model Toyota Celica GT4 in my home town of Wolverhampton . I just loved it, and so did my mates. But at the time I couldn't afford one; they were £30,000 new and secondhand prices were high. And nobody would have insured me at the time, even if I had had the money to buy one.
"It took me nearly three years to find this one. The lady owner had the car since new and it was a perfect example in every way and I knew it had been well looked after. She also only sold it to me when I went down to her house to view it and she felt comfortable selling it to me. She decided that she would only sell the car to an enthusiast and turned down two other offers because she wanted the car to go to a good home. When I first viewed the car I loved it straight away, and I said to my wife, 'I'm not going home without it'! I was scared in case they turned me down too but I knew deep down that I would look after it."
"I did a lot of research on various GT4 websites before I bought it. The only problem I have is servicing it, because the Toyota dealership in my home town is a bit clueless about the car. So I have it serviced and maintained by TR&D, a GT4 specialist near Nottingham. Service costs are not that expensive at all; you just need to be careful with the front Super Strut suspension as it is very expensive to replace. Also the clutch, as the engine has to be taken out for the work to be done."
Things I love:
"I love everything about the car. The performance is fantastic, road handling is great and there's loads of power in every gear. Also, four-wheel drive makes it safe. Plus people can't stop staring at the car, even though it's 17 years old!
"The car came with full Toyota service history to 55,000 miles, then specialist history and every MoT present. The car had only done 69,000 miles when I bought it. Mileage now is 72,000. Touch wood, since I've had the car it's been fantastic; it just needs a basic service every year or 6,000 miles."
"There's nothing I hate about it, except I am a bit tall and it gets a bit awkward getting in and out as it sits close to the ground. Also it attracts the wrong attention sometimes."
"I also have two diesel cars and, to tell you the truth it's not that bad on fuel at all. If you drive the car fast it will push the fuel consumption up but that's the same with every car. I usually get around 24-26mpg. I pay £360 a year to insure fully comp which is not bad at all."
Where I've been:
"The best trip I've had with the car was driving to Yorkshire Dales, stayed there a week for a break. The country lanes were fantastic, and I loved every minute driving around tight twisty roads."
"I was thinking about selling it last year but changed my mind, due to getting scared who I'd sell it too! I don't want anyone to ruin the car as it has been looked after so well all its life!"