RE: Shed of the Week: Toyota Celica T-Sport 190

RE: Shed of the Week: Toyota Celica T-Sport 190

Friday 15th December 2017

Shed of the Week: Toyota Celica T-Sport 190

Can this high-revving, N/A coupe hold its own as a Shed?



Bastion. This word, or one very much like it, is often heard in the Shed household. It is derived from the Italian word bastire, which means to build, and it means an institution, place, or person strongly maintaining particular principles, attitudes, or activities. It's often preceded by the word 'last' to describe a dying breed of some sort.


It would be fair to describe the Toyota Celica T-Sport 190 VVT-i as one of the last bastions of high-revving road cars. From back in the pre-forced induction days, when the only way to get decent horsepower from a smallish engine was by making it rev, this is a classic old-school screambox.

VVT-i stands for Variable Valve Timing with intelligence. Maybe it should have been called a VVT-ip, because you'll also need to exercise a fair bit of patience waiting for the peak torque to arrive at 6,800rpm. That's nothing, though: maximum power doesn't chime in until 7,600rpm or 7,800rpm, depending on which information source you choose to believe.

The noticeable surge of the VVT-i cam 'lift' effect should pop up at around 6,200rpm on a warm engine though. If it doesn't, the lift bolts could be duff. If it does, as it should do in later models like this 2004 example, which used stronger tapered bolts, you might be looking at rather a nice prospect.


We would never have found one of these blighters under our old £1,000 limit. This one only just managing to scrape under our new £1,500 limbo rope. The T-Sport was the penultimate 190 range-topper, with only a GT run-out model coming after it with half-leather seats, a weirdly-silled but otherwise quite purposeful bodykit, lower springs and new alloys. There might be a pic here, Nik permitting.

Pre-'02 140 VVTis with the 1ZZ engine (as seen in the MR2 and Avensis) achieved fame for their oval pistons and their liking for more than a drop of oil - as much as a litre every 600 miles. That wasn't a problem with the 190s. Some 2ZZ-engined 190s did suffer from terminal bottom-end failure - one PHer (JamStar) experienced this in this 2.5-year-old 40,000-miler - but you're much more likely to hear stories of excellent endurance, with 200,000 miles quite commonly coming up in the conversation. And that's without mollycoddling them. Our Shed has 135,000 miles on it and a very reassuring-looking MOT history.

Upping the power of any VVTi, 140 or 190, isn't as easy as it is with many other cars. They don't really respond to the usual exhaust/intake mods as the ECU is very strict about what it will allow to happen. Supercharging, however, is different. There's a Rotrex kit that is reputed to deliver a near-400hp curve.


If you organise a test drive and the gearbox seems reluctant to select second off the top of first, it's probably best to look at your watch and remember an important appointment elsewhere, as the synchro is on the way out and it's a gearbox rebuild.

If the alarm seems prone to going off, that's a common Celica problem, but it could have one of the simplest solutions known to the stingy Shedman. Simply remove any coins residing in the central cup holder. That should fix it. Seriously. Or be a proper Shedman and don't carry any coins anywhere, ever.

Many Celica issues only applied to earlier cars as it was diligently developed by Toyota to iron out any glitches. This is a 2004 car, which was effectively the end of the main Celica production push as far as we in the West were concerned. The supply of cars began to taper off at that point; there are a few '06 reg Celicas about, but there are none beyond 2006.

This is one of those cars where a sensation of tinniness is almost a good thing. It gives you the feeling that you're not too insulated from the outside world, which many might find to be a desirable attribute in a sporty (as opposed to a grand touring) coupé. For a front-drive car, the chassis is more than decent and the steering acceptably sharp, though the standard braking setup leaves something to be desired in terms of feel and power. It's easily remedied with decent pads though. Brake calipers can stick, but that's hardly uncommon in Japanese tackle.


The gen-7 Celica is quite a practical car too, with four seats and a reasonable boot. Boot struts gave up on early cars, as the hatch is pretty big, but in typical fashion Toyota acknowledged the problem and ran out replacement items under a Service Bulletin.

PHer Durbster had (and may still have) a 190. Back in 2013, which was the last time we ran one of these in SOTW, he made a few interesting comments about it. "It's quite good at lots of things, but I don't love it," he said. "It's quite fast, quite economical, quite practical, quite light and quite good fun but doesn't excel anywhere really.

"I do like the engine. It makes you work hard - with all those revs available and a narrow window of pace, you have to do a bit of a calculation before an overtake but it is a giggle. Taking it up to the redline is frantic fun and keeping it in the lift window is extremely difficult."

At the same time, another PH Celica owner (Dave_s13) answered a question that may be troubling other larger-framed potential owners, namely, "will I fit?". Dave was (and possibly still is) 6ft 4in tall and 100kg, some sort of rugbyist most likely, and he reckoned he fitted in his 190 no problem. Tall drivers will find the rear visibility a bit wanting, however, and drivers of every size should watch out for the big doors in multi-storey car parks.

If you'd like a GT86 but can't really afford one, a Celica 190 would not be such a bad value option judging by the comparative stats (Celica first): 190hp vs 197hp, 144lb ft v 151lb/ft, 1250kg v 1275kg. In fact, some even think that the old car looks better than the new one (dons tin hat and runs off hard).

Here's the ad.

OYOTA CELICA 190 T-SPORT VVTI .

JUST TAKEN IN PART EXCHANGE THIS WEEKEND WE ARE OFFERING THIS STUNNING VVTI CELICA FOR SALE.

135000 MILES FROM NEW , IT BENEFITS FROM AN MOT UNTIL THE 24TH SEPTEMBER 2018 AND HAS ALSO RECENTLY HAD 4 NEW KUMHO TYRES FITTED.

THE BODYWORK IS IN PRESENTABLE CONDITION OVERALL WITH A FEW MINOR SCATCHES/SCRAPES COMMENSURATE WITH THE AGE OF THE VEHICLE. IT IS VERY STRAIGHT AND LEVEL AND THERE IS NO MAJOR RUST IN ANY OF THE WHEELARCHES EITHER.

THE INTERIOR IS ALSO IN VERY GOOD CONDITION WITH NO DAMAGE OR RIPS/TEARS TO THE LEATHER.

THE CAR DRIVES VERY WELL OVERALL, THERE ARE NO OBVIOUS FAULTS AND NO WARNING LIGHTS ARE DISPLAYED EITHER.

THE CAR IS FULLY HPI CLEAR AND HAS ONLY HAD 4 OWNERS FROM NEW.

ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS PLEASE EITHER MESSAGE ME OR TELEPHONE ON 07962 376666.

THANKS FOR LOOKING

Author
Discussion

Cambs_Stuart

Original Poster:

296 posts

17 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
Looks like a really good find. I didn't realise these had 4 seats, so could be considered a family car...

2smoke

51 posts

44 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
Blimey Shed, you're up early!
Looks like a reasonable car for the money, with no doubt plenty of life left in it being a Toyota.
Owner feedback anybody?

alorotom

4,821 posts

120 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
Nice ... I’d say this is quite overpriced ... seen a handful end on eBay over the past week alone for under £500 ... hardly like this is a low mile minter to justify x3 pricing


SidewaysSi

4,565 posts

167 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
alorotom said:
Nice ... I’d say this is quite overpriced ... seen a handful end on eBay over the past week alone for under £500 ... hardly like this is a low mile minter to justify x3 pricing
Really? Under £500 for a decent, roadworthy 190? Links please...

AndySheff

5,736 posts

140 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
That's a decent looking shed.
Advertisement

Keith ctr

200 posts

107 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
Cambs_Stuart said:
Looks like a really good find. I didn't realise these had 4 seats, so could be considered a family car...
An average height adult would struggle to sit in the back without their head hitting the rear window, just make sure you are ducking if someone shuts the tailgate whilst you are sitting in the back seat! eek Not an issue for shorter kids though.

Good shed though, the only annoying thing I found with these cars was they dropped out of VVT-i between gears which spoilt the driving experience and progress.

alorotom

4,821 posts

120 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
Really? Under £500 for a decent, roadworthy 190? Links please...
1 day left ... £360 (granted not a fan of the bonnet but it’s only cosmetic)
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2...

Plus numerous 140’s for peanuts

ambuletz

6,999 posts

114 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
bargain. especially when you consider some nutter wants £7000 for a '06 'GT' verson that i put on the seriously over priced thread.. and they're a private seller!

Blackpuddin

8,185 posts

138 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
alorotom said:
SidewaysSi said:
Really? Under £500 for a decent, roadworthy 190? Links please...
1 day left ... £360 (granted not a fan of the bonnet but it’s only cosmetic)
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2...

Plus numerous 140’s for peanuts
MOT history talks of much back-end rust on that one.

s m

16,635 posts

136 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
Interesting shed

Handling even impressed the bods from Lotus .

Poor man's DC2 perhaps with a similar ethos

AC43

6,260 posts

141 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
s m said:
Poor man's DC2 perhaps with a similar ethos
Just what I was thinking.

Decent shed. In fact good looking shed in that colour with those rims.

Looks bang up to date to me.

Toyoda

858 posts

33 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
Best shed in ages, but with a username like mine, I would say that. Strictly speaking, instead of all the reference to VVTi, Shed should be talking about VVTL-i, as stamped on the engine cover, indicating the 'lift', yo. Talking of which, these are probably less likely to have lived a hard life are a bargain compared to the Type-Rs. Only a grand and a half for an engine we'll never see the likes of again. There's still quite a few about and as with Toyotas of that vintage, as long as the basics are maintained then there should be plenty life left in it.

re33

81 posts

97 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
Still look sharp. Looks like it started off as a midengined design. Had a 140 with excessive oil consumption. Great fun to drive if a bit slow and understeery. No hint of roll though. Hard to get a decent 190 for this money. Probably the most exciting looking, fastest most reliable car for shed money you can get. As mentioned by earlier poster a better value Integra.

chirstopher

1 posts

9 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
Why do dealers think it's acceptable to write adverts in block capitals? I think it just makes them look a bit thick

SpunkyM

229 posts

177 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
I'm glad it's "135000 MILES FROM NEW" and not some other arbitary age half way through it's life!

mrtwisty

2,417 posts

98 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
I've had mine (same colour and year as this shed, but on 80k ish) for about a year and a half. As a daily, it can get a bit tiresome - noisy, every bit of interior trim has it's own rattle, hard ride, loves picking up front end stonechips, poor rear visibility for parking.

But - when you get it on a twisty bit of well sighted b-road it is excellent. Light (most sources quote around 1150kg), low CoG, sharp turn in with good steering feel, high levels of grip with a mildly adjustable rear end. Keep it singing away above 6200rpm (can be done with practice!) and it certainly feels quick.

If you're used to modern FI motors, it takes a bit of re-education to get the best from it, but when you do it is more entertaining and fun than a big lump of torque at the bottom then not much else - imo obviously.

To the chap above suggesting a full bore 1st to 2nd change on the test drive..... you better hope the seller/garage owner in the passenger seat is an understanding sort! I did this with the old chap I bought it from in the passenger seat. I explained what I was going to do and why - he still near soiled himself - it does sound quite 'dramatic' when you do that...

culpz

3,893 posts

45 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
They can definitely be had for about £1000 or just under. That's the last time i checked, anyway. The only potential grip would be with power delivery. For my main driving, it could become a bit frustrating. I also usually see them being driven mainly by an old people, but that could be more the 140 model.

However, they do appear to be have that typical Toyota reliability, have a nice low-seated driving position and coupe looks. There's a guy on YouTube from the UK, that was drag-racing and surprisingly beating much faster metal, with nothing more than an uprated exhaust. Very interesting indeed.

To add to the 1k and sub 1k examples, they will be obviously older than the revised 2004 models, like this one. So, £1500 for this is a great bargain.

Edited by culpz on Friday 15th December 09:31

MrGeoff

286 posts

105 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
SpunkyM said:
I'm glad it's "135000 MILES FROM NEW" and not some other arbitary age half way through it's life!
That had me going as well, I'm so glad the seller clarified that bit and put it in caps to really hammer it home.

kellyt

118 posts

52 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
"No major rust"

Uh, so quite a lot of minor rust? I think I'll move along now.

molineux1980

1,025 posts

152 months

Friday 15th December 2017
quotequote all
I like a shed as a second car, currently running a 2000 Fiesta Zetec S that may soon be consumed by rust. I'd certainly be interested in one of these provided I could get my kids seats in the back.