RE: Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 | Spotted

RE: Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 | Spotted

Tuesday 11th June

Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 | Spotted

The Final Version of the homologation special was typical of Toyota's nineties pomp



Of all the 1990s homologation specials out there, the Toyota Celica arguably deserves more attention than it gets. Compared to the Japanese performance icons, the car is feels under appreciated - especially when you consider that it was as true to form as any.

First and foremost, it delivered four drivers’ titles between 1990 and 1994, and while a one-year ban for Toyota in 1995 for the use of illegal turbo restrictors somewhat diluted the model’s success, few doubted its inherent pace and capabilities. The competition model was a deserving legend. 


And with the regulations of 1990s WRC requiring cars to share a significant portion of their technical makeup with road versions, a quick rally variant very often translated into something special on the road. The early Celica GT-Four Rally ST185 was a prime example, although the greatest from the early 90s was the JDM GT-Four RC, the road-going homologation version of championship winner Carlos Sainz’s rally car.

Production volumes of the JDM-only model had to hit 5,000 examples to meet FIA regulations and it built on the 225hp 2.0-litre turbo-powered ST185 base with a water-to-air intercooler, a redesigned bonnet vent for enhanced aerodynamics and lighter bodywork. It also got a short-shift gear lever, a competition clutch and triple cone synchromesh on second and third gears, to enable faster changes.


As a WRC homologation car, all Celica GT-Fours got a full-time four-wheel drive system with a viscous coupling limited slip differential in the centre, while top models got a Torsen rear differential as well. Combine those ingredients with pop-up headlights and a short coupe bodyshape and it’s not hard to see why so many fell for the Celica.

Toyota really got into its stride when the following sixth-generation Celica arrived in 1994. Power from the 3S-GTE four-pot engine was up to 255hp for JDM versions of the ST205 – cars to reach Australia and Europe (including the UK) had 242hp – and the 2,500 cars built for Group A homologation came with an anti-lag system, water injection and an extra intake on the bonnet to keep powertrain performance on the boil.


The result was a 1.3-tonne two-door with proper 1990s styling (look at that rear wing!), enough boost to sprint from 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds and the ability pull four-wheel drifts on demand. Only 300 examples of the ST205 made it to Europe, although a few JDM imports have followed to bolster the numbers. Still, just 30 GT-Fours are currently registered in the UK (according to HowManyLeft), less than a tenth of what existed here in 2001.

Today’s Spotted might increase that number to 31 because it’s a Japanese import that comes with all the usual claims of no rust and an immaculate underside. It’s a late 1998 model, the Final Revision, so comes in bells and whistles specification with the maximum 255hp JDM output, uprated suspension and bigger brakes. It also got a larger rear wing, side skirts and different bumpers.


This 65k-mile-old car appears to be absolutely immaculate inside and out, with white wheels you could eat your dinner off and seats that look like they’ve never been sat in. Heck, we even like the Playstation back window tints. For someone after a genuine 1990s WRC experience that’s still very slightly leftfield, look no further.


SPECIFICATIONS – TOYOTA GT-FOUR ST205

Engine: 1,998cc, 4-cyl turbo
Transmission: 5-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 255@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 224@4,000rpm
MPG: N/A
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1998 (JDM)
Recorded mileage: 65,000
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £16,495

See the original advert here.

Author
Discussion

quigonjay

Original Poster:

219 posts

163 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
This car has been for sale with Newera for at least five years. Maybe more.
Was £8500 back then when I was considering it, then £12500 for a couple of years, now double what it was originally.
I also think they are an underrated car but not to the level of being a collectors car like the asking price would suggest.

coldel

2,746 posts

88 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Ha not really spotted - unless you count only spotting it after 4+ years of it being on sale! I was looking for one of these back in 2015 and this was for sale at £8995 I think it was. The ad has been the same since then! Always priced around 60% higher than other cars, it's as if they don't want to sell or are just the worlds worst sales company!

I just sold my immaculate ST205 on here for £9k which I think is a good price for these, they are under appreciated as people throw ever more money at Supras. The car is good for a mild tune on stock engine to 330bhp which isnt bad for a car built in 1994.

cerb4.5lee

11,554 posts

122 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
I've driven one of these(UK spec) a couple of times and I enjoyed it. I always remember that it didn't feel as quick as I was expecting it to though.

Addymk2

270 posts

114 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Everything that dealer sells seems to be extremely ambitiously priced

sbk1972

154 posts

18 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Loved these back in the day. Looked at few before buying my Mkiv TT JDM supra. I wanted an auto :-)

Suspension refresh was key to these. Certain `8` bars or something in the suspension that was key.

Personally I would rather now go for a more modern Caldina. GT4 running gear in a near body / electrics.

Simon
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mradam

90 posts

36 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Oooh, how many times did I play Sega Rally on this in my childhood. My mum had a fourth gen ST182 in white on an H plate, I remember it had great performance (for the time) and was absolutely reliable, never faltered.

cookie1600

1,143 posts

103 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Cut the body off it and weld a mini 'shell on top.




Oh, hang on a minute......

DaveCWK

1,055 posts

116 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Good cars, but not at that price.

& the HowManyLeft data is wrong/misleading. There are hundreds still on the roads.

Edited by DaveCWK on Tuesday 11th June 12:50

coldel

2,746 posts

88 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
sbk1972 said:
Loved these back in the day. Looked at few before buying my Mkiv TT JDM supra. I wanted an auto :-)

Suspension refresh was key to these. Certain `8` bars or something in the suspension that was key.

Personally I would rather now go for a more modern Caldina. GT4 running gear in a near body / electrics.

Simon
Fig 8s. Those and a few other components of the superstrut front suspension are prone to wearing out (as most perishable suspension parts do) but the total replacement cost just for parts is circa £800-£1000 before you even pay to get someone to attempt to fit it all.

I did enjoy mine, it took in the NC500 and a Euro road trip with ease, air con was spot on and nice to have sunroof option as well.

McGtfour

126 posts

102 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
I've had two of these now and my current one still makes me smile. Its a strange old world when a terminally rusted and engined failed Nissan Sunny GTiR is worth more than my GT4, which as discussed above out of all the 'Group A' homologation models the GT4 did seem like a proper attempt from the looks and engineering point of view...

Whether it is seen as a curse or a benefit the kit these had on them from factory compared to others was quite substantial, Super-Strut suspension, twin entry ceramics turbo, chargecooler, pipework for Anti-Lag, Water Injection and Intercooler water spray. They even carried across all the little bits like the alternator cooling snorkel, bonnet spoiler etc...

One of the big draws for me which may again be one of its downfalls its its usability, compared to my previous Impreza's I have used mine all year round, on long road trips etc very easily. I am not saying you can't use a classic Impreza or others daily but the Celica makes it a lot more enjoyable. On the other hand the Impreza was quite a visceral experience!

They get a reputation for being expensive to maintain but once things like the clutch and superstrut suspension are out the way the 3sgte engine is pretty reliable and brakes, servicing is pretty normal; there is also a good private parts supply chain available.

As mentioned above the Newera one has been around a while and isn't a 'WRC' model but most of Newera's stuff is mega bucks.

Just my 2 pence worth!



SturdyHSV

6,307 posts

109 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
McGtfour said:
I've had two of these now and my current one still makes me smile. Its a strange old world when a terminally rusted and engined failed Nissan Sunny GTiR is worth more than my GT4, which as discussed above out of all the 'Group A' homologation models the GT4 did seem like a proper attempt from the looks and engineering point of view...

Whether it is seen as a curse or a benefit the kit these had on them from factory compared to others was quite substantial, Super-Strut suspension, twin entry ceramics turbo, chargecooler, pipework for Anti-Lag, Water Injection and Intercooler water spray. They even carried across all the little bits like the alternator cooling snorkel, bonnet spoiler etc...

One of the big draws for me which may again be one of its downfalls its its usability, compared to my previous Impreza's I have used mine all year round, on long road trips etc very easily. I am not saying you can't use a classic Impreza or others daily but the Celica makes it a lot more enjoyable. On the other hand the Impreza was quite a visceral experience!

They get a reputation for being expensive to maintain but once things like the clutch and superstrut suspension are out the way the 3sgte engine is pretty reliable and brakes, servicing is pretty normal; there is also a good private parts supply chain available.

As mentioned above the Newera one has been around a while and isn't a 'WRC' model but most of Newera's stuff is mega bucks.

Just my 2 pence worth!


Is the Castrol livery temptation particularly strong? hehe

knebworth01

57 posts

62 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Yes, great cars that were under the radar, although are now sadly starting to attract the attention of 'investors' since the mkIV Supra started going for daft sums. These are the next best thing.
I had a UK ST185 GT4 15 years ago, it was a great thing to drive, the grip was phenominal and it had pop up lights - so cool!
Sold that for £3k!

Dave Hedgehog

10,246 posts

146 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
article said:
Only 300 examples of the ST205 made it to Europe
Is that right? I bought 3 new ones (i was doing 30k a year at the time), A red homo one with big wing when they came out, then a black one then finally a white one.

So i had 1% of them???

Mr E

18,580 posts

201 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Dave Hedgehog said:
Is that right? I bought 3 new ones (i was doing 30k a year at the time), A red homo one with big wing when they came out, then a black one then finally a white one.

So i had 1% of them???
WRC spec ones, perhaps. I can’t believe there were only 300 total.

Mine went for nothing like the price asked for this one (a long time ago)

TartanPaint

1,289 posts

81 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
cookie1600 said:
Cut the body off it and weld a mini 'shell on top.




Oh, hang on several years......
Fixed that for you.

Water Fairy

2,881 posts

97 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
'A red homo one......' scratchchin

RedAndy

568 posts

96 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
cookie1600 said:
Cut the body off it and weld a mini 'shell on top.




Oh, hang on a minute......
ha ha! clap

RedAndy

568 posts

96 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
cerb4.5lee said:
I've driven one of these(UK spec) a couple of times and I enjoyed it. I always remember that it didn't feel as quick as I was expecting it to though.
the lad who bought mine turned up in his dad's Focus RS mk1 said the same. As he pulled away he left his dad for dead. They just didn't feel fast, but they absolutely were fast!

AMGSee55

119 posts

44 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Addymk2 said:
Everything that dealer sells seems to be extremely ambitiously priced

You’re not wrong - £17.5K for an E320 estate!!!! That even makes some of the Benz specialists look good value.

Dave Hedgehog

10,246 posts

146 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
RedAndy said:
cookie1600 said:
Cut the body off it and weld a mini 'shell on top.




Oh, hang on a minute......
ha ha! clap
ST185 as well :P