Saturday, June 8, 2013

5k: Blue Plate Special: 1981 Toyota Celica ST Auto 72K Miles

Who doesn't love a good grandpa owned low mile classic sold at a super low price?  But today's feature is so low that we have to wonder if it is from a scammer trying to build up an email address database.  Take a look for yourself at this super clean 1981 Toyota Celica slushbox with only 72k miles for sale in Lomita, CA for $2750.  Tip from DT regular tipper Rod S.

Truth be told this car isn't far from the homes of several DT writers and it almost ended up in the personal collection of rotting, rotted and rotten junk that we call cars.  Seriously, buying an '81 Celica with original paint, clean interior and functioning engine/trans at this price is a misdemeanor carjacking offense in some states.

 Yeah, the big dirty, fun sucking elephant in the center hump is the auto-trans...but if it bugs you so much swap in a manual - should be a max $1k job for a skilled DIYer and you could probably piece it together and pay someone else to do the labor for $2k.  Less than $5k into a creamy low mile Celica is pure bacon.

It even wears the correct year of issue California blue plates (CA DMW firsted issued the 7 digit 1AAA000 blue plates in 1980), although the teal sticker does indicate a potentially lapsed (although if the sellers Camera has color issues it could be a blue 2014, but it really does look like teal 2012), but these are easy things to find out via the CA DMV website once you get the VIN.  

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  1. I would love to have this- but it would most likely end up with an ls1 and 6 speed (while retaining current exterior appearance) if I bought it. Best to wait for a worse one, so as not to destroy such a nice car.

  2. I'm not a fan of Toyotas (Citroen first, last and always) but this is a fairly attractive coupe with Toyota's legendary build quality and it's in pretty nice shape. This would be a perfect inexpensive second car or a go-to-school car.

  3. I know that Cali back taxes you for missed registration if you go to register the car in state. Does this only affect people buying the car in Cali? i.e. if your buying the car to take out of state you get to give Cali the finger?


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