Words by Warren Madsen
Here's two nice examples of the increasingly rare MK3 Celica that will make you wonder why Toyota ever gave up. Take a proven inline 4 cylinder engine, combine that with a manual transmission and rear wheel drive, wrap it in a chiseled shell and you have the last Celica worth talking about. Throw in fender flares and pop-up headlights for good measure.
Sweet: fairly bulletproof 22R/E engine with sporty, understated styling and not something you see everyday. Great starter car for the beginning enthusiast/young driver. Won't get you in too much trouble. Tune-up parts available anywhere. A new cylinder head costs $500. Decent MPG. For this price, whats not to like?
Bummer: cheap interiors are rattle prone. Some parts are getting hard to find and smog can be an issue on worn motors. Rust concerns. No one will get that excited at cars and coffee. Losing drag races.
Awesome: great entry level collector car in coupe or convertible form. Going up in value, even if very slowly.
Upgrade options: sky's the limit (turbo's, JDM everything, etc) but it's only original once.
DWA values: we've seen them as much as $9k for a very low mileage black convertible but that ad lingered for many weeks. Around $3000 should buy a decent car that will be fun to drive and hold it's value. Buy the nicest example you can afford.