1985 Toyota Celica GT-S 22R-E, 2.4 from North America


Great "sleeper" performance car with a power-train tough enough to be used in the truck line-up.


I bought the car for $1000 knowing that it needed some work.

The steering had a lot of free-play so I replaced the rack-and-pinion unit (which was worn and leaking fluid) as well as the shocks/struts with koni/kyb units respectively.

I also replaced the cylinder head which had a cracked valve and worn valve stem seals.

While the engine was torn apart I replaced all the timing components and oil pump.

Replaced the clutch after I destroyed it while practicing 180 degree turnarounds at speed with the handbrake.

Lastly, 4 new Falken Ziex ZE-502 tires on those beautiful 14"x7" alloy wheels.

The above cost around $1000, mainly for parts having done most the work myself.

There is still a little slop in the steering so near future plans include ball joints, wheel bearings, bushings.

Will probably also replace the brake rotors/pads.

General Comments:

I noticed one survey noted they thought this model was built with rallying in mind, I concur and bought the car with that in mind. I have participated in SCCA RallyCross events with this car usually beating at least a few of the all-wheel-drive Subaru's. I hope to eventually get rally tires, a roll-cage, and some safety equipment installed so I can really rally it.

The 22R-E engine was used in Toyota Trucks through 1995, so parts and performance mods are readily available.

This car had in 1985 many features that are still considered desirable today and found mainly only in performance cars such as :

4 wheel disc brakes

Independent rear suspension

Rack-and-pinion steering

Close ratio 5spd transmission

8-way adjustable seats

A mere.34 drag coefficient

Wide 60 series tires on 14"x7" wheels (lots of imports cars then had 13-14" by 4-5.5" wide wheels)

Interior includes:

Tilt wheel

AM/FM Cassette stereo with graphic equalizer and Dolby noise reduction

Rear defrost and wiper with it's own washer fluid system

Retractable cargo cover in hatch area to guard against prying eyes

Power windows, locks, mirrors.

One thing that does annoy me is that if you open the door while the ignition is on, when you close the door it locks. I can appreciate Toyota efforts here though since '85 was when car-jackings were getting started. It's funny though now because my past '95 and current '01 Toyota Tacoma's won't let you close a locked door while the engine is running, it automatically unlocks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th May, 2005

10th May 2005, 16:04

How much do you think it would be to replace the head on a 1991 Celica? Did you get an estimate, because I'm looking at one that needs a head.

26th Nov 2005, 20:27

Good review, I have an 84 GTS which I just paid 1,800.00 for. It is mechanically sound at 193,000 miles. It has the 5 speed stick shift and is white with blue interior.

I got lucky with this one, it's an original California car bought right here in my town according to the original owners manual. The only unusual thing about it is it had way too much oil in the pan when I bought it, about 1/2 an inch over the full mark on the dipstick. Does anyone find this unusual? I drained nearly a quart of oil out of it.

Also has anyone put in 5W-30 oil in their older Celica? Just wondering if it would help or hurt the small engine?

Again good review, for an old car these cars are great.

26th Jan 2006, 01:35

4 Wheel disc brakes? Independent rear suspension? You sure you're not driving a Celica Supra? Or did you swap the rear end out of one?

16th Apr 2006, 16:22

The Celica GTS came from the factory with 4 wheel disc and IRS. The only difference from the Supra was the engine, an inline 6 on the Supra and different rear diff gearing.

1985 Toyota Celica GT 2.4L 4 cylinder from North America


This is the best first car I could have asked for!


Many things have gone wrong with this car, however many of them were my fault due to mistreatment.

Left wheel strut went out soon after I got it (my fault)

Speedometer cable broke (it got snagged on a rock and ripped off.. again, my fault)

Various unusual electrical problems. IE my stereo and horn would not work unless the lights were turned on. Also my parking and tail lights would not turn off.

Headlights would not close.

I hit a rock and dented my oil pan, which somehow lead to no oil pressure. After I replaced the oil pan it was fine. (My Fault)

Transmission fluid leaks due to the fact that I accidentally ripped off the dipstick line. I attempted to fix with duck tape and super glue. it leaks slowly, but still runs fine. (My Fault)

Brake master cylinder went out at about 170,000 miles.

Air conditioner stopped working, but it just needed a freon recharge.

I have noticed a slight knocking noise under the hood, but engine still runs strong.

I've gone through many tires and rims (due to my love of taking my car off-roading)

General Comments:

This car has been to hell and back MANY times. In fact I think it's practically got a summer home there. This car off-roads better than most 2WD trucks I've encountered (the only drawback is it's low ground clearance). What I love about this car is that it just keeps going and going. it puts the Energizer Bunny to shame.

One time a buddy of mine was driving and decided to try and take a 90 degree turn at 60. It obviously did not make the turn and we ended up going up an 8 foot dirt and rock embankment. the car was on the verge of flipping, but the engine was still running and all we had to do was reverse down it. that blew the tire, but there was nothing else wrong.

There have also been 2 occations where my car was teeter tottering on a 10 foot ledge with no tires touching the ground. I just pushed the car off, and drove it away.

I've made it up dirt hills in this thing that I've seen brand new Rangers and F-150's get stuck on. this thing handles increadible on dirt and has more than enough power.

I guess the point I'm trying to make with those stories is that this car will take WHATEVER beating you give it and just take it like a champ.

This car is also very quick (for it's class). I've raced Brand new Civics, Corollas, and even an early 90's F150 and won. Not to mention my car is an automatic, which greatly reduces the off the line speed.

This was also the last year that Toyota made the Celica rear wheel drive. this makes it an excellent drift car. I believe it was designed to be a rally car back in the day. if it wasn't then they did a great job of it without even trying.

I only paid $900 for this car it's lasted me about a year and a half now and I would definetly advise anybody out there to buy this car. This car is simply amazing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th March, 2005