1988 Toyota Celica GT 3SFE from North America


I miss it quite a lot


I was starting to get a bit overwhelmed by the structural work required, put it up for sale when the muffler exploded, and then someone hit it (for the second time, in a year, while she was parked and minding her own business!)

General Comments:

I gave into an impulse and paid too much for car which turned out to have 9 previous owners. I still cried when I said goodbye to it (insurance wanted to fix it, I am unemployed and didn't have anyone lined up to at least buy it for the multitude of new mechanical parts I put on it in three years).

She was great in the snow, and even underwater (*cough*)

Even though the seats were worn out, I still found that I wanted a drive when my back was hurting.

Overall, considering age and condition, an amazingly tolerant and pretty reliable car. Many of the parts were put on because I wanted to replace them before they became a problem, very few actual 'fixings' required.

Gas economy was unbelievable in a car this age, I'm still not over the shock of putting gas in the late model American cars I'm borrowing from family.

I'm not so sure about the reliability ratings on the last generation of Celicas, but I definitely want another one - not a Supra, as I want another daily driver which scoffs at snow, starts on the first key turn @-20 C without an engine heater, carries a s$#%load of stuff, and has too-fun pop-up headlights. Oh yeah, and the sunroof, A/C and heat all worked fine to the bitter, bitter end.

Mine was not an AWD or GTS, but I had a lot of fun in a car that, like the MAC/PC thing, just generally did whatever I asked without fuss.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th June, 2008

1988 Toyota Celica GT Convertible from North America


This car is the best


I have had to replace the convertible cover.

The two back side windows won't go down - I have fins.

The interior is badly worn; little pieces of trim have fallen off.

General Comments:

I love this car. It is all I ever want in a car.

It's fun to drive - especially now that I live in the mountains of North Carolina -- with the top down cruising at 50 (that's fast for me) life is good. I wish it and I could go on forever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd June, 2008

15th Jul 2011, 10:38

I bought my 1988 Celica GT convertible brand new, and still have it. I've stored it every winter, and had a ground up restoration done about 5 years ago. It has 72,000 miles and is a dream to drive. I've spent very little for repairs. I'm hoping to keep it another 20 years!

26th Dec 2013, 16:41

I am the original poster with some updates. The car has started to cost me some money. The fly wheel plate, starter, power steering pump, and AC compressor all needed replacement. All that said, it's now at 76,000 miles and I have no intention of selling. Being 25 years old, it's fun to display at car shows. I get many inquiries about it. Parts are getting difficult to find.

1988 Toyota Celica ST 2.0 from North America


The guy I finally sold it to for $200 committed suicide... I can't help, but feel partly responsible


Better Question: What didn't go wrong with the car?

Burned insane amounts of oil.

Neither A/C nor heater worked--especially fun in winter!

Radio fell out of the dashboard.

Clutch slipped out of 5th gear--had to hold shift lever in place with hand on long trips.

Engine would run so hot that you could fry an egg on the hood in the dead of winter.

Burned through six (yes, SIX) ignition coils.

Accelerator stuck on multiple occasions, terrifying myself and other motorists.

Engine idle was very high and according to two different mechanics, could not be fixed.

Sunroof leaked constantly, even in periods of drought meaning cold showers on the way to work, school, etc.

Pop-up headlights had to literally be beat into submission.

Usually took at least three tries to get started.

Sometimes had to bang on starter to get started...embarrassing.

General Comments:

I needed a cheap car for college and the Celica was sporty-looking and seemed to be in good shape. Plus I thought that Toyotas were supposed to have a good reputation as being reliable cars. I realize that this was already an older car when I finally acquired it, but give me a break! I have had other older, high-mileage cars that didn't have 1/10th as many problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st August, 2007

7th Oct 2007, 10:44

Ummm...when you buy a car that hasn't been taken care of all it's life, you're going to have lots of problems. There's no point ragging on the car for the problems, rag on all the previous owners who didn't take care of it. It also sounds like you are right up there with those people who don't know how to take care of a car. You should probably stick to Chevy Cavilers.

And as far as the suicide comment, that has no place here.

27th Dec 2013, 15:34

What concerns me is driving a car with a sticking accelerator multiple times. Imagine someone on a crosswalk. It's pretty irresponsible driving with this as an issue. My friend's dad had a stuck accelerator from a broken motor mount, and took out a light pole at our high school graduation. How no one was killed is amazing in itself. I've bought a couple real lemons myself, but resisted suicide.