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1985 Toyota Celica Supra With Corvette 350 V8: Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

Posted in eBay Motors, General, Toyota by Kurt Ernst | February 22nd, 2010 | 4 Responses |
2005 Toyota Celica Supra

Dents or just bad photography?

When Toyota introduced the Mark II Celica Supra to the US in 1982, it didn’t look like anything else on the street. The clean lines and sporty stance were a direct departure from earlier Supra models, which were more about luxury than about performance. The Mark IIs flared fenders, rear spoiler, wide alloy wheels and sloping nose said that Toyota was taking aim at the sports car market in the US.

1985 Toyota Celica Supra

1980s interior did not age gracefully

Unfortunately, the car’s styling wrote checks the 2.8 liter inline six motor couldn’t cash. Good for only 145 horsepower at the car’s launch, it had a hard time propelling the Supra’s 3,000 pound mass to speed. Zero to sixty times were sub-ten seconds, but just barely. Handling was typical of front engine, rear drive cars at the time; with most of the weight up front, the car was prone to understeer despite Lotus’ involvement in the suspension development.

1985 Toyota Celica Supra

A little fabric paint and she's good as new.

Later years saw increases in horsepower, and by 1985 the Supra made 161 hp and was now capable of sub 8.5 second runs to 60 mph. Styling that had been fresh at launch was beginning to look dated, and slumping sales led to dealer overstock of Celica Supras. In 1986, the the Mark II Supra was replaced by an all new Mark III Supra.

1985 Toyota Celica Supra

Braille door panels are an owner installed upgrade

Fast forward twenty five years to 2010. Let’s say you had a tired but cherished 1985 Celica Supra in your garage, and you wanted to freshen it up a bit. Would you pull the stock motor and go for a rebuild? Drop in a Mark III motor for a bit more power? Build up a radical Mazda 13B rotary motor for something REALLY different? Actually, the correct answer for this car is “D, none of the above”. Instead, a former owner chose to drop in a 350 V8 from a 1994 Corvette donor car. If the ad’s numbers are genuine, it’s making 330 horsepower in current tune and should be able to shred the 225/60-14 rear tires in short order.

Corvette 350 in 1985 Toyota Celica Supra

A 350 V8? How did that get in there?

First the bad news, the car is seriously dated, and now looks about a stylish as a Flock-of-Seagulls haircut and a white linen waiter’s jacket over a pastel t-shirt. The interior is dark red in some spots and sun faded in others and the body appears to have a fair amount of dings and dents. The car had about 200k on the clock when the motor swap was done, so who knows how rattle free the unibody will be? How about the suspension? Was it beefed up to handle the weight of the V8 motor? The selling company claims that “everything works”, and there are 18k miles on the conversion so most of the bugs have been worked out; still, when something does go wrong, where do you go to get it wrenched on?

1985 Toyota Celica Supra

225 wide tires won't last long - buy 'em by the six pack

Now the good news: the seller will gladly part with it for the low, low sum of only $9,388. As long as you can get by the truly ugly interior, don’t mind the scars of parking lot battles lost and are willing to replace rear tires on a weekly basis, only you can decide if that’s a fair price for this aged-but-funky hoon-mobile.

Source: Bring A Trailer

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4 Responses

  1. 02cougarc2 says:

    i bet you these 350 waps are going to start popping up all over all. Shouldnt be that surprising considering all the V8 180Z cars

  2. arnold says:

    whoever wrote this was a douche…

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      I wrote it arnold – big ’80s Supra fan, are you?

      The world would be a pretty dull place if we all liked the same things, so remember that before you call someone a douche for not seeing things the way you do.

      • Johnson says:

        I agree, you’re a douche. Obviously ignorant, too. I’m sure you’ve never driven one to know that they’re quite nice cars. And a sbc weighs little more than the original 5m.