My Project Car: 86 Toyota Celica GTS

Here’s the story:

One of my extended family members had a 86 Toyota Celica sitting in his driveway, and one day I got bold enough to ask him about it. I had asked his wife about it, and finally I got to ask the man himself. My exact words were, “Hey. When you gonna come up off of that Celica?” He said, “Come and get it.” I then asked how much he wanted for it, and his reply? “I ain’t gonna do you like that.” In confusion, I then asked, “So if I pull up with a trailer, I can get it?” He said, “Yeah.” So, I got a buddy to help me move the car to my house, and a few weeks later, he signed over the title and I was the proud owner of a 86 Celica GTS, without having to pay anything up front! Score…

Little did I know, there was a hefty list of repairs that were needed before it would be a running, driving piece of metal.


The Celica had been sitting for a while. All of the tires were dry rotted, an old Nokia without an charger, had more charge than the car’s battery, the driver’s seat was broken, the clutch pedal dropped to the floor effortlessly, the windshield wipers had seen better days, and a list of other things. 

Here’s the list of parts I have replaced and repairs I’ve done:

  • Slave master cylinder
  • A line for the clutch fluid
  • Clutch master cylinder
  • Battery
  • A few fuses
  • Tires
  • Bled brakes
  • Starter
  • Windshield wipers (by far the easiest repair)
  • Radiator 
  • Thermostat 
  • Radiator hoses
  • Driver’s seat

The next major repair is the timing belt. I leave this fix for someone that is better equipped to do so. Not to mention, I really don’t feel like messing with it.

I will be posting the progress I make with the Celica as updates occur and videos will accompany the build. Those will be on Instagram @thecarfilesofficial and eventually the YouTube Page. Stay tuned!

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