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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Saw this gem in the ads this week randomly and just realized I should probably finally buckle down and get a Celica either this year or (most likely) next. I love my Camry, but I don't like the gold color granny look and thought of doing an expensive paint job on it. At this point I think I really should be thinking about a car I would love to own and would be a fun and reliable daily opposite my Supra.

Just wondering if y'all had any thoughts on the 2000-2004 Celicas? I think they are hilariously aggressive consitering how conservative they are in power (compared to the Japanese 90's models.) But they seriously look good and seem very fun to drive for what should be a very reliable Toyota. Not sure if I should be looking out for GTS models or not or if it's even remotely worth it. Again just looking to replace my gem of a camry with only 73K miles which is kind of a hard sell when you consider I'll have to settle for a Celica with at LEAST 50K more miles than it. But I think if I do this right, it may be the right choice.

As a side note, I think it would be absolutely hilarious/fun to get a full castrol rally wrap on one just for laughs. There is probably no template for that kind of thing, but just something I was thinking of haha.
Vehicle Wheel Tire Car Hood
 

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Never had one or even driven one, but I think they're way underappreciated and deserve more recognition, and people saving the good ones. There is a blue one of that gen down the street from me that I always think looks pretty damn cool when I run by.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had a 2001 GTS for 3ish years. If you’re going to get one, go that route. The GT isn’t worth it and you’ll get to enjoy the 6spd with the GTS. Cold air intake (Injen) and a TRD exhaust, made the car sound great, especially when the “lift” kicked in.
Holy MOLY That car is slick, DaTaSPiKe! Yeah GTS would be cool. I've heard things like you need to replace the lower engine oil squirters or something like that on them?
Anyhow, they seem like cool cars. I have yet to see a GTS come up, they would probably be more than my damn MK3 Supra lol. We'll see what I can find when I can afford it.

Never had one or even driven one, but I think they're way underappreciated and deserve more recognition, and people saving the good ones. There is a blue one of that gen down the street from me that I always think looks pretty damn cool when I run by.
It's funny because my mom's first and only new car was a 78' Celica, but she didn't keep it very long (too bad, probably worth a mint now) I've seen these late model Celicas around every once in a while and though they looked really cool, but just dismissed them for some reason. Thinking of them as a daily now, I think you can't really do much better at all. I wouldn't mind even settling for a GT despite DaTaSPiKe's suggestion, but it all depends on what's out there and the milage/price.
 

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For a small car, i would go SW20 with a 3sgte or kswap. I have seen non turbos go for under 10k. Another 10k into it and youll habe a mid engine/rear wheel drive rocket ship.
 

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I love those Celica body styles, and they look great with that wing.
I'm a big toyota fan-boy lately, but if I were going for a reliable FWD sporty car for daily, in similar age/spec as the last Celica...I personally would prefer an RSX Type S. It also has a 6-speed.
It would have a displacement advantage, tuning advantage due to the huge K20 aftermarket support, and I think the interior is way better. I think they would be equally hard to find a good, non-abused version, but they are still out there on either FB marketplace or clubrsx.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I love those Celica body styles, and they look great with that wing.
I'm a big toyota fan-boy lately, but if I were going for a reliable FWD sporty car for daily, in similar age/spec as the last Celica...I personally would prefer an RSX Type S. It also has a 6-speed.
It would have a displacement advantage, tuning advantage due to the huge K20 aftermarket support, and I think the interior is way better. I think they would be equally hard to find a good, non-abused version, but they are still out there on either FB marketplace or clubrsx.
Never even knew about this car, would blend in with most other things on the road to me. You're right it's much nicer inside as It's pretty much a luxury car of it's day. Only examples I'm seeing around here have a mountain of miles and they are asking quite a bit. Honestly as much as I would like to mess around with tuning, that's really what the Supra is for (as of course you know...still can't believe you are doing your own wiring harness, absolutely crazy.) And even then I'm pretty much just leaving her at bone stock 7M-GE because prices to do otherwise are insane.

Also I like the proposition of keeping it a Toyota with low enough miles that's cheap enough to fix. But I'll keep an eye out for what you suggested as well.
Best of luck with your build, btw. You're going to knock it out of the park!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Land vehicle


Found this while I was fantasy shopping around. Absolutely unreal. Right out of Fast and the Furious 1. I love it despite the mileage.
If I got one of these things, I'd have to mod the headlights, replace the taillights, side markers, lower with coilovers, and do new wheels/tires anyway, so I'm thinking I might want something a bit more done like this one, not sure yet.

Anyway it's all moot because I won't be able to afford it until I sell the Camry and then I'm just stuck with the Supra until I make a choice, so I wouldn't want that to be too long. Plus I haven't driven stick since I learned to drive so that is kind of embarrassing. Not even sure how I would get used to that again. Certainly don't want to show up to buy a fancy car and barely be able to drive it lol.
 

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Never even knew about this car, would blend in with most other things on the road to me.
The engine in the RSX-S (Japanese Integra Type-R (almost)) is what pushed me to buy a Honda back in 2005. I swapped a motor from one into a 2100 lb CRX chassis (not stripped) and ran 12s all day basically stock on street tires, and got almost 40 mpg. The K-series Honda engine is legendary for how strong it is, but you have to do your research if you want to play with them. The (Zenkei) K20A2 and (Kouki) K20Z1 that came in the RSX-S has all of the forged components that the Japanese Type-R engine has, and with just valve springs and larger injectors, can handle 800 whp on a modified OEM (Hondata) ECU. If you want something reliable, look for those in good shape, or used six speed TSX (best K24 engine).

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Regarding the Celica, I would only be looking for a stock, low mileage, GTS. The engines in these cars aren't great. Had a lot of them come through my brother's shop with jumped timing or just blown up in general bone stock.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Regarding the Celica, I would only be looking for a stock, low mileage, GTS. The engines in these cars aren't great. Had a lot of them come through my brother's shop with jumped timing or just blown up in general bone stock.
Yeah I've heard a lot about the oil squirters or lower oil pan in these things not being quite right?

I mean I would adore a GTS, but it's a balance to me how much it is worth it since it has more issues. Would be extremely cool to have a gts I didn't need to mess with, or just get fixed proper once that would last a very long time. If not, maybe it's not the car for me as a daily opposite the Supra.
 

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The 2000s Hondas and Acuras are highly slept on, and a lot of them share parts. You're not going to get the same amount of long term parts availability if you buy the Toyota.
If you want a car to drive and later mod or whatever, get the Honda/Acura. If you want to bet on an investment, buy a low mileage GTS in a rare option and sit on it.
 

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I've heard from my friend before, who had the same gen Celica, that the 1ZZ in those Celica's have piston ring issues. Something about how Yamaha engineered the rings to be pre-broken in or something, so the rings go out. I'm not sure if that's select years or what.

As said before, I think the RSX-S would be a better go to, but they are usually beat up to hell and 180k+ miles.

Data's had a nice one too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I've heard from my friend before, who had the same gen Celica, that the 1ZZ in those Celica's have piston ring issues. Something about how Yamaha engineered the rings to be pre-broken in or something, so the rings go out. I'm not sure if that's select years or what.
As said before, I think the RSX-S would be a better go to, but they are usually beat up to hell and 180k+ miles.
Data's had a nice one too.
2ZZ (GTS) is the one Yamaha made the head for. As far as I know 1ZZ is 100% Toyota. But you are right, from what I researched the 1999-2002 or 3 burn oil. It was mostly fixed in some of the last years.

You guys really love the RSX-S! I see some for sale around here, but it's in the same trap all Hondas seem to be, beat to hell or super high miles.
This one looks nice, but $8K for 212K miles? Feels like I won't be a touching a reasonable miles one for anything remotely near what a nice Celica GT would cost. I did see some in seattle with reasonable miles but in the $10-$12K range. Way more than I'm looking to spend for a DD right now.
 

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Whatever you do, don't get any of these options in an automatic, it just doesn't fit the character of the car. Particularly in the case of the Celica GTS, the auto has suuuuuuuuuuper long gears. You get to experience the high lift portion of the powerband in first gear, and only first gear, at highway legal speeds. If I recall the vvti didn't kick into the high lift portion in second gear until something like 75, 80mph? It was awful for real world driving. "Fake boost" my friend who owned it called it.
 
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