The 1991 Toyota Celica GT-FOUR RC may not immediately ring a bell for some of the younger readers but trust us when we tell you that this car is not only legendary but it is also an absolute JDM unicorn car.
We’ll explain why in a bit but first let’s have a quick history lesson first. Back in the late 80s going into the early 90s Toyota was dominating in WRC. Yeah, Subaru wasn’t the only JDM company to kick ass in rally racing.
In order to compete in the WRC manufactures can only race cars based on models they actually sell. Since Toyota wanted to win, they needed to produce a rally-inspired road car version of what they raced; which was the Toyota Celica.
History of the Toyota Celica GT-FOUR RC
Thus, the Celica GT-FOUR (named “All-Trac” for the American market) was born. The Celica GT-FOUR/All-Trac is an all-wheel-drive, turbocharged variant of the base Celica.
The easy way to tell a base Celica from a GT-FOUR/All-Trac version is the redesigned bumper and the hood scoop which funnels air to the top-mounted intercooler.
Now during this glorious time of AWD, turbo’d 90s Celicas, a variant was produced for the Japan, European, and Australian markets. In Japan the variant is known as the Toyota Celica GT-FOUR RC, in Australia it was dubbed the “Group A Rallye”, and in Europe and Singapore it was called the Carlos Sainz Limited Edition.
If you’re scratching your head wondering why a rally-inspired car from the 90s is named after a current F1 driver, that’s because the F1 driver is actually Carlos Sainz Jr. His father Carlos Sainz Sr. is a two-time WRC champion and drove for Toyota in the iconic Celica during the 90s.
How is a GT-FOUR RC different from a regular GT-FOUR?
Well it mostly adds up to small subtle differences. First, the air-to-air intercooler is swapped out for an air-to-water intercooler which is better optimized for competitive use, the air scoop is swapped for an air vent to evacuate hot air from the engine bay, the front bumper is lighter with more ventilation, it has a short shifter, reduced clutch pedal throw, triple cone synchromesh on gears 2 and 3, and finally a numbered plaque on the center console for authenticity.
Only 5,000 of these variants were made. Of those, 1,800 went to Japan as GT-FOUR RC models, 3,000 went to Europe as Carlos Sainz limited edition models, 150 went to Australia as Group A Rallye models, 25 went to Singapore as Sainz limited models, and the remaining 25 were sold in “general markets”.
How to buy a Toyota Celica GT-FOUR RC
If you want to own a super rare piece of JDM history and you live in the states, the opportunity has presented itself. Right now at TopRank Importers (famous for importing early model GT-Rs), a 1991 JDM-spec Toyota Celica GT-FOUR RC is available for sale.
The car is completely stock and looks like it’s in pretty good condition. It only has 88,000 miles on the clock which works out just 2,933 miles a year over the car’s 30 year lifespan.
As you can see in the pictures this particular example is sprayed in factory grey paint and is equipped with white 5-spoke OZ wheels which came stock on the JDM variants.
Unfortunately TopRank didn’t take any shots of the interior but we imagine it is fairly similar to a standard 1991 Celica with the exception of being right-hand-drive and the limited edition plaque.
How much is it?
Yeah, we think this is one of those “if you have to ask…” situations. TopRank Importers does not have a listed price for this vehicle and instead requests interested buyers to call them instead.
Generally, that means the price will be hefty. Though to be fair, a car this rare is likely to hold or even go up in value over time. We’re definitely going to be jealous of the lucky buyer who gets to pick up this gem!
[Source: TopRank Importers]