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2000 Toyota Celica 190 owned 2006 - 2007
 

                                  

 

+
Totally reliable
Docile below 6k revs, screams at 8k!
Different, not often seen on track
Practical, being a hatchback
 
-
Poor gear ratios make it hard work at times to drive fast
Understeer and more understeer on track
Very poor headroom for me due to sunroof
Revs too high on motorway in 6th gear

                                     

 
I had never before been interested in buying a Toyota, but the Celica with this engine was an interesting alternative to the norm. The business was going well at car shows and I needed more space than the Clio could provide. Surprisingly I could fit more in the Celica. This was a a high mileage car, needing new tyres and shocks as a result. I bought the rear end of a broken car and transplanted the bits across (by now I was becoming a bit more handy) and added Koni adjustable shocks and springs. These new bits, geometry set up and Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres totaly transformed the handling, although still resulted in understeer on the limit. This proved very frustrating/boring on track, and meant you had to trail brake into every corner. This was the final straw, I HAD to get rear wheel drive in my next car!

                                              

 

The Celica did plenty of trackdays and filming trips, including to Spa again. Its highlight was filming for McLaren Mercedes and ITV in 2007 for the F1 introduction to the Spanish Grand Prix, where I filmed then world champion Fernando Alonso at Goodwood.

                

 

Sold with over 160,000 miles on the clock, it still drove like a car with half its miles, the only sign of wear being a slight crunch from 4th gear. This car impressed me so much I ultimately came to work for Toyota.