Arizona

16 - 17 January 2014

Lot 43

1986 Toyota Celica IMSA GTO

To be auctioned on Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sold for $242,000

  • Chassis no. 86T-002


Est. 450 bhp, 2,090 cc turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 99.4 in.

  • Memorable history of collaboration between AAR and Toyota
  • Sold by Toyota to championship-winning driver Chris Cord
  • One of only three built for the 1986, 1987, and 1988 seasons


Automobile racing, like all other endeavors in the pursuit of speed, is a display of tension between the immovable forces of nature, human determination, and the framework by which opponents compete. It is the ever-changing tensions between those forces that produce in many the insatiable desire to race. Two men in particular are noteworthy, as they’ve always danced on the edge of what it means to compete with the very best.



In 1964, Dan Gurney and Carroll Shelby, both legends larger than this space provides, founded All American Racers (AAR) with the backing of Goodyear tires. From the outset, these seasoned competitors pursued victory with vigor, and by 1970, when Gurney bought out Shelby’s stake, AAR had won as a constructor in both Formula One and Indy Car.



By the early ’80s, the team had won in competitions around the world. Their history of success no doubt attracted Toyota, who was eager to build a racing program around the Celica, to promote the car’s sporting credentials in the United States. While Toyota enjoyed prior success on the world stage in endurance racing and rallying, the most visible road racing series at the time was the IMSA GT Championship.



In 1983, AAR and Toyota entered a partnership to compete in the series’ entry-level GTU class, and by 1985, they had won 10 races. Coinciding with the launch of the next-generation T160 Celica, the decision was made to move up and compete in the GTO, or Grand Touring Over 2.5 liters, class. Here we must mention the framework of competition: the road going Celica was a front-drive compact car, but its competitors in GTO would be the Ford Mustang, the Porsche 911, the Chevrolet Corvette, and other such machines.



This car, chassis 86T-002, was completed in July 1986 and built to, and beyond, the framework of the rulebook. At its heart was the legendary four-cylinder Toyota T engine, which, in various forms, saw duty in everything from Formula Two, Formula Three, Group B rally, and World Rally Championship competition.



The GTO implementation made near 600 horsepower before IMSA-mandated restrictions were added. In a 1999 interview with Sports Compact Car, Gurney describes the IMSA GTO as being “...pretty good, a hairy motor. It was enough to get the job done!”



It is a Celica in name only. In truth, AAR built a tubular space frame machine that had a rear-drive chassis, a rear-mounted Hewland transaxle, and enough bodywork modifications to make a plastic surgeon blush.



After the program concluded in 1989, this car was sold directly by Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. to their championship-winning driver Chris Cord, and it now incorporates all of the latest performance developments, including a revised suspension setup, a carbon fiber body and driveshaft, a more robust gearbox, and aerodynamic improvements. With only three owners from new, including Toyota, this mighty Celica IMSA GTO is being offered from a prominent Southern California collection.



It represents an opportunity to own a championship-winning design that remained competitive until taking its very last checkered flag—not to mention one that’s a rare example of a successful partnership between American engineering talent and Japanese muscle.



This is a race car and will, therefore, be sold on a Bill of Sale.

Addendum

Please note that this car is accompanied with numerous additional parts including a spare engine, three front bumper air dams, a front and rear clip, a set of four wheels, and five sets of tires, amongst others. For a complete list of spares, please consult an RM Specialist.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

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United Kingdom

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Germany

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

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Don Rose

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Florida, USA

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

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Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more