Former and current Toyota driver Neal Bates started his rally career over 20 years ago. While that seems like a long time to have been racing, even back then a 1980 Toyota Celica was pretty old school. Mr. Bates and his friends at Toyota set out to prove that the old Celica is still cool by giving the RA40 dirt runner a full restore ahead of its ARC debut in Melbourne.

Bates, Coral Taylor and the 32-year-old Celica took first in the opening round of the 2012 Australian Rally Championship, and if you watch the video below, you'll see why. Bates put the beefed-up Celica through its paces, and it looks like he hasn't lost a step.


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  • 25 Comments
      Nowuries
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, a car video that lets you enjoy the sound of the car... amazing!!! Thanks for the post, it was awesome!
      WindsWilling
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ah yes, back when Toyota was coming of it's own, then the following decade was the most exciting "obtainable" car auto maker out there. When everyone envied them for their All-Trac/GT-Four, MR2 Turbo, and Supra Turbo. Then they decided one day towards the final hours of said decade, "You know what, let turn our brand into the Buick/Mercury of Japanese cars". And here we are, still waiting for them to make a car I could actually care about again.
      Danaon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wish we had Toyotas like that today. That car sounds glorious.
      artandcolour2010
      • 2 Years Ago
      I loved Celicas up until 1985, the rear wheel drive versions. Once they went to fwd in '86, they lost me, even with those rare awd versions. I had '83 and '85 GTSs, one notchback and one liftback.
      miketim1
      • 2 Years Ago
      One of the many reason I loveToyota
        David J. Bernstein
        • 2 Years Ago
        @miketim1
        What? Because of rallying? Then you should be loving LANCIA. They have far more rallying victories than Toyota. Toyota isn't even close.
          aatbloke1967
          • 2 Years Ago
          @David J. Bernstein
          "You're forgetting about the Lancer Evolution which won 3 back to back Championships in WRC. That hardly goes unnoticed since Toyata has NEVER won 3 consecutive championships" I'm not forgetting anything. I'm talking about overall success, not just the championship that these days constitutes the WRC.
          AJ
          • 2 Years Ago
          @David J. Bernstein
          wasn't aware that such things required your consent.
      Charles
      • 2 Years Ago
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      YohDawg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Damn that is nice. ***OT*** I would love to see the full thread of this rebuild but this site always wets my appetite http://www.mat.fi/n_index.php?nav=gallery_view&gallery=projecttoyotacelicaturbotc35&g=13 There are some really nice machines that they've had the honor of full restorations. Should keep you busy for a couple of months if you're into this stuff...
      CarCrazy24
      • 2 Years Ago
      What a cool Celica, sounds great too
      Prince David
      • 2 Years Ago
      wow that's a Toyota?
        haleff3
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Prince David
        Yes. as u may know toyota also have a rich racing heritage.
          axiomatik
          • 2 Years Ago
          @haleff3
          That they stubbornly ignored for 20 years.
          miketim1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @haleff3
          "ignored" umm 2008 ISF ? Lexus LFA, 2013 Lexus GS F-Sport, rwd GT86, ISx50 F-Sport
        miketim1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Prince David
        " wow that's a Toyota? " Im guessin your born yesterday
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Koppers
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ha, I thought that was the whole reason.!
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