A few weeks ago we ran a little piece on an AW11 MR2 owned by a Speedhunters reader from Australia. In that post made the observation that the MR2 is doesn’t quite get the attention it deserves compared to other cars from the era. The same can also be said for another Toyota enthusiast machine – the Celica All Trac or Celica GT-Four, depending on what part of the world you’re from.
Despite success in rally racing, for some reason AWD Celica never quite earned the same popularity as its rivals from Subaru and Mitsubishi. Even so, there are still some very dedicated All Trac enthusiasts out there and one of them is Speedhunters reader John Clayton from Arizona.
John has owned this 1991 All Trac since 2005 and since then he’s built it into what has to be one of the most impressive Celicas in the United States.
During the course of his journey with the car, John has the rebuilt the motor twice – eventually getting it to the state you see here. The 3SGTE has been stroked to 2.2 liters and is fed by a GT35R turbo making 18 pounds of boost. Power figures are just under 400 at the wheels.
Besides the engine work, he’s also added coilovers, upgraded bushings, and performance brake pads all around. He also has three different sets of wheels for the car, though I have to say it actually looks very good on factory 15″ alloys.
Exterior-wise, John has added a hood and front bumper from a Carlos Sainz Edition Celica, along with tail lights, corner lights, and turn signals from a JDM model.
As you can see from the photos, it appears to snow quite a bit in the part of Arizona where John lives. All the better for having some all-wheel-drive fun.
One of the best parts of this build is the fact that John did it all himself. Everything from the engine build to the body work and paint.
It’s been a long process, but he says that with each thing he’s done to the car he loves it more and more.
Thanks for sharing John, and we can’t wait to see what else you have in store for this thing.
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I have not been to the site for some time until the AW11 coverage. Then I noticed the love for the Alltrac/GTFour. I own two first gen MR2s because they are a hoot to drive and aside from the awesome 80s rust are simple to fix and maintain. I also own a 1990 Celica Alltrac that is aptly named The Money Pit (So many goodies). I believe most owners really love the car for the rarity and heritage.
Its funny, just a few days ago I was thinking how Celica All-Tracs are a real gem of the '90s. I totally want one!
Very nice a true tuner classic! Fast foward 20 years and Toyota gives us the non-turbo 200hp RWD teeny bopper pile, I long miss the days of the Toyotas past.
Nice one!!! Not a car I'd usually look twice at, a bit new for me but I'm sure it'd be a hoot to drive. And looks a lot better than standard even though the modifications are fairly 'tame' visually.
Maybe we can get a full feature on Johnny Milner's Celica, the ultimate!!! This red one btw is awesome.
Nothing like KKK at maximum attack in the ST185 with Grist sitting shotgun. The sound of the engine blasting through the xtrac h-pattern ultra close gearbox on tarmac sends chills down me spine!
I've own one almost one year, an RHD GT-Four A. This car is a pain to work on, so you did a great job on everything on this car. Soo fun to drive on the gravel, you feel it that it was made for that! Unfortunately I was broke and a GT-Four is time and cash consuming. Love what your done to your car, Toyota FTW !
I like this very much, I've been wondering where's the love for the underdog Celica?
Evos's end STI's at any corner You look at, but dare to different and you are discarded.
No driver aids, just you and what you dare to do with a car. AYC and DCCD is for sissies.
Greetings from Finland, owner of ST205, 348Hp 526Nm Stock Engine. Winter Is FUN.
Asko M Evo's and Sti's are plentiful because they are better. These aren't disregarded, they just aren't as good.
Asko M Pfff.. Better? Look at WRC results, Subaru won only when driven by an amazing Colin McRay, it never did any good since then. And EVO is there in the past as well. It's marketing, just admit the fact.
TheShinigami Asko M I wasn't talking about the performance of the celica in world rallying. If im being honest, to me 30 victories over a 6 year period isn't that spectacular.
I was commenting on the road going versions and aftermarket support. They didn't stack up to the rivals then or now. Today it would cost a small fortune to keep one running. They are an oddball.
TheShinigami Asko M Well then, you should've make yourself more clear then.
You don't think that 30 victories in World Rally is a great achievement? Don't forget who were their opponents. WRC is different to circuit racing. There, car's get beaten hard or totalled pretty often.
So you say that Subaru engine which 1. WAS a huge pain in the ass in 93 and 2. Still a huge pain in the ass in terms of - keep one running. is still better then the pretty much popular 3s-gte which I won't call a pain in compare? Fine.
Subaru and Evo made themselves popular thanks to marketing which took a much smarter path in 90's. Colin McRay did such a great job himself in rallying I was one of the kids dreaming of a blue Subaru 555. And they always did a good job with the well known livery and "rally feel" to their cars. No one doesn't even care they're not best in rally for a very long time.
And Mitsu is quite alike. It's also a childhood of many who watched Rally Art Red Evo attacking corners in WRC and the road version with the same feel. Fast and Furious + Taxi, both made a huge marketing boost to Evo.
And don't forget one more thing. The NFS Underground played it's own role in making various cars really popular among people/kids far from motorsport. No wonder the Celica 18-20 that didn't get there, aren't popular unlike 23.
TheShinigami Asko M If you're going to reference Colin McRae, perhaps have the decency to spell his name correctly.
Go to www.fensport.co.uk Serious tuners of Toyotas, along with a awesome Celica GT4X which turns out is now for sale (at £45,000).
I'd love to replace the sticker on his back window :)http://gearheadshirts.com/products/307381-wrc-workday-rushour-champion-sticker-2-pack
I saw a build on one of these and the guy was boosting 28 psi. Really wish I knew where I saw it at again. I think it was a white one.
Great feature for sure...perhaps next time, some more details on the full mod list? Used to own an ST165, so huge fan of these sleepers. Amazing AWD system, just terrific cars - till you have to do a clutch :(. The ST185 have aged really well - one of those cars that doesn't look anywhere near it's age, the popup headlights being one of the very few giveaways of it's age. The CS hood really looks amazing
love this car... awesome,, i own an gts,,, they r great cars... they need to bring some
more of this st185...
My uncle let me use his 1989 Celica ATT for my senior prom. Our dinner reservations were at the Chart House in Half Moon Bay (read: twisty roads) and the roads were moist from rain. My date didn't appreciate my spirited driving very much that evening. As soon as we took pictures, danced a bit, I dropped her off, picked up a buddy of mine and tore around the bay area all night. That car was the real prom date!
You don't see these everyday, which is a shame. If anyone is interested here is a link to one that NZ Performance Car mag featured a few years ago: http://www.performancecar.co.nz/articles/1996-toyota-celica-gt-4-under-over-156
I still prefer my Subaru Impreza WRX STi over this.
An AWD car will always be superior to FWD and RWD cars. Especially in poor weather conditions. Muahhahahaha
Ehh. Subies are nice but lack the rare factor. Alltracs are on a whole different playing field as far as cool factor.
I vote for a full article. Many have no idea what it is but when you find someone that does the literally freak. Many will never have the pleasure of seeing one in person.
Agreed, the All-Trac/GT FOUR needs more attention! They're just so rare and usually if someone does find one, they're beat to hell. I used to work with a guy who had one with 250k miles on it, original engine! This is definitely one of the best I've seen. More rare Toyota love, please!!
Ohh man, GT-4 was my first car! Never should have sold this thing, miss it so much. Nice to see people like John keeping this WRC legend alive!
Great to see an All-trac get some well-deserved press. My buddy had one back in '92 and I loved that car. So, I got myself a beautiful, black one a few years later and have had it ever since. Still looks cherry and turns heads wherever I take it. Closing in on 200K miles the car has proven wonderfully reliable, albeit a pain to work on, as the engine bay is very cramped. The rounded body style has aged remarkably well and doesn't look dated at all. Granted, in stock form, it doesn't compete with many modern sports cars or even family sedans, but it sure looks a lot better than most of today's cars and it's a hoot to drive, especially when the weather turns bad. With some fairly straightforward modifications, they can really haul too!