Sell or keep 2000 Celica GTS

guitarzanguitarzan Member Posts: 873
edited May 2016 in Toyota
Hello, I am leaning towards keeping my car Celica with 100,000 miles but I am curious if there is someone who would pay more for it than the current market value.

Before considering a new vehicle, these past five years I have done about $8,000 in repairs. I have been obsessive compulsive about the mechanical parts. These items you are probably familiar with. Struts, MAF sensor, cleaning of intake, valve adjustment, all of the parking brake cables and components, miscellaneous suspension parts, electric windows and door locks, aftermarket radio, AC condenser, on and on. If anything squeaked or did not work quite right it has been fixed.

I have Borbet wheels with Bridgestone Potenza 760's. Also steel wheels with Blizzaks. All of these are in excellent condition.

The exterior looks bad. The clear coat is in splotches and the rear quarters where all of these Toyota's rust has been patched to clean out the rust. There is no rust under the doors. The car is mostly solid except for the aforementioned.

So I have babied this car its entire life. I used Mobil 1 synthetic and mostly drive like a grandparent. The engine and tranny, brakes, parking brake, electric controls, suspension, all work perfect. The car feels like the day I drove out of the new car lot: tight.

I have received offers of $2000 - $2500 from individuals and dealers. I absolutely cannot get rid of a perfectly functioning $25,000 car for that low of an amount. I will however be buying a new vehicle, a Tacoma. When that happens this car will be a second car only. I'm going to have to put the motorcycle battery tender on it, because it will not get driven.

I attempted to join the popular Celica forums but none of the are sending activation e-mails. (They are not being filtered, I own my own domain and do no filtering.) That would give me a good audience and help me find out if someone may pay more for this rare 6-speed but alas that is not working out.

Is this car doomed to such a low value? Is there anything I can do other than parting it out?


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    The used car market seems to favor cosmetic condition over mechanical condition.

    Why is that?

    Probably because it is usually easier to deal with mechanical deficiencies than it is to restore the car's body, trim and chrome or plastic bits. Quite a few people can tackle DIY mechanical projects, and shop for aftermarket or used parts, but it's the rare bird with the skill, tools and facilities to restore a car's body and repaint it.

    So, bizarre and unjust as it may be, it would be far easier for you to sell a very clean Celica GTS that ran like crap, and was completely worn out, than one that runs great and looks bad.

    If your car were clean inside and out, you could probably sell it without an engine for $2500 !

    Look at it this way. You can buy these cars in really nice condition for around $6000--$8000, and higher mileage ones for $4500--$5000.

    Now consider the cost to prep and paint your car---easily $3500--$5000 for a minimally presentable job.

    It is, ultimately, the buyer who sets the market, not the seller, the dealer or the price guides.

    If you try and try and cannot get any offers beyond what you've seen already, then the market has spoken. It doesn't always bring us good news.

    I'm in the same boat with my MINI. It's a great running, good looking car. But the miles are high and it has an old accident on CARFAX. I'd be lucky to get $4K for it, and I'd never find as good a car for that.

    Life isn't fair sometimes....sigh....
  • guitarzanguitarzan Member Posts: 873
    edited May 2016

    So, bizarre and unjust as it may be, it would be far easier for you to sell a very clean Celica GTS that ran like crap, and was completely worn out, than one that runs great and looks bad.

    Life isn't fair sometimes....sigh....

    Thanks Mr. S. for your feedback and those examples. They match exactly what I see on the used market, and yes, it is bizarre! That is why I had to get an opinion from another thoughtful human. LOL

    This seems to indicate that I should put a large effort into maintaining the exterior, (if possible) and do not repair anything mechanical that is not dead or fractured into bits. That's weird to me, but I did notice that is what everyone else seems to do with automotive vehicles! I thought they were all Neanderthals but apparently they are all far smarter than I am.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    We Neanderthals are very clever...just not pretty! B)
  • guitarzanguitarzan Member Posts: 873
    edited July 2019
    The Celica is going out the door as I purchased a new Outback. (I previously seriously considered the Tacoma.) The Subaru was recommended by my mechanic who had nothing particularly good to say about Honda and Toyota today. The short-term reliability was a big issue as I will likely have this car a long time. The Outback also has the seating position, cargo room, low liftover, and easy access that my back wishes I would have had years ago.
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