We have seen other historic Toyota race cars hit the market recently, and the appearance of this 1993 ex-works Toyota Celica ST185 indicates their collectability is increasing. Building on the victories of the ST165 chassis, the ST185 was introduced to usher Toyota into the 90′s with more success; thanks to improvements to its frame, turbo system, and suspension.
Making its WRC debut at the 1992 Monte Carlo Rally and piloted by the venerable Carlos Sainz, the ST185 commanded second place, bested only by Didier Auriol behind the wheel of the Lancia Delta Integrale.
Lancia withdrew from WRC after the 1992 season, and factory team refugees Didier Auriol and Juha Kankunnen joined Toyota. As the 1993 season began numerous changes were made to the center differential, suspension and tires. Toyota Team Europe’s efforts eventually paid off, as the Celica would be crowned WRC World Champion that same year, a first for a Japanese manufacturer.
This particular example with registration number K-AM50 is a Safari guise model manufactured in 1993 and powered by a transverse mounted 3SGTE, which made 300 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque in Group A spec. The works team entered the car in the 1993 FIA Kenya Safari Rally and was piloted by local heroes Ian Duncan and Ian Munro. Through their efforts, the car finished 3rd overall, behind teammates Alen and Kankunnen in April of 1993.
K-AM50 was later sold to another Kenyan rally hero, Jason Toroitich, and would change more hands while being shipped to Uganda, then Italy, and finally the UK. A piece of TTE’s rally history can be yours here, for roughly $209,000 USD. Like with street cars, collectors of serious race machines are looking towards Japan for their next acquisitions. Here’s a video of it in action: