Purchased this back in 2004, after being purchased a 79 LB lancer for my first car 2 years prior. Fell in love with them, and stumbled upon the Fastback version, the Celeste via the Internet.
Found one being sold in my own town, and popped around to have a look. Took it for a drive. It was horrible. The transmission mount had snapped and as such the tranny was bouncing all over the show. The 1600 4G32 was deperately out of tune and extremely slow, and the interior was non existent.
I loved it!
3 days later I arrived back at the guys place and gave the $900 NZD to him. I drove away extremely happy but very nervous also, as I hadn't told my parents, and as such had to keep it a secret for 6 months until I admitted it to them as I moved back home for the holidays.
I actually parked it on the street to keep it out of view, here it is a couple weeks after I got it.
Stock as a rock! Complete with dealer sticker, mismatched tyres and gross door mirrors. Would kill to have it back like that!
Anyway, I was a poor student so mods were limited to begin with. I installed a basic stereo, removed all the crappy interior and cleaned up the engine a bit.
All I really wanted was a set of big wheels, a loud exhaust and low suspension, being the typical 18 year old, so I had a local garage weld me up a 2" exhaust system which sounded awesome, complete with disgusting dump pipe, cut the front springs, re-set the leaf springs (twice, so it was well and truly on the bumpstops), and threw on a set of cheap ugly multi-spoke 15" mags. This had it looking like..
That! December 04. About here was where I started talking to guys from oldschool.co.nz. They explained to me that instead of swapping to a 4 speed manual box, I could just as easily drop in a SOHC 4G63 from our locally built Sigmas. My mechanical knowledge was slim, so I aquired a Sigma of the necessary type for $400nzd from an English tourist, and dropped both cars at my local garage with vagues instructions and no timie limit.
This meant it took 4 months to do, but it was relatively cheap.
I'll never forget the first drive. With no suspension travel and no warrant of fitmess, I thrashed the life from it home. Was a spectacular upgrade for the money.
At this point, I realised it needed some work to pass a warrant of fitness.
I purchased a set of lowered, but legal, springs, new gas shocks, cut the cumpstops down so there was travel in the rear, fitted a Weber 32/36 carburettor with pipercross filter, fitted some AE92 Toyota Levin seats, dyed some of the interior, has the front doorcars retrimmed in black, had the rust from the rear arches removed, repainted them and the bonnet (bonnet got matte black :roll: ) and had the exhaust fixed so it ran under the rear axle (was so low in the back that the axle was hitting the exhaust looping over it) and had the horrid pipe removed from the back.
This had it looking, in my eyes, quite repectable, from the outside at least. Interior was still a bit average, so I purchased new carpet, and popped some more comfortable seats from my daily lancer in
Got it a Warrant of fitness and drove it everywhere I could for a couple months before I needed some JDM in my life. Purchased some 14x7 meshies and slapped em on. Didn't know anything about tyres so had to live with a set of 195/60s. Yuck! Still looked tough though
Also got some fender mount mirrors from a much larger car, and they looked horrible in retrospect. I also decided to try and sell it so I could buy an R30 Skyline to "boso". As you can see, it needed to be lowered in the front. Note "retrofitted" LB Lancer grille. I wasn't on drugs either!
Here's some shots from when I tried to sell it. I was asking way too high at $3000NZD. I sold the wheels and tyres to a guy in the lower North Island of New Zealand for his EX Lancer. Suited his car much better. They now reside on his LB Lancer four door.
Also procured a JAF badge
As a side note, it was hillarious to drive on the 155 Yokohamas. Oversteered everywhere, even with partial throttle. Could do a burnout on the spot with no brake use. Sidewall movement was terrible!
After it didn't sell, I knew it was time to upgrade the engine. After a quick search, a fella about an hour drive north of me had a very rare 12 valve turbo Sirius Dash 4G63 available, with 5 speed. I took his word it was in reasonable condition and purchased it complete with loom and box for $400NZD. Very reasonable I thought, but then I knew nothing about these engines, as evidenced by the fact it came with a hopeless TC05 turbo instead of the TD05 it should have, and the gearbox was leaking some strange grey-green goop and needed to be preofessionally cleaned out! Oil and water=not good!
I'll stop here with an image of it sans engine and having had it guts dropped on the drive way, as I'm starting to feel lightheaded from all this typing...To be continued!