The Toyota Celica Liftback that sold for $62,000 is a gift from a loving wife

A 1976 Toyota Celica Liftback has sold for $62,000. That’s a new high for this model, and of course it appears to be in exceptional condition. However, perhaps the better hook here is the back story of why the Celica has reached this record price.

After the auction on Bring a Trailer ended, the winning bidder, Saylorsnorth, posted her reason for the purchase. Turns out, it was a surprise present to replace the car her husband had sold years ago when children came into the picture:

Hello! I am the buyer and I am just thrilled. This is my back story. My husband had one of these. But we had a couple of kids and I probably made him sell it more than I should have. He was never mad or angry but just sad. I got an inheritance and I was determined to buy that car for him to pay him back for all that he has given to our family for the 35 years. He doesn’t know I have purchased it and it will be given to him as a surprise gift. If you knew this man, he’s worth every penny.

To call this man fortunate would be an understatement. Hopefully we can not only have such wonderful spouses, but live up to the standard that Saylornorth’s husband has set.

Having an irreplaceable personal motive for paying whatever it takes to get the car will certainly elevate the price. But, let’s not forget there was another bidder that was willing to pay nearly just as much for it.

As for the Celica itself, the car is powered by the factory Toyota 2.2-liter 20R four-cylinder, mated to a 5-speed manual. The exterior is finished in 336 Red matched with a white and tan interior. It should be noted that the interior appears to wear a non-OEM dash cap, which implies that it has experienced some sun damage. The wheels are from an A60 Celica Supra, but the original steelies with beauty rings are included in the sale.

It is said to be an original California car that was purchased in 2020 and brought to its current home of Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. The seller added 1,000 miles during their ownership. It doesn’t seem to include a binder of maintenance receipts, but the level of cleanliness speaks for itself.

Overall, this is still a superb example, and it’s good to see that its owners have not been tempted to replace the chrome safety bumpers with the slimmer Japanese style or remove the door guard stripe on such a time capsule. We’re sure Saylornorth and her husband will be enjoying this car for many years to come.

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8 Responses to The Toyota Celica Liftback that sold for $62,000 is a gift from a loving wife

  1. socarboy says:

    I should have bought one of these 20 years ago when they were still more readily available to have as a bone stock play toy, but at least I now have a 2011 Toyota Avalon Limited for weekender duty.

  2. speedie says:

    So many times these are bought as presents to oneself for reaching or passing some milestone in life. The back story is a wonderful change from that narrative. I saw this on BAT when it was first listed and enjoyed all the great comments during the bid. I owned a 76 Celica similar to this one when I was in college, although was technically a grade 6 parts car. The Celica brought a lot of young people into the Toyota family, many of whom later became Lexus buyers. While the final price was high, this is the nicest Celica GT I have seen outside of a 1976 dealer showroom. These models will only be going up in price. Happy driving to the new owners.

  3. Su says:

    I wish my wife would buy back my ex-1984 Toyota Celica GTS with only 84,000 miles. It took me two years to find that car only to sell it a year later because she wanted a van. I should’ve sold one of the kids instead.

  4. Crown says:

    This sale is a one off fluke really. Don’t expect this kind of money for this model. It will help to drive up the value and put them on the map so to speak.

  5. Jim says:

    I agree with @speedie…Great story.

  6. Jason Haussler says:

    Sold my Apex AE86 so i could take my wife on our honeymoon to Hawaii 30 years ago… Perhaps this article will inspire her..

  7. Rene Bouchard says:

    Strange situation here somehow this story popped up so I read. I was talking with my high-school acquaintance which I have currently moved in with saving me . We were just discussing how she remembered me and it was this car I owned the 1976 Celica GT for 5 years loved it and polished the paint off washing so much so cool. The crazy end to this story is the next comment was about a Toyota Avalon also a car I had that I sadly lost my son in a head-on in Manitoba Canada. Not sure the idea if me saying this but two very Huge stages of my life.

    • Clark Anderson says:

      I have a 1979 Celica gt coupe I bought new when I was 17 still own car completely original has 6900 miles on it

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