1993 Toyota Celica
Year of manufacture1993
Number of seats2
The ex-Toyota Team Europe
1993 Toyota Celica ST185 Turbo 4WD Group A Rally Car
Chassis no. JT164STJ500014894
Following the success of the Celica GT4 ST165, the Turbo 4WD ST185 would build on its predecessor's foundations and be the class of the field throughout its three years of service in the World Rally Championship (WRC). It was the car to beat, scoring a hat trick of drivers' titles for Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen and Didier Auriol respectively. Of equal, if not greater, importance to the Japanese manufacturer was the fact that in 1993 the ST185 delivered Toyota its first ever WRC manufacturer's championship, a feat it repeated in 1994.
The all-conquering ST185 featured a stiffer bodyshell, improved cooling, an up-rated turbo intake system, X-Trac six-speed transmission and, most importantly, a suspension package that permitted a wide range of adjustment. They were sometimes headed by other cars on unfavourable surfaces but the ST 185 Celica was, arguably, the best all-round package.
Until its exclusion from the series after 2002, the Safari was the toughest rally on the WRC calendar - a gruelling event on difficult terrain in a variety of conditions, which has always made it a signature event. The ST185 Celica was unbeaten on the Safari as a works entry and scored a trio of overall victories for Sainz (1992), Kankkunen (1993) and Ian Duncan (1994).
The example on offer is a Safari-specification works rally car entered by the Toyota Team Europe (TTE) in the 1993 FIA Kenya Safari Rally and driven by local hero Ian Duncan with Ian Munro co-driving (as certified by Toyota Motorsport GmbH). It was built originally on a works bodyshell numbered 'TC554'.
Displaying the 'short' German registration 'K-AM 50', Ian Duncan drove this car to 3rd overall behind team-mates Markku Alen and winner Juha Kankkunen, with Yasuhiro Iwase coming home 4th to make it a famous Toyota 1, 2, 3, 4 finish. Duncan is a six-time Kenyan rally champion and was employed by both Subaru and Toyota to contest the Safari rally as the local specialist. He won the event overall in 1994 and in 2013 won the East African Safari Classic Rally ahead of former World Champion Stig Blomqvist.
TTE records show that after the 1993 event, this car was purchased by another Kenyan rally hero, Jonathan Toroitich (son of former Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi). Though not confirmed, it seems likely that this is the car used by Toroitich on the Safari Rally in 1994, 1996 and 1997 (there was no event in 1995) his best result being a 5th overall in 1997. Multiple Uganda rally champion Moses Lumala was also competing in an ST185 Celica in African rally events but in 2001 he crashed his car beyond repair. An Africa News Service article states that in June 2001 he purchased an ST185 from Jonathan Toroitich to replace it, thus explaining this car's assumed relocation to Uganda.
Purchased from Uganda through Omar Mayanja together with other rally cars and taken to Italy in 2006, it received a professional restoration at rally-car specialists Devos Motorsport in Aalbeke, Belgium, while the engine was professionally rebuilt at great expense by Rallye-Engine.com (Gerd Dicks) in Weeze, Germany during 2010. After completion the Celica was driven by Armin Schwartz in the 2011 Bettega Memorial demonstration. Imported into the UK in 2012, it has been regularly run but not used in anger. It should be noted that during the course of its competition life, the bodyshell was substituted for an earlier (1992 specification) item with a works number of 'TC530'.
Finished in the livery it sported when driven by Ian Duncan in the 1993 Safari Rally, the car presents well and is 'on the button'. It is an ideal entry for a variety of retrospective rally events such as those organised by Slowly Sideways and Rally Legend, and is ideally suited to the rally stage at the Goodwood 'Festival of Speed'. Representing a rare opportunity to acquire an ex-works rally car with in-period competition history at the highest level, the Celica is offered with its original (number '3') Safari Rally fuel funnel, Toyota Certificate of Origin, sundry invoices and a quantity of original photographic transparencies of the car and drivers from the 1993 event. A comprehensive Safari specification spares package is available by separate negotiation.