The ST185 gets categorized/compared to other rally cars of the era: Impreza, Lancer and Pulsar among others, and before purchasing mine this was a comparison that I was making. Having owned one now for only a short amount of time, it is clear to me that the Celica’s of WRC vintage are something else entirely. This stems not from their number of doors (Pulsar had two and Impreza often as well), but from Toyota’s commitment to build a road car that was quiet, well appointed and mature. The road going rally cars from other Japanese manufacturer’s are minimalistic, buzzy and typically much better performing. It is a mistake to equate the performance and success of the competition cars with the road going versions. The Celica for instance was hugely successful as a race car. The Pulsar a total failure. But I believe that when comparing road going versions, the Pulsar will annihilate every compact turbo 4WD car of the era… especially so if using a Beta version which was very very similar to the competition vehicle.
The road going Celica on the other hand, is just too fat and distant from the competition car. It is geared for 300km/h. It has automatic climate control, 10 speaker stereo’s and heated seats. It might have a turbocharged 2.0L engine, but it many ways it is more comparable to GT cars of the time: the Mitsubishi GTO, the Nissan 300ZX, the Subaru Acylone. These are cars that were fun and fast, but more suited for quiet cruises to the golf course than blasting down the gravel touge.
It is with minor disappointment that I make this realization. I don’t want to be an old guy. I don’t even like golf. At the same time, a Pulsar seems quite immature and rebellious. My hope is to find some compromise between the two extremes… this is an authentic RC version, which does give me a bit of a head start versus the regular All-trac/GT4. I begin with some more boost and then maybe…
Specifications of the Machine