In the 1980s, Toyota’s entry on WRC events was very much dependent on marketing requirements and the suitability of each event to the Group 4 homologated Toyota RA40 Celica 2000 GT. The first couple of years were frustrating for Toyota as the naturally aspirated Celica struggled to compete against the recently launched turbocharged rally cars. There was little that Toyota could do to become immediately competitive on the global scene, but patience was required as behind the scenes an all-new turbocharged Toyota Celica was being developed by Toyota Team Europe, ready for homologation into Group B and a planned launch in 1983.

Before the arrival of the turbocharged competitor, two of the third-generation RA63 Celica 2000 GT shocked the rallying fraternity by delivering an impressive result in the Group 4 class of the 1982 South Swedish Rally. Still naturally aspirated, the coupes finished in second and third place overall in the hands of local drivers Leif Asterhag and Björn Waldegård.

A little over a month later, a further development of the RA63 Celica was applied in time for the 1982 Motogard Rally of New Zealand. Though not immediately obvious from an external perspective, TTE had shifted the engine and powertrain slightly further back within the chassis of the two cars, thereby dramatically improving their traction.

The Motogard Rally was not a happy event for some – Lancia failed to enter, Opel only sent one car and both Audi models experienced mechanical issues which put them out of contention – but drivers Björn Waldegård and Per Eklund put in a resounding one-two finish that marked an important historic victory for Toyota. The Celica had been campaigning in world rallying for ten years, yet this event in New Zealand was the first WRC win for the hard-working model.

The RA63 was used on two further WRC events, the 1982 Ivory Coast and the 1982 RAC Rally where it finished 2nd and 7th respectively before being retired.

This Car

Was built by Toyota GB to compete in the British championship driven by Per Eklund and John Midgley. Two cars were bought directly from Japan, UBY92X and UBY93X. The former car was destroyed in the late 80's, leaving UBY93Y as the only one left.

Built by Ex David Sutton mechanic David Ewells and his team the story goes Toyota GB went to TTE to buy cars from them but when none were available, they had no choice but to buy and build their own.

The present owner restored UBY93Y eighteen years ago after it was sold by a friend but needed a full restoration, including reverting to its original Toyota GB colours, having previously been painted in TTE colours.

Technical :-

Engine : 2000cc, DOHC, 16v 245bhp 

Induction : Naturally Aspirated, with Fuel Injection

Transmission : Rear Wheel Drive, Five speed Close Ratio Gearbox with LSD