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Toyota Celica GT4 - The car of the first titles

by

Antonio Eiras

With this drawing I would like to remember the late Ove Andersson.

 

Based on the fourth generation of the Toyota Celica, the first GT-Four was presented in 1985, having begun its production a year later, in the factory of Aichi, Japan. The regulation required the completion of a minimum 2,500 units for the FIA homologation, getting the factory of Toyota Team Europe (TTE), team founded by Ove Andersson in 1979 and based near Cologne, Germany, with the responsibility for preparing the vehicle for competition.

 

Designated ST165, the first of the three GT-Four was produced until 1989. It used a steel monocoque chassis, which housed a 4 cylinders in line engine, disposed transversely and water-cooled, of 1998 cc which, fed by a turbocharger and with four valves per cylinder, produced a torque of 240 NM at 3,200 rpm and delivered 185 hp at 6.000rpm. The transmission was all wheel drive, with a central viscous coupler, Torsen rear differential and with an elliptical center differential, allowing an equal distribution for the two axes. The suspensions, in independent supports and with anti-roll bars, used telescopic dampers mounted together with helical springs, with a front control arm and two side arms, and a longitudinal one in the rear. The brakes used ventilated discs, which were aided by the four ABS sensors.

 

The debut in World Rally Championship races occurred in the 1988 Tour of Corsica, but it was necessary to wait for the Australian Rally in the next year to attend his first win, at the hands of Juha Kankkunen, with Juha Piironen as copilot. Its victorious career lasted until the Rally Sweden 1992, with Mats Jonsson and Lars Bäckman to get the last of the thirteen wins of the japanese car in races of the WRC (World Rally Championship).

 

With this model Toyota broke the hegemony of European constructors in the races of the World Rally Championship, having pioneered a path that Mitsubishi and Subaru were to follow.

 

Represented in the illustration is the version that was the most successful. It was driven by two-time world champion Spaniard Carlos Sainz, with copilot, the also Spanish, Luis Moya. At the wheel of this car Sainz got nine wins between 1989 and 92, and was crowned World Champion Driver of WRC in 1990.

 

Held in 1989 in collaboration with the Spanish magazine "Motor 16", this drawing allowed, in a somewhat unexpected and convoluted way, my first direct contact with the department of communication with the press of TTE, directed by Mrs. Marion-Bell Andersson, opening the way for the realization, in 1993 and 1994, commissioned by the Team, of the drawings of the two other models of the saga Toyota Celica GT-Four.

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