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Which is the better choice?

  • 88 Camry (already own)

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  • 73 Celica GT-S (thinking about owning)

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  • 71 Mach 1 Mustang (dreaming)

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, everyone. I'm new to electric cars, but I've been wrenching in my dad's garage ever since I could hold a 3/8" ratchet. I'm really into classic cars and have done a couple classic Mustangs and motorcycles, and an F150.

Lately I've really been into the aesthetic from the 70s to 80s, and I currently own a 1988 Toyota Camry.

I love the boxy wedge shape, and I thought the vintage Camry would make for a cool electric conversion. But then I realized it's a huge investment, so if I'm going to spend the blood, sweat, tears, and of course money, then I might look into getting a slightly cooler donor car that's still of the same era.

I've wanted a hatchback or a 'hot hatch' for a while. Right now I've got my eyes on a '73 Celica GT-S with a blown motor and gutted interior. My dream car would be a '71 Mach 1 Mustang conversion, but that car is too darn heavy I'm sure.
I'm open to others as well that are:

1. 70s-80s
2. Wedge shaped
3. Hatchback

I really dig the wedge shape for electric cars, and maybe when I'm done I'll badge it the Wedg-E. Or does that sound too much like 'wedgie'? haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welcome! How about an RX7 or a 240-280Z?
Those are great ideas. The RX7 would be a lot of fun. I'll keep an eye out for one in my area, they seem to be close to my budget for a rolling chassis.
I'd love to do a 280z, but finding one in my budget is a challenge. A lot of people build them for the track, so I'd almost feel bad converting that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Housemate had a 1982 Toyota Celica Supra GT
Did you like it? I've got a lead on a Celica GT-S. I'd prefer the Supra, mostly for cosmetic reasons. It had the inline 6 as opposed to the 4 cylinder, which is sort of irrelevant here, aside from the fact that the nose was a bit longer to accommodate a larger engine bay. Otherwise, from the firewall back, it's the same car as the GT-S.
 

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Warning - Ramble post ahead!! You started talking old Toyotas so I'm going to indulge myself a bit.
I voted in your quiz for Celica, hope I guessed right! I passed on one for $3k CAD some years ago, probably wouldn't today. Coolest looking Toyotas of that time. I am working towards a '69 Corona Mark II conversion which would share some parts, but unfortunately my windshield is not available on this planet. Electric farm beater/home date car if she must.
Did you like it? I've got a lead on a Celica GT-S. I'd prefer the Supra, mostly for cosmetic reasons. It had the inline 6 as opposed to the 4 cylinder, which is sort of irrelevant here, aside from the fact that the nose was a bit longer to accommodate a larger engine bay. Otherwise, from the firewall back, it's the same car as the GT-S.
Of Celica Supras I had two 82's , an '83 and '85. Second favorite sports car of my ownership history. IMHO a bit heavy for electric but after stripping one down for parts I saw there is a lot of useless weight you could remove. Get one with digital dash if you want "future space age electric" vibe. I was curious about digging into a weight comparison between a Celica and Supra of that generation and subtracting the motor weights. Probably close, but Celica was available with crank windows and no automatic climate control, so might start adding up in weight savings. Back seat delete would be beneficial with this platform.
Lately I've really been into the aesthetic from the 70s to 80s, and I currently own a 1988 Toyota Camry.
Had a hatch Camry of that generation, hauled it out of long retirement for $200 and some scrapyard parts and toured your lovely nation a couple times. Hope to visit one with my kid or grandkids some day at the Museum of Pre-COVID Quality Engineering, but that likely wont happen. You are correct that your budget will be spent better on something with other future value.
Also if you are planning to follow thru with a build on a realistic (high) budget, getting the right donor may be worth doing some travel for.

MR2 was mentioned, I love mine, favorite car of my now/past experience (driveable 85 and 86 that needs repair and cert/inspections). Not a hatch but Wedg-E E-nuff for most folk. Long, low fuel tank down the middle and all that space for conversion stuff... Probably going to do one of mine some day. Invest in the best battery you can get and spend a lot of time on weight distribution for this one, otherwise, have fun!

RX7 is a great car, but I recall the shape meaning less usable space than I may have wanted.

Some may argue that the Golf set the hot-hatch standard, I do have a couple mk1 Rabbits and a Scirocco on the backburner, those Golf/Rabbits I would guess will be the easiest to get long term parts support for, USA and worldwide.
Still waiting for the adaptor plate to be finished for one of the Rabbits, otherwise I would give you some real data on that one.

I dont know what Triumph parts availability is like, but I don't see much in my travels.

Hope you do your homework, and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Warning - Ramble post ahead!! You started talking old Toyotas so I'm going to indulge myself a bit.
I voted in your quiz for Celica, hope I guessed right! I passed on one for $3k CAD some years ago, probably wouldn't today. Coolest looking Toyotas of that time. I am working towards a '69 Corona Mark II conversion which would share some parts, but unfortunately my windshield is not available on this planet. Electric farm beater/home date car if she must.

Of Celica Supras I had two 82's , an '83 and '85. Second favorite sports car of my ownership history. IMHO a bit heavy for electric but after stripping one down for parts I saw there is a lot of useless weight you could remove. Get one with digital dash if you want "future space age electric" vibe. I was curious about digging into a weight comparison between a Celica and Supra of that generation and subtracting the motor weights. Probably close, but Celica was available with crank windows and no automatic climate control, so might start adding up in weight savings. Back seat delete would be beneficial with this platform.

Had a hatch Camry of that generation, hauled it out of long retirement for $200 and some scrapyard parts and toured your lovely nation a couple times. Hope to visit one with my kid or grandkids some day at the Museum of Pre-COVID Quality Engineering, but that likely wont happen. You are correct that your budget will be spent better on something with other future value.
Also if you are planning to follow thru with a build on a realistic (high) budget, getting the right donor may be worth doing some travel for.

MR2 was mentioned, I love mine, favorite car of my now/past experience (driveable 85 and 86 that needs repair and cert/inspections). Not a hatch but Wedg-E E-nuff for most folk. Long, low fuel tank down the middle and all that space for conversion stuff... Probably going to do one of mine some day. Invest in the best battery you can get and spend a lot of time on weight distribution for this one, otherwise, have fun!

RX7 is a great car, but I recall the shape meaning less usable space than I may have wanted.

Some may argue that the Golf set the hot-hatch standard, I do have a couple mk1 Rabbits and a Scirocco on the backburner, those Golf/Rabbits I would guess will be the easiest to get long term parts support for, USA and worldwide.
Still waiting for the adaptor plate to be finished for one of the Rabbits, otherwise I would give you some real data on that one.

I dont know what Triumph parts availability is like, but I don't see much in my travels.

Hope you do your homework, and good luck!
Thanks for your insights, much appreciated! I agree the Golf is a great platform for a hot hatch. They're a bit too boxy for my tastes, but I would absolutely love to do a 2nd gen Scirocco. I haven't done quite as much research on those yet. Any advice on which years/trim level to look for? They're coming up pretty rare too, so I may just have to take what I can get.

Given the rarity of some of these cars, the Celica is looking more and more appealing. The current owner was going to race it, so they've already done some weight saving reductions, which may or may not be a good thing. I won't know until I go check it out.
 

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You'll regret not getting the bigger engine bay at battery-stuffing time...
This is still the '73 that you are looking at, right? Not the 80's one that compares to the Supra?
If we are talking 80's Celica vs. mk2 Celica Supra then all things considered I would look for a Supra for the cool factor.

As for mk2 Sciroccos I can't say much as mine is a 1980. You will have a hard time finding body, interior and trim later in life but a lot is shared with the Rabbit mechanically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is still the '73 that you are looking at, right? Not the 80's one that compares to the Supra?
If we are talking 80's Celica vs. mk2 Celica Supra then all things considered I would look for a Supra for the cool factor.

As for mk2 Sciroccos I can't say much as mine is a 1980. You will have a hard time finding body, interior and trim later in life but a lot is shared with the Rabbit mechanically.
A thousand apologies, I was in fact talking about an '83 Celica GT-S, the 73 was a typo (which I made twice).

Problem I have right now is I've got to sell my Camry to make room for whatever new project I buy.
 
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