That 1991 All-Trac That Sold for $33.5K on BAT

JDM GT Four, ST185RC and ST205.

That 1991 All-Trac That Sold for $33.5K on BAT

Postby Roreri » Thu Aug 26, 2021 9:52 pm

I have to say that I am fairly impressed at the $33,500 selling price of a 41K mile 1991 All-Trac on Bring A Trailer the other day. I recently purchased a 1992 JDM GT-Four with 42K miles for $23,000 (tax, tags, and registration included), and I found myself comparing and contrasting the two, and thinking about the factors that came into play.

Lucky12345 33500 dollar 1991 All-Trac.JPG


The selling price certainly places it in the upper tiers of Celicas that have been purveyed on BAT--all of the others above $30,000 have been either, well, a SUPRA (that sold twice), or 1970s-era Celicas of exquisite build or quality or sentimental attraction (check the story on the 77 that sold for $62K: https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1976-toyota-celica-4/ ).

Perhaps one factor is good marketing--the ST185 can do a fair job of selling itself because of its looks (tastes vary) and rarity, and it was well portrayed in the professional-looking photographs in the BAT listing. Or, as someone said (here or elsewhere), BAT tends to attract millionaires fleshing out their collections. Maybe FOMO, deep wallets, and auction fever played their parts.

But the condition did seem excellent--the leather interior is amazing for a vehicle of this age. And though condition trumps mileage, 41K miles is low. And a new coat of paint is a nice touch. However, the new owner is still going to have some shakedown costs--the deep services were done in 2014 and 2016, and it can be hard to know whether to trust things as they are. I know that by the time I'm done with all of the refurbishments on mine, I'll be close to $33K into it--but I'll have added some quality parts and the previous owner had already added about $5000 in reasonably tasteful adds.

It's worth reflecting that a rust-free southwest 1990 All-Trac with 140K miles and a fresh timing belt went for $5900 in 2016. Since then, it seems that 5th Gen All-Tracs/GT-Fours went for around $10,000--A 1990 All-Trac with twice the mileage and a leather interior in pretty decent shape went for $9700 in 2019. Later that year, a JDM 1994 ST205 with 70K miles and some mods went for $16,150. And a tastefully molested previously Canadian 1994 GT-Four with 120K miles, some repairs from a deer strike, and a little oil seepage went for $11,250 in 2020.

And now we have this. Why? I can't say, exactly, but it does serve as a reminder that all kinda things can happen, and each car and each sale can play out differently. Is depreciation done, and provided the upkeep is done, values will continue to rise? Or, alternately, are we in a bubble caused by stimulus cash, and people of a certain age giving free rein to nostalgia? Growing awareness might be a factor as well--of both the quality of these and their rarity. They've been overlooked long enough. I was at boy scouts with my son last night and the dads were standing about shooting the shit about what we've been up to. I mentioned I bought a JDM car, and one of the eleven year old boys who was hanging around said "A Mark IV Supra?" I said "No, a Celica GT-Four." And he knew what I was talking about. Video games.

Maybe car values are like this: “Fugayzi, fugazi. It’s a whazy. It’s a woozie. It’s fairy dust. It doesn’t exist. It’s never landed. It is no matter. It’s not on the elemental chart. It’s not f—–g real.”

What do you think?
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Re: That 1991 All-Trac That Sold for $33.5K on BAT

Postby simple » Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:18 pm

This is a conversation I would rather have over drinks and not the internet.

How people spend their money and the "value" of vintage cars is not something that can be logically defined. It is a passion. It is gambling and an emotional construct. It is fun for some and a business for others.

My only opinion is that a STOCK, well maintained, and low mileage japanese car will always be valuable to most buyers. A few Toyotas hold their value very well no matter what (4Runnner Land Cruisers) but people realize that the GT4 is a massive pain to maintain so my thoughts is that any that aren't garage queens will be looked at as poor investments.
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Re: That 1991 All-Trac That Sold for $33.5K on BAT

Postby Roreri » Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:33 pm

We might get a chance to talk about it over drinks, I'm looking to retire to Colorado sometime in the next not too many years.

And this "the GT4 is a massive pain to maintain" means I'm fooked. LOL

I did find myself looking at getting my Automotive Technology AAS at a community college so I could keep it running. ; )
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Re: That 1991 All-Trac That Sold for $33.5K on BAT

Postby simple » Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:45 pm

Nah it's all good. The Previa I had was even tougher access to engine repairs. Toyota likes to shoehorn engines into tight spaces. They also seem to discontinue parts that are specific to the vehicle. Makes places like Gt4-Play and PrimeMR2 viable businesses.
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Re: That 1991 All-Trac That Sold for $33.5K on BAT

Postby turbo4wd » Fri Aug 27, 2021 8:40 pm

Serious buyers on BAT seem to gravitate toward ANY stock car with stupid low miles. I've seen a multitude of Honda Civics or other "common" cars that have brought in amounts that were just downright shocking. If its a special car then they tend to go higher.

With that said.. the GT4 has seldom seen any love because almost all have high miles and have been too "personalized" for anyone else to want..

Glad to see this one went for as high as it did. Right now used car prices are crazy due to the parts/chip shortages every OEM has been dealing with for the last 6mos. The used car market is scorching hot right now with inventory getting sucked up.

I hope this sets a trend for GT4s to creep up in value..
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Re: That 1991 All-Trac That Sold for $33.5K on BAT

Postby Roreri » Fri Aug 27, 2021 9:48 pm

This is the second time that "stock" has been mentioned as a determining factor. The unmolested example seems more desirable than the molested example.

The GT-4 I have includes these additions:

HKS Warm Air Intake (air filter box delete)
RC Hood
RC Front Bumper
Blitz Twin Boost Controller
Apexi Air Flow Controller
Omoni Boost Gauge
Cusco Pillowtop Camber Plates
Cusco Rear Tower Bar
Toyota Team Europe Rear Underbody Plate
Some kind of aftermarket exhaust (didn't look for brand)

These of course might very well detract from rather than add value to my Celica.

It's a pleasant thought that All-Trac/GT-Four prices are rising, but I've heard around that we're in a used car bubble like you say.
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Re: That 1991 All-Trac That Sold for $33.5K on BAT

Postby turbo4wd » Fri Aug 27, 2021 10:20 pm

The only time I've seen modified vehicles go for significant money is if they were either era specific like an 80's safari 911, or duty specific like an land cruiser outfitted for overlanding.

Maybe someone should do a safari gt4 and see how much they can get.. :P
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Re: That 1991 All-Trac That Sold for $33.5K on BAT

Postby Roreri » Fri Aug 27, 2021 11:05 pm

Solid negotiating tactic: “I’ve tabbed up the cost of all these modifications and I’m subtracting them from my offer.” :)
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Re: That 1991 All-Trac That Sold for $33.5K on BAT

Postby underscore » Sun Aug 29, 2021 8:35 pm

I find these cars pretty easy to work on actually. You might need to remove a few more parts to get to what you want, but it's all doable by a home mechanic with a pretty normal set of tools. Looking in the engine bay of a lot of modern cars and even "cramped" 90's cars don't look so bad anymore.

Apparently this one sold to a collector. I don't really like collectors or any of these people turning what should be hobbies into an attempt to make money. They drive up prices and horde stuff that they never actually use to the point normal people can't afford them even if they can find one. Then even if they do, they don't dare use it because they're worried about resale value.

Keep 'em cheap and let people actually use them. Someday all these cars are going to be scrap or locked up in some rich dingleberries "collection" which is the same thing so just enjoy the damn things now. I could've kept mine stock and tidied it up and not used it and maybe it'd be worth more now. **** that. I've modified it the way I want to and if I destroy it while enjoying it then all I did is accelerate the process a bit. I'll take that over keeping it "safe" any day of the week.
★ 1991 GTFour RC ~ "Rebel Scum" ★
Build thread http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=44216
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Re: That 1991 All-Trac That Sold for $33.5K on BAT

Postby Roreri » Sun Aug 29, 2021 10:22 pm

For my part, I'm with you. I'm mostly trying to add some gauges to make sure all is well--so I can use it.

I guess collectors can be like that guy in Toy Story 3--acquire, curate, preserve, plasticize, move on to the next acquisition.

Collector.JPG


I'd prefer to enjoy my GT-Four for as long as I can as a touring car and a mountain road scrambler.
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