Right, so I went to look at this car yesterday afternoon on my way home from antiquing with the wife. If I’m going to go antiquing, I’m at least going to look at a race car on my way home, but I digress.
The Celica is remarkably straight, and the cage in it looks to be very well built. The rules for the class only dictate a roll bar, but I wouldn’t want to get on the track without a full cage so that makes me happy. It has a brand new set of tires on it, on Bassett steel race wheels (ironically the exact wheels I was going to buy for my former Monte Carlo SS, albeit smaller), and overall it seems to be a pretty well prepared car.
The downside, as I mentioned before, is that the car was overheated and it needs a cylinder head. They have everything off the head, namely the cam and rocker arms, so all I’d need to find is a new bare head. The car is also a 5 speed, which is neat.
I offered them $600, we met in the middle at $700, and allegedly I’m picking it up this Saturday. I say allegedly because the last time I agreed to buy a car in Massachusetts on a Saturday, it got sold on the Friday night before.
The season is, obviously, already under way and I don’t plan to rush to get the car ready to race at all this year. I want to strip the decals off it, repaint it (I’m thinking maybe the old white/orange/red Toyota scheme from the 80s), and number it up. My preferred number 5 is already taken, but 55 is available so I’ll likely go that route and register the car for the 2019 season.
As for the engine, whats in it right now is a 22R, which is...ubiquitous, but probably not the best race motor. So what I’d like to do is source a head from a 20R because its smaller combustion chambers will give me a higher compression ratio and a little more power. I’ve also found a place that sells a reground factory cam for circle track racing...it won’t be a huge boost, but if I can make more like 120-130hp instead of 100, I’d be thrilled. Lastly on the motor, I want to swap to a Holley 7448 carb from the factory piece. That probably won’t make me much more power if any at all, but it’ll make parts easier to get and tuning it a lot simpler.
The rules for the class are basically that the car remains stock. I figure if I do that stuff, I’ll still be making way less power than some of the Integras and Saturns in the class, so I’m not worried about getting inspected.
So that’s the tentative plan. If it works out, I’ll have more pictures and such on Saturday...but with my luck lately they’ll me texting me Saturday to tell me to cancel my trailer rental.