Reading Matters: Rally Giants: Veloce Publishing – Toyota Celica GT-Four


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Rally Giants: Veloce Publishing –

Toyota Celica GT-Four by Graham Robson l ISBN 978-1-84584-184-3


Affectionately known as the ST165, ST185 and ST205 to rally enthusiasts three generations of the Toyota Celica GT-Four battled it out against the established names in the World Rally Championships such as Lancia, Ford and Mitsubishi. Between 1988-1995 two World Manufacturer’s Championships were won plus four drivers titles – Carlos Sainz (1990 & 1992), Juha Kankkunen (1993) and Didier Auriol (1994).

What was most impressive about these achievements was that the initial Toyota Team Europe Rally Programme headed up by Ove Andersson turned around a basic four-wheel-drive car into a world beater. For the next 5 years the GT-Four models became one of the true Rally Giants.

What was unimpressive however was Toyota’s disqualification over turbocharger irregularities (in late 1995, which resulted in the team being thrown out of world events for the next full season) it’s remembered as the darkest shadow over a fine record. Among the 100 colour photos of Graham’s book is an action shot of Welsh driver David Llewellin’s ST165 competing in the Circuit of Ireland – an event he won a year later. The Celica GT-Four was the first Japanese rally car to win the World Crown and led the way for Mitsubishi to supersede its great rival in the hands of Tommi Makinen.