| HISTORY | OWNER'S
A Celica SUNCHASER is nothing
more than a special conversion of a 1979-1981 Toyota Celica. In all,
probably 2000 GT and ST models were produced from all three factories
in these years.
The Griffith Company was
commissioned by TOYOTA to do the conversion. It involved cutting of
the roof immediately behind the windshield to the edge of the B-Pillar
to accommodate a targa style removable roof, and removal of the roof
from immediately behind the B-Pillar to the trunk to accommodate a
collapsible convertible rear section. When fully converted, all that
remains of the normal roof is a roll bar.
A sticker with the Griffith
Griffin and SUNCHASER
production number is placed
on the inside of the Glove compartment door.
stating "SUNCHASER" is placed on the outside of each
B-Pillar, though mine was removed, you can still see where it
should go. It's the long grayish section at the bottom.
A fiberglass enclosure
is placed around the B-Pillar and remaining narrow band of roof
and skirts underneath the convertible top.
padding is added to the interior of the B-Pillar / Roof.
replacements for the convertible top available?
So you say you need a new top for your Sunchaser? Just cannot find
any online sources who seem to know the car? Well, I found a current
source for you! Electron Top (even appeals to my love of Physics...)
has a catalogue for imports. Listed, quite plainly, is the Toyota
Celica Sunchaser. It's available in 2 styles, the one-window and three-window
and they're each $225 including the window. As if I haven't stressed
it enough, I'd strongly suggest getting the three-window style to
minimize your blind spot and make the back seat less 'crypt-like'.
Now, I have yet
to buy a top for my Sunchaser but the day is coming soon. I have read
their website and without knowing them, I like their style. I like
the fact that they've been around for 42 years and actually advertise
their patters and colors. Seems like this would be the place to buy
your tops folks, but decide for yourself. You just cannot help but
respect the operation after reading the "Our Story" section.
Direct link to
PDF "Import Top" catalogue that includes our cars:
Another pretty nice website, not as flashy but gets the job done.
;) Only one fabric style to choose from, same 'pinpoint' style fabric
as original but comes in 11
sexy colors. Before you check it out, note that intheir scroll-down
'model selection' box they sell both the 3-window and the 1-window
design tops, but under slightly different headings: they list the
design under 'Toyota Sunchaser' and the 3-window
design under 'Toyota Celica Sunchaser'. Odd but effective. I don't
know why; you don't care why! At least they have our tops! They list
the price as $151.00 as of 2003-03-17 and Darren G. attests that it
cost about $163.00 shipped to his door. Another very nice possibility
especially for those of us on a budget.
Probably just a
reseller for the same tops the Convertible Top Guys are selling, but
another choice nonetheless. Thay also list all the convertible tops
available for 1982-1985 Celicas, Some 1982- Corolla Conversions, and
other Celica Convertible tops.
1950 Grant Street
Hollywood, FL 33020
830 W. Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43085
So, there clearly are
new replacement tops still available and it's good to know that
the patterns still exist. As always, if anyone has more
information about suppliers of convertible tops, please e-mail
me the information.
replacements for the targa top available?
Without a doubt, no. I have
spent hours upon hours attempting to find a replacement top for my
SUNCHASER. But this page, during its existence, has generated so many
inquiries about replacing the targa top due to loss and theft, that
I have given up on finding one.
But there is a suitable
alternative. By cutting a section of roof from a 1980-81 Celica coupe
you can fashion a very nice replacement. It is probably heavier, but
it will work just fine. You're on your own as far as replacing the
weather-stripping and latches UNTIL I do my own. then I promise to
devote a page just to targa top replacement. =)
Recently, it has come to
my attention that it might be possible to go in together to have another
run of fiberglass tops made. It would likely be only the shell, and
you'd have to affix the hardware from the top that flew off on the
highway to the new one. I'll be thinking more on this. I have asked
a local fabricator what he would charge for this, and I showed him
the top, and he said about $350 in quantity, That is to say, if I
could get the interest together, we might as a community be able to
have some replacements made.
Is is hard to find
mechanical parts for these cars?
Not at all. They are
standard celicas; mechanically, they are no different. The 1980
had the 20R engine and the 1981 had the 22R. You should be able to
find most mechanical parts at any Pep Boys or other major
remanufactured / new auto parts store. It may have to be ordered,
but i know for a fact that you can get the mechanicals.
Sunchasers out there...
(click for larger)
From the original TOYOTA
From a Classifieds2000
From Chris Morgan...
From an AngelFire