Toyota Celica GT-Four
The second-hand car market is awash with fun, well-engineered and generally excellent bargains for comfortably less than £10,000. The MX-5, for instance, or the Boxster. A MkV GTI. And none of these are bad choices. But instead, let’s think of our plan as the least logical extrapolation of social distancing – don’t crowd around where everyone else is. Be a man apart. Like, at least six feet apart.
We’re not looking for just anything that’s wilfully different and less than £10,000. That’s a horrible idea, which will culminate in the unmitigated awfulness of a Ford Anglia. Or worse, something from the Soviet Union, where just to have motorised transportation (and not be waist-deep in snow out in a gulag) was a privilege, and cars were generally hideous, badly made and as reliable a workhorse as a dead mule. Worse still, you could end up with a Triumph TR7.
So let’s lay the foundation the right way with the Toyota Celica GT-Four. This exists (until speculators read this article and ruin everything for everyone yet again) in the happiest overlap of Venn diagrams we can think of: Toyota reliability, moderate price, rarity, performance, history and absence of obviousness.
Don’t confuse it with your average Celica – the GT-Four was a proper rally homologation special, with 250bhp, a full-time four-wheel-drive system and a host of tech from Toyota’s (ever so slightly cheating) rally team.
It was also, in case you’re not old enough to remember, a neck-and-neck competitor to the Lancia Delta Integrale in the actual World Rally Championship. And, perhaps more importantly, in Sega Rally, the greatest arcade game ever.