Where is the Missing Star Wars Celica?

600 × 600

Star Wars is probably the biggest franchise in film history. When the first film opened in 1977, though, no one knew just how big of juggernaut it would turn out to be. To promote the movie, a special 1977 Toyota Celica Liftback GT was created for a sweepstakes. Now 42 years later, no one knows what happened to it. 

Toyota partnered with 20th Century Fox to create the car and it was to be given as the grand price in the Star Wars Space Fantasy Sweepstakes that took place from September 1977 to the end of the year. Other Star Wars-themed prizes were given away, but the Celica was the big one. 

It has a special paint job with the movie poster hand-painted on the hood and other Star Wars ships and characters on the body. It also has special interior upholstery, moonroof, custom wheels and tires and an upgraded body kit. 

During the sweepstakes, the Celica was delivered to 20th Century Fox for photos before it was to be handed over to the winner. The Celica was featured on the cover of the October 1977 issue of Toyota Today, an internal publication for Toyota dealers, alongside Darth Vader, R2-D2 and C-3PO. 

Delphi Auto Designs, the company that painted the car, was then hit with controversy around that time as former employee Steve Bovan was murdered. There were other accusations of crime committed by people associated with the company and it soon went out of business.

According to multiple outlets, there’s no record of the winner or the Celica’s Vehicle Identification Number. It disappeared shortly after. 

Car and Driver published a story nearly a year ago and the outlet spoke with Steve Sansweet, a former Lucasfilm employee and CEO of non-profit Rancho Obi-Wan. He saw the car advertised in Antique Toy World Magazine and thought about buying it, but didn’t. 

“Sometime around the late 1980s or early 1990s I was reading my monthly issue when my eye was drawn to a small black and white ad at the bottom of a page,” Sansweet said. “There it was — the Star Wars Toyota — being offered up for sale by the original owner, who said it was in great shape. Here’s the killer: the asking price was just $1,000. I remember being transfixed and started thinking how I could possibly buy this primo piece of promo history.”

The Celica hasn’t been seen since. Fans have been searching for it for years but to no avail. Do you know anything about the missing Star Wars Celica? Let us know!

Photo: etsy.com

Categories: Entertainment