Hey there folks.
There’s thousands of blog posts, articles posted online highlighting the idea that at some point, somewhere, a Star Wars themed 1977 Toyota Celica GT existed. Sadly almost all of these articles are regurgitation of the same few clues over and over. I’ve been doing some preliminary research into finding this car once, and for all. Let’s openly document what we know about this car.
Where do we start?
-1977 Celica pace cars are built, most likely by Molly Designs of California. (vehicles style is attributed to Molly Designs style of the time. Edmund Cano is quoted of having said they provided the body kit for the Star Wars car.)
-Pace car is photographed on Watkins Glen for magazine advertisements.
-John Sladek, owner of Delphi Auto Designs, is credited for creating the original concept photo art for the promotional posters.
- September 23rd 1977
-Peter S Myers, of 20th Century fox, contacts unknown to inform them of the beginning of the raffle.
- September 26th 1977
-Mardan-Kane Inc (sweepstakes company) out of Garden City New Jersery ran a raffle, in conjunction with 20th Century fox for a Customized 1977 Toyota Celica GT.
-Edmund Cano and Skip Villegas were hired to paint the car by Delphi Auto Designs.
-Molly Designs provides the Toyota Pace Car body kit used on the Silver 1977 Celica GT.
-The car was painted and customized, including black leather interior with white pin striping and an airbrushed glove box. Celica Pace car body kit. Moon roof, Celica pace car wheels, and custom star wars airbrushing.
- Somewhere before October 1977
-Vehicle was delivered to 20th Century Fox Sometime before October where photos of it were taken with the characters of Star Wars, as well as Delphi’s Secretary on the Hello Dolly set.
- October 1977
-Delphi’s main investor Joseph Davis is smuggling Hash Oil. Another Delphi investor ‘Kulak’ is Kidnapped, Delphi ‘Bovan’ employee is murdered.
- December 31st 1977
-Contest closes for Marden-Kane.
- January? 1978
-The vehicle was apparently awarded to a winner early 1978 (Rumored January)
-End of the trail of the car.
- August 1981,
-Delphi Investor Joseph Davis goes on Trial.
- ????????? Somewhere pre-2012
-Lucas Films employee Steve Sansweet is quoted having said “But sometime around the late 1980’s or early 1990’s I was reading my Monthly issue of Antique Toy World when my eye was drawn to a small black and white ad at the bottom of a page. 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.”