Project cars are a labor of love. Daniel Railean’s heavily modified second-generation Toyota Celica in this video is a perfect example of this, showing how years of hard work can create a tighter connection between man and machine.
Railean became fascinated with Celicas when his brother owned one. Daniel was supposed to get the car as a hand-me-down, but the vehicle died before that could happen. Years later, this Toyota turned up on eBay, and Railean offered his entire savings of 750 pounds ($918 at current exchange rates) to buy it.
Unfortunately, the car was a rusty mess, and Railean has slowly built it into a BMW-powered drift car over the years. The engine came from an E46-generation 323i, and the rear end was out of a 2011 3 Series. It wasn’t all Bimmer donor parts, though, because the steering column was from a Renault Clio.
Railean doesn’t discuss the BMW engine’s output, but the stock version makes 168 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. While these are modest numbers by modern standards, the original Toyota 2.0-liter four-cylinder only has around 100 hp. Plus, the valved exhaust on the current powerplant gives the car a crisp, raw sound.
Crafting the body was another adventure. For example, Railean attempted to build a paint shop in his shed. A buddy was so disgusted at his technique that the friend eventually took over the job. Later, Railean decided to wrap many of the parts in carbon-kevlar.
The exterior features an eclectic mix of inspirations. The tall rear wing comes from Railean liking the wild Porsches from Rauh-Welt Begriff. The underbody neon is there because Railean enjoys the colorful look from the original The Fast and the Furious.
Railean drives his classic Celica nearly every day and uses the machine for drifting. It gets a lot of attention on the road, and people approach the car to ask questions about the build. After so much work putting the vehicle together, Railean seems to enjoy the recognition.