Dodge Viper Wheels On A Toyota Celica: An Unusual Pairing

With a few years of immersion in the euro scene of car modification, the art of ‘wheel-whoring’ is now common-place in my approach during a project. As a fan of many exotic and obscure automobiles as a teen, the opportunity to own ‘pieces’ of them is like a small step towards the victory of owning the cars themselves.

How It All Began

With a constant eye to the VWVortex forums, I came across a set of custom 1st Gen Dodge Viper wheels initially fitted to a 20th Anniversary MK4 GTI. I had seen photos of this car circulating on the forums for some time, and admired how well the minimalist-character of the MK4 paired with the aggressive Viper 3-spokes. Following a quick calculation revealing that the front wheels would not fit on the MK5 Rabbit I owned at the time (at least not without some serious bodywork), I did what any true wheel-whore would do and I bought them anyway.

After a test-fit reinforced the “impossible” fitment on the Rabbit, I turned to photoshop to mock-up what the wheels would look like on a 2000 Celica GT-S I had recently picked up for what was intended to be a daily-driver. After a virtual 4-inch drop, and a quick calculation of offset/camber needed to pull it off, the Celica instantly became a second project. Following a slew of phone-calls with Motorsport Tech for a set of custom 5-to-6 Lug conversion adapters, the idea was now in full-swing. I spent the next month scouring for suspension parts and interior components, installing a set of BC Extreme Drop coilovers, and fitting a custom set of lower front hub camber brackets from Bradley Toon’s old Celica GT (look him up).

Finally, I picked up a set of OEM Dynamic side skirts, a front lip, and a 3-pillar wing from Celica-Club UK, and the car was finally on shaping itself into the image I had envisioned. A week’s worth of pondering that followed led me to adding a body-kit extension kit from Maxton, a Renown quick-release steering wheel, and a custom routed dual-exit exhaust welded by Tesh at Monkey Wrench.

An Under-Appreciated Design

Today the car sits a little bit differently (which I’ll highlight in a later post), but this will always be my favorite iteration of the car, and represents how a set of wheels can really transform the concept of a car entirely. Despite being introduced in the early 2000s, I believe the 7th Gen Celica borrows its design approach from 90s sport-coupes, with very little compromise between its concept and production model. Its curvature is strong, and reminiscent of a supercar; something I didn’t realize until it was lowered a few inches with the arches filled. And the bold yet simple design of the Viper 3-spokes seems like the perfect match for the Celica’s prominent lines. The ease of modifying this platform and peace of mind knowing the car isn’t monetarily exhaustive really makes the car a joy to own. Accordingly, many stages of it are still to come.

Scroll below for a look at photos taken of the car over the course of a year.

2000 Toyota Celica GT-S Specs:

Wheels: 17×10/9 Dodge Viper 3-Spoke Wheels (narrowed from 13/11″) / Custom Motorsport Tech 5-to-6 Lug Wheel-Adapters

Suspension: BC Racing Extreme Drop Coilovers / Custom Front Lower Hub Brackets / SPC Rear Camber Arms

Body: OEM Dynamic Side Skirts/Front Lip; Maxton body-kit lower extensions

Exhaust: Custom Dual-Exit

Read more car showcase articles here.

Written and Photographed by Walter Bryant | @soulesque

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