The Mystery Of The Missing 'Star Wars' Muscle Car

Obviously, there are many big questions in life that we still don't have answers for: Is there intelligent life in the universe? Were we put on Earth for a purpose? And, of course: whatever happened to the 1977 Star Wars Toyota Celica? 

Back before it was the juggernaut of pop-culture success that it is today, Star Wars was just another movie that needed to promote itself with, say, PSAs in which R2D2 and C-3PO chat about the dangers of whooping cough while Luke and his friends are presumably being crushed to death in a trash compactor.

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Then there was the "Star Wars Space Fantasy Sweepstakes," a contest that offered fans a chance to win T-shirts, posters, even a trip to Club Med. But the grand prize was a friggin'friggin' muscle car -- this was the '70s, after all. The brand new Toyota Celica GT came with a custom Star Wars paint job and, judging from the accompanying photograph, was a real babe tractor beam. 

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It even made the cover of Toyota Today magazine ("THE #3 TOYOTA MAGAZINE AMONG DIVORCED DADS!"), complete with a picture of Darth Vader letting C-3PO check out the engine and presumably communicate with the disembodied robotic soul trapped inside.

Nowadays, this car would be the hallmark of any fan's collection, but, frustratingly, no one knows where it is -- and for surprisingly intense reasons. The auto shop that customized the car became "mired in a string of drug, kidnapping and murder charges" involving both mobsters and Hare Krishnas. The contest was "buried," and the winner was never announced.

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There have been reports that back in either the late '80s or early '90s, the car was listed for sale in an issue of Antique Toy World Magazine ("THE #3 TOY MAGAZINE AMONG CHILDREN OF DIVORCED DADS!") for just $1000. This is crazy since today some Star Wars LEGO sets go for roughly the same price. But that hasn't led to any further clues. Hopefully, we won't discover that it's been collecting dust in the bowels of Jay Leno's mansion this whole time.

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Top Image: Toyota

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