You might think that any piece of merchandise even vaguely connected with 1977’s Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope had long since been discovered, laminated, sealed in Mylar, auctioned off at an exorbitant price, and sold to some covetous, obsessive collector. You would be wrong. As an intriguing MetaFilter post by a user named Etrigan points out, there is still one major piece of Star Wars history still missing in action: a customized 1977 Toyota Celica given away to one lucky fan as part of a contest held by 20th Century Fox. The car, if it is indeed still in good condition, would actually make a sweet addition to any wealthy superfan’s collection. The Celica was a cooler-looking, sportier vehicle than its name might suggest, and this particular vehicle was given a special silver-and-black paint job by the long-defunct Delphi Auto Design of Costa Mesa, California, complete with images of Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and other characters from the film added to the hood and sides, as well as the words “Star Wars Celica” in that inimitable Star Wars font. Etrigan says that Delphi “went belly-up after its main investor was busted for smuggling hash oil, and no records seem to exist of the winner.”
According to Lucasfilm empoyee Steve Sansweet, the prized, much-coveted vehicle went missing “sometime around the late 1980s or early 1990s,” when it was being offered for sale in a toy collecting magazine for “just $1,000.” As of 2015, the Celica’s exact whereabouts remain unknown, despite the diligent efforts of indie filmmaker Dean Shada. Perhaps with the added attention given to the sci-fi franchise due to the new Force Awakens, the prodigal Toyota will finally be located and will be able to fulfill its destiny: to sit proudly in the parking lot outside a cosplay convention while an 8-track of Meco’s Star Wars And Other Galactic Funk blares from the dashboard.