Friday, July 24, 2015

Vintage Japanese: 1975 Toyota Celica GT Hardtop

This is All Toyota, All Day; DT's celebration of things made by Toyota.  The first generation Celica hit the pavement running at the 1970 Tokyo Motor Show with a sense of optimism befitting a young middle weight.  It wasn't a pricey supercar like Toyota's 2000GT, but it was so much more than the typical Corona or Crown coming out of Toyota at the time.  It was sporty, cheap, and its simplicity-over-muscle approach to the fuel crisis era pony car made it a first round knockout.  Find this 1975 Toyota Celica GT Hardtop here on eBay offered for $10,000 buy-it-now or make offer, located in Johnson City, TN.

I'm an unapologetic lover of the Celica liftback version that resembles a 7/8ths scale Mustang, but the coupe offers a more reserved sporty look.  This one is quite appealing, shod with Minilite style wheels (what doesn't look good in Minilites -- spoiler alert -- nothing!!) and lowered just a tad, but not slammed.

Under the hood is a 2RZ inline-4 from a 90's era Tacoma pickup truck, an odd engine to find swapped into your Celica...until you notice the turbocharger peeking up from the under the rat's nest of vacuum tubes.   Described as a "small Garrett turbo" and boosting 5 psi, it should up the stock 142 horsepower/160ft-lbs of torque to something more respectable.

Cosmetically the car looks decent, but the seller does admit there are a number of issues including a few small spots of rust, "touchy" brakes, steering slack, and several other things that could probably be fixed in a few weekends. 

 See a better way to live the JDM dream yo?


  1. Nice looking cel-eek-ah (or is it pronounced cel--eh-ka, the debate continues...). Looks nice on the surface, but the deeper I dig into the description the more I wonder why it's $10k and not $6k. The paint looks like a "10 footer" and the seller admits it needs to be redone, it's not the original color obviously. This is a project car.

    1. Hopefully the next owner will take it back to a color from 1975 instead of boring modern metallic grey.

  2. These really have a terrific mini-muscle car look. The design is so good with the coke bottle hips.
    Take a look on how the front and rear bumpers are just continuations of the body. really nicely executed.

  3. Nice car but I find it odd that a repainted car, even if not well done, is a slightly different colour behind the rear doors? Door card carpet appears to have been coloured from a tan to black.

  4. Okay, I'll take it.

    Then I'll ditch the truck thumper and swap in one of the Altezza BEAMS blacktops and 6-speeds that litter pallets all over the JDM ads on eBay.

    But first I'll rotisserie the thing, and soda-blast it, and paint it yellow (either the original or something like Ferrari Fly Yellow) to get it back closer to where it's supposed to be '70s-wise.

    So to do all that it makes absolutely no sense to start by spending ten grand on one.


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