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. 

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