Introduced in 1970 as a 1971 model the Toyota Celica was Toyota’s first true sports coupe. Meant to be a more affordable choice to the pricey 2000GT it was based on the econo box Toyota Carina. A true hardtop the Celica was marketed for younger buyers in the USA.
Aimed at the Datsun 240Z it was a direct hit and a near miss at the same time. Styling was a hit but its four cylinder engine was feeble compared to the 240Z’s lusty in line six. In 1971 for the USA market you got the 1.9 liter “8R” four cylinder. Not a rocket but peppy and reliable. Toyota would brag of its great MPG and its tough nature. In the dawn of the OPEC gas crisis the Celica could not of been introduced at a better time.
Options were plenty and you could get your 1971 Celica in three trim levels. LT, ST or the sporty GT. Compared to dull offerings from GM like the Vega and Ford’s explodo-matic Pinto the Celica was plush and well built. As with most early 1970′s vehicles from Japan the Celica can suffer from rust issues. If you want an early Celica find the most rust free example you can.
Oddly they never have had the collectible value of its rival the Datsun 240Z but good ones are soon to skyrocket in value soon. Our feature 1971 Toyota Celica ST is a home garage restoration but a good one on a rust free Texas car.
Shifting is provided by a factory 5 speed. Exhaust has been upgraded with a header and Pacesetter free flow muffler. Our feature Celica has the later but much better 20R engine with a Weber 32/36 two barrel carb conversion. Prices on anything 1970's Japanese have been on the rise and finding good examples is a tough find. Don't be surprised by.. WHAT'S IT WORTH??