.

the car junkie daily magazine.

.

The Imported Pony Car: This 1977 Toyota Celica GT Is A Neat Little Coupe!


The Imported Pony Car: This 1977 Toyota Celica GT Is A Neat Little Coupe!

The credit goes to the 1964 Ford Mustang. Like the Chevrolet Camaro, the Pontiac Firebird, the AMC Javelin, the Dodge Challenger and the second-gen Plymouth Barracuda, Ford’s pony car was the inspiration for every last one of these machines to come to market…mainly because the company president nearly had a medical event upon the Mustang’s launch and sales figures. And that wasn’t limited to the U.S. market, either. In Japan, Toyota took notice and went to work on a car more or less designed specifically for the American market. They took the Carina sedan and turned it into a coupe while pretty much eyeballing the Mustang’s overall dimensions and in late 1970, dropped the Celica. There’s no denying the American influence on the first-generation Celicas…they have classic musclecar styling cues all over. But you got a 20R four-banger and your choice of transmissions (an automatic, a four-speed or a five-speed) in a light car that at it’s heaviest was just over a ton in weight. 

Hunting eBay, I located this neat little two-door coupe version with the 2.2L 20R and five-speed combination. It’s not perfect, but that’s nothing to be bothered over. Other than some period modifications, like the sweet Jensen cassette deck with the Audiovox equalizer and the window louvers, this is a used and drivable example that’s wearing it’s age pretty well, considering how quickly these things would rust. We’d freshen up the interior some and clean up the wheels, but modify it? Nah.

These cars used to be written off as throwaway toys, something you got for the kid to learn on before you got them a real car. But a four-cylinder, five-speed little sport coupe hardtop with this kind of styling? Compare it to a Corolla, or a Prius, or a Mirage of recent years…all day, every day, we would roll this Celica without a care in the world.

eBay Link: 1977 Toyota Celica GT coupe


  • Share This
  • Pinterest
  • 0

8 thoughts on “The Imported Pony Car: This 1977 Toyota Celica GT Is A Neat Little Coupe!

  1. jerry z

    Owned 2 Celica’s back in the day, a ’75 and ’76. Beat the living snot out of them. Couldn’t kill that engine!

    Reply
  2. Help With My Coursework

    The credit is going to the 1964 Ford Mustang. just like the Chevrolet Camaro, the Pontiac Firebird, the AMC Javelin, the sidestep Challenger and the second one-gen Plymouth Barracuda, Ford’s pony car changed into the muse for every final such a machines to come to marketplace…especially because the enterprise president nearly had a medical event upon the Mustang’s release and sales figures.

    Reply
  3. Gary Smrtic

    Those early Celica’s ROCKED! I liked the second itteration a bit better, looked like a ’69 Mustang, sorta. You just don’t see them anymore. Shame.

    Reply
  4. ANGRYJOE

    Great little car, I always liked the late 70 early 80 Toyota Celicas…the 1982 hatchback being my favorite. A neighbor had a dark brown one and if I recall it was as GT so it had nice wheels on it…sharp car…would DD in a heat beat!

    Reply
  5. Matt Cramer

    Speaking as somebody who did learn to drive on a Datsun 210, I’m not sure I could be nostalgic for amount of horsepower this would have on tap. It needs some kind of drivetrain swap – 2ZZ-GE, a high winding 3S-GE, or possibly a Mazda rotary if you want something totally psychotic.

    Looks like we’ve got a link spammer here, too.

    Reply
  6. Bill Greenwood

    Regal- You’re right about the bumpers. The 71-72 Celicas were are very nice looking car. They have a great interior, very reminiscent of a certain Italian breed, that still looks good. With 250-300 hp on tap, and maybe some 205/55/16 rubber, you’ve got a pretty slick pocket GT.
    I’d love to be able to do one of these and a 240Z in a Day 2 look with an injected and turbo’d 2.2-2.5 liter 4-pot at around that 250 horse mark.

    Reply
  7. max overdirve

    I wish I still owned my 2 81 celicas that had 5 speeds and the 22R motors.

    These cars were quick, comfortable, and bulletproof.

    Too bad toyota only makes camrys, corollas, and rav 4’s now.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *