1977 Toyota Celica GT Liftback

Condition Used
Body Coupe
Make Toyota
Model Celica GT
Mileage 80792 mi
Fuel type Gasoline
Year 1977
Transmission Manual
Exterior Color Black
History Yes
VIN: RA291440020

The Toyota Celica arrived in the U.S. for 1971 as a trimmer, more fuel-efficient alternative to American pony cars. Like them, the Celica was based on proven passenger car mechanicals, in this case the Toyota Carina, a compact sedan offered in the U.S. for a few years in the early Seventies. Augmenting the Celica’s original notchback body style, the Liftback came to the U.S. for 1976 and 1977. Motor Trend named it Import Car of the Year in 1976. As with classic pony cars, fond memories and nostalgic feelings have been driving enthusiast and collector interest in the early Celicas. The seller of this 1977 Toyota Celica GT Liftback five-speed says he had owned one in the early Eighties and bought this car over 5 years ago. He says, “The previous owner worshipped it for 36 years, and I continued to baby it like a museum piece. I love taking it to summer shows and cruise-ins where it gets a lot of attention.” Further, he says he has stored the car in an insulated garage, when not in use. This Celica’s 20R 2.2-liter SOHC inline four-cylinder engine, a bulletproof favorite of tuners, was rated at 96 horsepower and 120 lb-ft of torque when new. This was competitive with similar cars and gave the 2,600-pound coupe peppy performance and very good fuel economy. The seller affirms that the engine is original to the car and that it has been “diligently maintained” by all its owners, with no modifications. He says a cold start “takes a brief period of priming” and that the automatic choke “works fine, with the engine settling into a nice, smooth idle.” He indicates “no significant leaks or weeps” and says the five-speed manual transmission and clutch operate with no issues. The seller describes this car as “rust-free,” and with no evidence of any past rust repairs. He further explains that, during the previous ownership, the underside has received a regular application of rust-prevention. The 1998 black respray is described as “great, with very few flaws of any kind” and the seller adds that the car “hasn’t been driven in rain or snow for many years.” Glass and seals are described as “perfect,” with no evidence of leaks. The rear louvers were a very-Seventies option. All lighting is affirmed to work. The first-gen Celica interior had an upscale look, with generous standard features that included reclining front seats, woodgrain dash and door trim, full console, full instrument panel, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and rear window defroster. The seller describes the cabin as all original, with seats “nearly perfect, except for a couple barely noticeable small cracks at the seams.” Seat adjustments are affirmed to work properly, as are the heat and gauges. Carpeting and headliner condition are described in “excellent” condition. The AM/FM stereo is believed original and is confirmed to work. Perhaps ahead of its time, and available technology, the eight-function ESP system, with digital display panel below the radio monitored oil, battery, coolant, taillights, the brake vacuum booster, brake lining wear, and brake lights. The system was also apparently prone to failure and is not working in this car, per the seller. A longtime Celica buff, the seller says, “I never saw one function properly.” The rear-drive first-gen Celica used strut-type front suspension and a solid rear axle with coil springs. The seller says he is unaware of any suspension service performed, but reports the components are working as designed. No play or other issues are indicated for the steering, and the front disc and rear drum brakes are described as “great.” In addition to the aftermarket wheels seen on the car now, i will include the original steel wheels also seen in the photos.