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First generation / A20/35 Series (1970-1977)

First generation

Production 1970–1977

Body style(s) 3-door liftback

2-door coupe

Layout FR layout

Platform A20, A35

Engine(s) 1.9 L I4

1.6 L I4

2.0 L I4

2.2 L I4

Transmission(s) 4 speed manual, 5 speed manual, 3 speed automatic

Length 164.2 in

Width 63 in

Related Toyota Carina

The first generation Celica was released to the market in 1970, and targeted to be a more affordable alternative to Toyota's sportscar, the 2000GT.

Displayed at the 1970 Tokyo Motor Show in October, and marketed in December of the same year, the Celica was a personal car that emphasized styling and driving enjoyment. Japanese models were ET, LT, ST, GT, and GTV.

For export markets, the Celica was offered in three different versions, the LT, ST and GT. The lower-end LT was equipped with a carbureted 2T four-cylinder engine displacing 1600 cc, while the ST came with a twin Solex-carburetor 2T-B engine. The 2T-G that powered the high-end GT model was a DOHC twin-Solex carburetor 1600 cc engine. All early Celica Coupes were pillarless hardtops.

The GT model came with various upgrades like underbody spoilers, tinted windows, different hood flutes, power windows, air conditioning, GT front grill, and shared a few things with the ST - a full-length center console and oil pressure/ammeter gauges, rather than the LT's warning lights.

There was also the GTV version, which had the 2T-G engine, a slightly cut-down interior, and did not come standard with things like power windows, but they were optional. The GTV has firmer suspension.

The first generation Celicas can be further broken down into two distinctive models. The first of these was the original with slant nose (trapezoid-like shape front corner light). This is for Coupe model only, TA22, RA20, and RA21. These models were released from 1970 to 1975 and came equipped with the 2T, 2T-G 1.6 liter, or 18R 2.0 liter motor. The second series had a flat nose (square front corner light) and slightly longer wheelbase. This facelift model appeared in Japan in 1974, but for export was the 1976 model year.

The first Celica for North America, 1971 ST was powered by 1.9 liter 8R engine. The 1972-1974 models have 2.0 liter 18R engines. For 1975-1977, the engine for the North American Celica is the 2.2 liter 20R. The Celica GT and LT models were introduced in the U.S. for the 1974 model year. The top-line GT included a 5-speed manual transmission, rocker panel GT stripes, and styled steel wheels with chrome trim rings. The LT was marketed as an economy model. Mid-1974 saw minor changes in the Celica's trim and badges.

The Liftback was introduced for Japanese market in April 1973, but not until 1976 for export models. Models for home market Liftback were 1600ST, 1600GT (TA27), 2000ST, and 2000GT (RA25 and RA28). The American Liftback is a GT (RA29) with a 2.2 liter 20R engine. All the Liftback models, which are commonly referred to as the 'Mustang' shape, have flat noses. Although there is no "B" pillar in the Liftback, the rear windows do not roll down (as they do in the hardtop coupe).

Although they looked the same, there were a few minor visible differences. The facelifted coupe is coded RA23 with an 18R engine, or RA24 with a 20R engine. Also available was the TA23, which was similar to the RA23, but with the T-Series engine. The RA23 and RA28 had a more distinctive bulge in the bonnet, or hood, which was lacking in the TA22 or RA20 Coupe and in the TA27 and RA25 Liftback Celica. The TA22 Celica also had removable vents mounted in the bonnet, which the RA23 and RA28 lacked. The RA series also had an elongated nose to accommodate the larger engine. The door vents, fuel filler cap, and interior were also different between the TA and RA series.

For 1976-1977, the Liftback was released with 18R-GU Twincam engine with a Yamaha head and running gear. This engine produced significantly more power than the 18R-G. Peak power was about 100 kW @ 7400rpm at the rear wheels.

In Australia, the Celica was first released in the 1.6 L 2T motor. The later 1975-1977 Celica was released with the 2.0 L 18R motor.

The very first entry for Celica in the World Rally Championship was in the 1972 RAC Rally, when Ove Andersson drove a TA22 1600GTV into ninth place.

The Liftback was often called a "Japanese Mustang" because of the styling similarities to the Ford Mustang pony car, including the triple bar tail lights that are a signature Mustang styling cue.

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This is where you realise that you're not getting any younger.

I had one of those Mustang look Celicas about 20 years ago.Remember buying it from some gypo that used to deal in old bangers near where I lived.

Think it cost me 100 quid with a years ticket.Come to think of it all his cars had a years ticket,hmmmmmmmmmm. sekret.gif

Burnt the clutch out after a fortnight and sold it to my mate for 100 quid,nothing ventured......

Quite a quickish car I seem to recall,2 litre engine,and I'm sure it had big twin carbs on it from the factory.

Them were the days! grin.gif

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It might be Australian or South African, i cant work it out from the surrounding cars and buildings. Someone who recognises the red thing on the dash might know.


[/ QUOTE ]

Australian me thinks, check out the sign next to the post above the rear window, looks like the outline of HMP Australia. grin.gif

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My second car was a dark brown ST1600 Celica with a cream interior.

P reg and I bought it in 1982.

I absolutely loved it and used to like the way the windows were pillarless - but the steering was all over the place. You had to constantly correct it to go in a straight line.

I also remember that the wings rusted and I bought some new ones that bolted on easily. The primer was dark brown 'nearly' the same colour as the car......so I just left them unsprayed cos I couldnt afford it. grin.gif

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Can anyone tell me what this is, and for bonus points, where I'd start looking for one?


[/ QUOTE ]

If you look at the URL for who hosts the image - TPG - it is Aussie. That and the semi-trailer 2nd from the left in the background with the map on the rear doors. Oh, and what looks like a Queensland Rego. grin.gif

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  • 1 year later...


I was searching for some parts and info and happened across your forums, saw this post, and decided to join to clear things up. So, sorry for re-opening an old thread.

That picture was taken at the Toymods Car Club ToyotaFest 2005. It is held in early October each year.

Yes, it is in Australia, but the vehicle is a JDM 1973 RA25GT Celica, model number is RA25-MQ-GG. The RA25 was never exported officially, except for one, but a few left Japan as private exports.

The only official export is the vehicle pictured in this thread. It was exported by Toyota to Australia in late 1973. It was exported to be trialled in Australia to see if the GT model would be imported. However, with little safety features, light weight and high performance the Australian government decided the GT spec Celica would not be imported. As such, Australia only received the LT spec model.

So, the lone RA25GT was used for a couple of years for the occasional promotional event, demos and road shows. It was then placed in storage around circa 1976, where it remained until in mid 1982 when it was offered for sale to the general public.

I saw it on display for sale, knew how rare it was, and bought it then and there. I have owned it ever since (June 1982).

It is built on the TA22 coupe chassis. So, while it looks like the later 1977 model RA28/29 liftback, it is different under the skin. From the doors back the cars are basically the same (except the rear tail lights are totally different), but the front-ends are totally different. Consider the RA25 to be a TA22 liftback.

It runs a 2litre 18R-G twin-cam engine (with the 210 head) with a CR of 9.7:1, with dual 40mm Solex side-draught carbies, and produces 145bhp at 6,400rpm. The vehicle weighs 1040kg.

It has a 7.5inch F-series 2-pinion LSD (3.909:1 ratio), 2-piece tail shafts, and an all-steel, close ratio 5-speed Porsche-ZF patent gearbox. It has tinted power windows, overhead monitor/warning console, air-con and non-retractable seat belts.

Since that photo the car has gotten original wheels and the GT pin-striping added - and done only about 1000kms. It is now on Historic Registration, where it goes for club cruises and events, and collects a fair share of trophies and awards for the Classic/Original category. It is too rare and has a rich history, which would be foolish to change by modifying the vehicle. Besides, I own a 1977 RA28 liftback which I am modifying - so I can have a clean original rare model, plus a hotted-up classic one - best of both worlds.

Getting parts is a bitch and they are expensive. Luckily the car does not get driven much and is treated with much love and devotion - so she is not too hard on the wallet. She has been reliable and never let me down.

Driving it is sheer pleasure. The gearbox is still tight and notchy, and the engine, at revs, sounds wonderful. Very easy to drive and comfortable and, when driven gently, economical. It can get around 32mpg on a highway at 110pkh, but down to 18mpg if driven like a madman around the city. She has a total of 130000km on the clock - which isn't much for a 36 year old car.

The RA25 model was produced from April 1973 to November 1975. This vehicle is an early build, estimated around May 1973. In Jan 1974 the RA25 was given a slight facelift, to coincide with the "long-nose" TA22 - which was also a JDM only model. Therefore, the 1973 models really had a limited production run and are the rarest of the RA25 models.

The RA25GT has appeared in numerous magazines of late as it is becoming a bit of a celebrity due to its age, history and mint condition. It has gone from once being young and new, to just an old Toyota, to being retro-cool and stylish. I can only dream that as I advance in my years that maybe one day I'll become retro-cool and stylish, but somehow I doubt it.

I'm glad you like the car. She is a beauty and such fun to own and drive. If interested I can put some more pics up for you.

So, again sorry for opening an old thread, but hopefully it has cleared some things up for you.



Edited by river
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