Yellow Rose — 1977 Celica Liftback

22 Янв 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Toyota EX-1

The Yellow Rose of Texas to California

Story and Photos by Williams, February 2009

The rose of Texas now lives in This “yellow rose” Celica GT Liftback may be

the lowest Celica Liftback in existence only 22,815 original It is also clearly one of

the most and cleanest un-restored classic to surface in recent years. In the half

of 2008, Eric a life-long car collector and restorer was on the internet for a classic

Toyota for his next restoration project. He a Stout for sale in Texas and looking at

the photos of the Stout in the ad, he a yellow Celica in the background of one of the

and then contacted the owner to see if it was for too. The person on the other end of the

was the daughter of the owner of a long Toyota dealer. She confirmed her Father’s

Toyota dealer displayed this Celica on the floor for many years in a of

significant older Toyotas the new Toyota models. For some reason this Celica, the

and other classic Toyotas all up for sale.

After receiving Celica photos and asking a few important questions about the Eric

could hardly that he stumbled upon Toyota treasure. This car was original right

down to the original tires. the original Bridgestone RD-106 were completely useless

and square than round sitting on the showroom for many He purchased this car over

the and had it promptly transported to California. shipping, the original tires

replaced with new ones to it drivable.

Upon arrival to its new in California, there were no and everything was just as

the previous claimed. Eric, who has done complete frame-off restorations, did not

to do much to this Celica for a minor detailing and getting it tested in order to register it

in When he took it in for a smog the test results were This car ran nearly as

clean as a new car with much more emission controls. Even the mechanic said

that he had seen any car from the 1970s this well in smog Please keep in mind

this car is a 49-state car which has less restricted emission than California cars

the 70s and yet it still produced excellent test results.

Even this Celica is now 32 years old as of writing, it remains close to new in

almost all respects. Just inside takes one back on a trip back to the 70s with one

of that “new Toyota” that still permeates the The original rubber Toyota mats are

still there the carpets. There are no stains or any of wear anywhere in the interior and

the brown vinyl seats and are in perfect condition. The simulated grain on the

dash, console and still shines enough to the unknowing into thinking it is wood. Even

the original AM/FM radio is there, and one wonder if turning on the radio, an Air

or Bee Gees song from the 70s come belting out of the speakers.

one twist of the key and the carbureted 20-R comes to life and idles as as any

modern Toyota with fuel injection. This was equipped with the optional

automatic transmission and to some car that makes the car less than the standard

5-speed However, one drive in the automatic may some to accept the

automatic This automatic is so smooth and to the torque filled 20-R

When comparing the Celica to cars of the same time in the 70s is easy to see why

Toyota sold so Celica Liftbacks in 76 and 77. The refinement and instant drivability of the

Celica it so appealing to car buyers in that period. Many of Toyota’s were

left struggling with how to the government’s mandate for emission on all new cars sold

in the USA in the 70s and their had major drivability issues as hard cold starts,

idles and power losses. ask anyone who was present in the 70s about memories of driving

the first of automobiles equipped with controls.

Not only was the overall ahead of it’s time, the Liftback may have been the first

car with an onboard for diagnosing different mechanical This unit was called the

Sensor Panel, (ESP) and was on the lowest part of the center just in front of the

shift The 8 functions that it monitors radiator fluid, engine oil battery, reminders for

burned out and brake lights, levels for fluid, front brake pad and vacuum for the

brake booster. The light for each of these areas stays on until the is


For the American market were no special or limited offered and the first Generation

was the only generation to never a convertible version either by the or

aftermarket companies. In a time before tinted windows, a option in hotter climates

was louvers for the Liftback’s large panel. These were by several aftermarket

companies and installed. There was just not a selection of options and tuning in the

1970s, it was basically pick color and your transmission and then drive it home.

did use a very lightly modified Liftback as the pace car for the 1976 Beach Formula 1

Grand Also the 20th Century Fox Corporation commissioned a custom silver and

black 1977 Wars” Celica Liftback a painting of Darth Vader’s on the hood, custom

fender and chrome wheels. If any Toyotageek out there know if either of special

Celica Liftbacks exists today, please let us

Some of the front end styling and the inspiration for building an affordable coupe for the

masses began the Toyota EX-1 concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show in

Through the years, the first Celica has been referred to as the Mustang”. In

some ways it is deserved to be called a “Japanese because of a styling similarity to the

taillights with the overall of the Mustang Boss 302 and Mustang 1. The fact

is that the Celica’s took inspiration from than just Mustangs. are styling

similarities to the Plymouth and Dodge Charger and even the Espada in the

way the front bumper into the body and the grill.

No matter what inspiration the saw in other cars of that period, the finished product is

Toyota and the styling of the Celica has passed the test of time as one of the

attractive and balanced cars ever came out of a Toyota Even during our photo

passersby commented on how timeless car looks. The styling may have the test of time as

well as the durability and reliability of the Liftbacks. the tinworm has taken the

majority of 1st Celicas off the road and turned into parts cars and recycled

steel. Even fine 22,000 mile was not exempt from rust, the only flaw found in

“yellow rose of Texas” was a small patch of rust on the and inner part of the right

front fender. Now that the Celicas are highly sought by classic car collectors, there is

chance that the remaining Celicas will end up in a junk

Even though both the 800 and the 2000GT came before the the Celica can be credited

as Toyota’s success in the sports coupe Motor Trend awarded the with

the prestigious “Import Car of the award upon its introduction in The Celica accounted

for approximately 20% of rapidly growing sales during 1976 and 1977.

those years it was also the selling Imported Sports in America. That is a huge

stake for a coupe. Those of sales percentages are unheard of in sports coupe

marketplace. In not many sports coupes are anymore in today’s marketplace. the

Celica’s closest competitors as the Honda Prelude, Acura and Nissan 240 SX have all

been By the end of Celica production in 2005 were seven generations and

4,000,000 Celicas built that 35 year lifespan. Toyota will reintroduce the

someday in the same way that recently brought back the and even retro styled it

the 1st generation Camaro. It has been that absence makes the grow fonder, so since

is no replacement for the Celica at the moment, it can make Celica fans and restore their

classic generation Celicas to the best of abilities.

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