A look back at the Toyota Celica A20/35 (1970 – 1977) 0

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Today our retrospective focuses on one of Japan’s most illustrious exports to the UK and US (in particular) – the Toyota Celica A20/35.

The first generation of the Celica had always been slated primarily as an export and had been designed accordingly. To all intents and purposes, it was a coupe version of the Carina.

After a number of problems revealed during early road tests were solved, the Celica went on to sell in huge numbers. Sporting top notch engines, gearboxes plus lots of exciting tech (especially when compared to the Capri) the car soon found itself a legion of fans, none more so than in the States, where sales were hugely impressive.

1974 saw the Celica facelifted for the first time and the iconic liftback bodystyle introduced. With this sleek, speedy image Toyota now had the perfect combatant to rival the Capris and Mantas.

The GT version of the Celica is referred to by many as the ‘Mustang-shape’ car. It was exceptionally quick too thanks to its 124bhp twin-cam 1600. Celicas sold on the Japanese markets had the option of a spicy 2.0-litre Yamaha-headed power unit, called the 18R-GU, capable of 134bhp.

The original Celica is a popular car amongst collectors; many immaculately restored examples can be found throughout the UK.

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