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Fastback Friday: 1977 Toyota Celica GT Liftback

Kamil Kaluski June 1, 2012 Hooniverse Fastback Friday 32 Comments

Despite that the fact that so many were sold we are not likely to see many older Japanese cars survive to be classics. One of the reasons for that is the fact that they were just used as daily vehicles, reliably racking up hundreds of thousands of miles before ending up in a junk yard, all used up. That or they just rusted away. In either case most of these vehicles did not receive a lot of enthusiast love, even the sporty or less popular models.

This mint-ish enthusiast-owned 1977 Celica Fastback can be considered one of the few survivors. Bonus, no stupid mods and a reasonable price. Let’s see what’s what…

[Source: ih8mud.com]

From the ad:

Details. Located in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. Price is $6,500

Here’s an opportunity to own a very rare Toyota. I have a 1977 Celica GT Liftback in original paint with original interior and original motor with 90K on it.

I am third owner and have documentation from new including the signed warranty cards from Toyota. It has the original tool bag and jack.

I pulled the motor so that I could pretty up the engine compartment.

The car had sat in a garage for 12 years and I performed the engine bay restoration 5 years ago. The car has about 1000 miles on it since I got it running and its only been to car shows.

Exterior: Original paint, has some bubbles starting but no holes. I’ve buffed it out, there’s a few dings but its in very reasonable shape. The link below shows the worst of it. It has the halogen conversion, and I’ve converted the safety bumpers to smileys. These were sourced from Australia – chrome is very good with no rust. The louvers are Cragar and were NOS purchased off ebay. The glass has a light blue factory tint.

Wheels are Konig rewinds with Toyota centers. These have falken 512’s on them and they’re a great performer. The GT stripe is original and it still has the dealer option of the rub strip.

Interior: Original seats, carpet, floor mats, dash etc. and working Toyota Cassette. Headliner was replaced as it was sagging and the shifter boot was as well as it was cracked. It has the original shifter knob. There is no crack in the dash or any of the upholstery.

The ESP system works and will tell you if the battery is low, rad fluid needs attention, booster needs attenion, brake pads are too thin etc.

Engine: I had the head off to replace the head gasket ( precaution only) and redid the oil pan gasket, replaced the water pump, thermostat and all rubber. The rad is new, and brake, and clutch cylinders are new. The booster is new. All wheel cylinders and calipers are new. Fuel pump is new and comes with a genuine new replacement. Clutch is new and is a centerforce clutch. The carb is rebuilt and I have a rebuilt spare. I ordered brand new factory hose clamps to replace the not so nice ones and decals where necessary. It has a brand new 2.25 custom exhaust with magnaflow stainless 6″ can, 4″ stainless resonator and stainless tip (sounds great – not tinny but rumbly.

Driveline and Suspension: I have replaced all fluids – there are no leaks. Rear shocks have been replaced with Tokico performance units and I have new strut bearings and performance struts for the front.

Parts: I have a fibreglass chin spoiler, smog pump, some electrical components, the lower dash, mirrors, some chrome trim, speaker covers, wind shield, quarter glass, new stock springs and rotors and factory manuals.

I have the original bumpers and steel wheels which have been sand blasted and repainted

I am willing to sell or trade and make up the difference. I am looking for an 80 series in as good condition as this car with lockers and a full service history. Prefer no greater than 150K miles.

If I can’t find the 80, I’ll also take trade on 80 series front and rear factory or ARB lockers with 4.88’s, harness and switches/compressor. We’ll work something out.



So, question and answer:

  • Rare and/or unique? Yes.
  • Good condition? Yes.
  • Fun? Yes.
  • Well priced? Yes.

The 20R engine pretty much cannot be killed. Part availability might be an issue, not sure I don’t know the market that well. The most important thing – comportment owner. You can just tell from how the ad is written and the fact that it’s posted on an enthusiast message board. I want it. Buy it, play around with it, sell it… if you’re in Canadia. 

  • The stance is all wrong, but otherwise seems like a great little car.

    • PowerTryp

      The stance is stock which makes it all right with me.

      • themagicboltbox

        I guess I should be more specific – the stance doesn't bother me, but the wheel gaps do. Needs taller wheels/more sidewall/lowering springs.

        • eggsalad

          I'm very curious about this, because I hear it all the time. My own eye does not find "wheel gap" offensive in any way shape, or form. Could you please explain why you find so offensive a wheel gap that is just there to allow normal suspension travel?

          • mnm4ever

            He is right, the gap is all wrong. My aunt had one of these new, and it did not sit up that high. So the stance isnt actually stock, for whatever reason, and that makes the wheelwell gap not stock. Maybe the wheels are bigger or tires are taller or something is off with the springs, I dont know.

            Plus, cars in the 70s simply sat higher, even muscle cars with "Heavy Duty" suspensions were jacked up there. Those cars, and these older Japanese cars look really sweet when they are dropped just a bit. I am not saying slam it into the weeds like some guys do, but dropped to a nice sporty stance, combined with those great retro wheels sticking out a bit more than usual, and they look awesome. I would take one of these in a second, this is gorgeous. There is a red one for sale in downtown Tampa for $4500, but it isnt in nearly this nice of shape.

            • Gofast

              I'm the owner. This is stock height. The current tires are 60 series performance tires. It came witha 70 series size as from the factory.

              • mnm4ever

                IIRC, it also came with 13" rims from the factory, and those were narrow 70-series tires. Those look like what… 15" or 16"? And those 60-series tires look wider than stock too. A 60 isnt going to be shorter than a 70 if its wider.

                I don't know what exactly makes it look taller, but it is, maybe higher rate springs? I dont know.. but check out the video below, or the pics from the wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Celica

                Don't take it personal, I LOVE your car, you did an amazing job on it and I would love to own it. I would just lower it a bit, give it that bad-ass JDM look to go along with the new rims, which I also like, they look like period correct mini-lites or something. Is it still for sale?

              • Matt

                Is this car still available? I would be very interested in purchasing it. Best.

              • Ckb

                Still for sale? Email me chanscoo@hotmail.com in Calgary

          • themagicboltbox

            It's like obscenity, I know it when I see it. Stock ride height or not (and I suspect it isn't), there's like 4 inches of gap between the wheel well lip and the tire. Drop it 2 or 3 inches and it would look badass, and handle better to boot.

  • Wow, that is a serious attention to detail. I actually changed my mind. I would rather have this than Jeff's Torino.

  • Irishzombieman

    Someday, I'ma find me an old beater one of these and turn it into the Bitchin'est Rally Car EVER.

  • tonyola

    Quite nice and not overpriced. If only it had A/C….

  • Van_Sarockin

    It looks like it has 12" radials, when it should have 80/90 bias ply 14"ers

  • Quite the well sorted car. Lots of extras for the deal of the week.


    i want this! These were the only Japanese cars I ever lusted after…it looks awesome!

  • Couldn't find an ad for '77, but here is one from '76 for an idea of tires/stance…

    [youtube 2ULfF6SVO-g http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ULfF6SVO-g youtube]

  • Linda

    I own a very similar 1977 Celica. It was my dad's last car and has only 70,000 orignial miles on it. I am trying to decide whether to sell or restore. If I could find a new owner who would restore and love the car, I should sell. It is not quite as clean on the outside as the one written about in this post however, runs great and interior great but needs some upolstery work on seats. This car is stock, fast (for it's age) and fun to drive.

    • chas L

      How much…send pics.


    • Steve

      I know this is an old post, but I'd you haven't sold your car and are thinking you would like to, please send me an email. I love in Oregon but I'm willing to travel a fair distance for a beauty.


    • Aydrus

      would restore and love the car
      How much…send pics.
      at aydrusfangase@yahoo.com

  • Ryan

    How did you pretty up underneath the hood?! Im getting my Uncle's '77 loftback and would love to make the engine compartment look clean and new just like this one. And what budget am i looking at for that?

    • Jay

      I had a 77 celica GT back in 89 and it blew the front seal. (Only problem i ever had). The mechanic used Purple Power cleaner on the entire engine bay and it was clean as new when he was done. Works best when the engine is slightly warm to help cut the dirt oil and grease. Try it, you will love it

      • John Filiatrault

        PS That car with the 5 speed used to eat 5.0 Mustangs on the launc but they got me by top end. I want another one!

  • tuammuas21

    How do i reach you?

  • Alex

    I own a 77 celica ST and theirs nothing wrong with the hight… i assure you this car Hugs the hell outta any corner you throw at it

  • Charles

    Height is fine. I owned a 77GT Liftback….until the damn garage caught to fire and the roof fell in and flattened it like a pancake! Damn new 8000 dollar engine was just installed too…..these are absolutely the best cars ever, they run forever, everyone will follow you wanting to buy it and the most enjoyable car to drive.

    • John Filiatrault

      I used to call my 77 GT lift back my " little Vette". I would buy another one in a heartbeat. Cos dynamite comes in small packages. A well know NHRA driver offered to put a chevy 396 under the hood with the stock 5 speed. I should have let him. It definitely would have been "interesting" to say the least lol

  • Shiraz

    If still to sell please send email

  • Kevin Fader

    Is this car still for sale? kevinfader@yahoo.ca