Not long after Ford (or, arguably, Plymouth) pioneered the “sporty car on a mundane sedan chassis” pony car formula, even Toyota got in on that action with the 1970 Celica. They based the Celica on the Carina chassis, but with bigger engines and cooler styling. I’ve no hands-on experience with 70s Celicas, but I see a compact longitudinal-layout vehicle with parts interchangeability reaching into the late-80s, and there’s a lot to like about that. While this one lacks the “Japanese Mustang” looks of the ’77 liftback, it benefits from a pre-smog year of manufacture. With a curb weight just over a ton, there’s no shortage of engines that’d make this thing scream.
Condition wise, this one’s a “side yard car”, to be sure. The seller just wants it gone and a puzzling mix of parts (the pedals and steering wheel) are missing. One fender’s mis-matched (a ’74), there’s typical rust around the front/rear windshields and the hood is “not salvageable” (though it’s unclear why). As much as I dislike seeing relatively rare cars get all hacked up for drifting or hardcore offroading, if ever there was a candidate for box flares and a welded diff, this is it. We’ve gotta hand it this seller: he started the auction at $1 with no reserve. True Adam Smith free-market pricing in action, which (as I type this) places the value of this car somewhere around $285 after 24 bids. Auction ends Wednesday afternoon, so we’ll see how much it climbs by then.