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Thread: 1981 Toyota Celica GT Liftback, Black

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    1981 Toyota Celica GT Liftback, Black

    Just bought a 1981 Toyota Celica GT Liftback as my official first car.
    My plans are to restore this car & equipe it with an up to date media/sound system.
    I paid $800 for it. I has yet to have however will be getting a brake kit replacement before its put on the road to be driven. Eventually I intend on installing new callipers as well.
    It's rolling on what I've been told are re-painted, 1986 Toyota Celica-Supra rims, they have been painted a bone white colour.
    The car has a 5 speed transmition & is rear wheel drive- gears 1-5 work fine. however I'm currently unsure as to knowing if both rear wheels spin or does just one of those wheel propell the vehicle?
    Also just a quick note, I do appologize if I'm getting some of the info wrong, tis why I'm here to ask ya'll, corrections & suggestions if being are welcome.
    I believe its has a 2.4L carborated engine. Not sure how many cyclinders it has.
    The interior is far from looking anywhere remotely close to being new, the colours of the fabric have collected lots of dirt & dust over the years. However on a positive note, there are few rips & tears in the fabric, & where those rips & tears may be- well they're not too visibly noticable, unless of course you happen to be looking for those particular defects & wear down on of the item at a glance.
    The radio is not original & has been slopily removed from its place. Whoever had done so, decided to cut into the plastic dash cover or whatever you'd call it, the radio's bay? Ugh, terminology...
    So, we continue...
    The sun roof works fine, though percautions must be taken while closing it, as sometimes it does not close properly, espicially i you were to mistakenly close it too quickly.
    I was told the air conditioner works as well as the heat however I have yet to test either to be totally honest.
    Not sure of the key components within this car that I should be paying attention to first in terms of bring this car back & restoring it as much as I possibly can.
    I admire the cars more aggressive look, or at least I think its characteristics are geared more in that direction, apose to being a happy looking car, lols like a bug or beetle.
    I'd like to ask you for your suggestions as to what part or area of the car I should focus on tackling first. I'm a young grasshopper in this particular niche.
    As I said above, I like its perhaps aggresiveness, how can I develope upon it to inhance it both visually & perhaps a little preformance wise. I'd like to keep majority of these tweaks a little more on the subtle side of things.
    However eventually as I learn to properly drive stick in this machine, I'd also like to learn how to do some drifting. As I do believe this car is kind of designed for or more geared towards that form or style.
    Am I wrong?
    Also, the current kilometer mark its sitting at, as I do reside in Canada, is currently paused at 369,021km.
    At what stage should I be concerned about issues surrounding that area o the car? Am I good for a few hundred more kilometers do cars like these tend to 'live longer than average' life wise. Are there things I should look to particularily avoid doing &/or are there things in particular that I should be doing likewise?
    I know regular oil changes are a no brainer, however are there any known tendencies associated with this make & model I should be aware of, to perhaps avoid the running into of such problems at a later time?
    Do you have anywhere off the top of your head that you can direct me to, as to getting better or more proper information about the concerns I am inquiring about?
    Also, the outside has some bubbling rust areas on the fenders & along the bottom side of the car where the side skirt(s) use to be.
    Any suggestions as to the best way to repair those areas. Doesn't have to be the cheapest method, I'd just like to hear your thoughts o the best ways to getting it done. Do it right the first time right?, why waste time & money going backwards on the ladder.
    Ugh what else, I like the look of fender flares & wheels with spacers. Those would be fashionable things to do with this ride right? Where would I go about in finding the best parts & parts best suitable for my particular car.
    And yes 'dollar wise' where is the best 'bang for your buck' parts wise, in either Canada, America or even Japan if applicable?
    Is it really true that most my parts will need to be ordered from Japan as I have heard? Or is it possible to obtain thats from Canadian or American manufacturers?
    Thank you to those who have taken your time & patience in trying to read & also understand all or even just some of my issues. To those who also give their opinion & or two cents on these topics, I too thank you as well for saying whatever you do. Your help is much appreciated.
    I will do updates every now & then on the what nots & travels I take once deemed road worthy by the DMV (department of motor vehicles) here in my area.
    For now these questions should keep me busy searching for answers to.
    Again thanks. I am a photographer so I will be posting detailed pictures to individual aspects described above.
    Bye for now, Corwizz of Mississauga & Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Squaw Valley California (around fresno)

    Re: 1981 Toyota Celica GT Liftback, Black

    I think pics will help other help you the most. I would recommend getting the car and working on one thing at a time. If you make a list and prioritize it, it will help you stay focused and not feel overwhelmed. I look forward to seeing pics of your car, and will help you in any way I can. Good luck with the new project and have fun with it.

  3. #3

    Re: 1981 Toyota Celica GT Liftback, Black

    Before you throw thousands of dollars into an atomic sound system,
    make sure your car is water tight, the 2nd Generation Celicas are starting (and have been) getting lots of leaks
    in the rear glass seals, both the side hatchback seals as well as the hatchback.

    so if you have that problem, NOW would be the time to fix it
    sadly no one makes the rear seals (that I know of) so careful pluggin with silicone
    is the only answer at the moment, but doing this now would save you on your speakers
    becoming huge bowls for rain water.

    as far as parts are concerned, no aftermarket producer has yet stepped up to make anything for these as of yet
    so used and refurbished are the only resorts that I know of at the moment.
    I personally own 6 80-81 Celicas/Supra, and have trouble finding some parts still
    I also do sell some extra ones as I find them, and tear down parts cars
    anything I have is listed at prices vary as to rarity of the items (for ME to find)

    good luck, the cars are a blast to have and own and drive,
    and hopefully they too will become more valuable as the collector market picks up on these

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