When people talk about sporty Japanese cars from the 70s, the Datsun 240Z usually gets first billing. The Toyota Celica, however, was just as compelling, even with its Malaise Era safety bumpers. In fact, when compared with its competition from that post-oil crisis period in America, the Celica is decades head of its time.
In the latest episode of Regular Car Reviews, a 1977 Celica Liftback impresses with its overall styling brownness, powerful 20R motor, and 5-speed transmission in an age when even Corvettes had just four. Narrator Mr Regular notices that you can drive it on the highway at a normal, modern rpm. Sure, the coilovers and Racing Harts give it a substantially better road feel from stock, but that’s also part of its charm, that a few simple bolt-ons can so drastically improve its performance. A 1970s car that drives like it was made in the 90s? Who wouldn’t like that?