Today, February 10, is the Lunar New Year, and that means it’s officially the Year of the Dragon. The A20 Toyota Celica is the car that represents this mythical beast. For a creature that is so prominent in Asian culture, it’s surprising there aren’t more dragon references in the automotive realm, but the Celica might just be the perfect car for this logo.
According to the Toyota Automobile Museum, the Celica’s emblems depict “a dragon flying freely and majestically through the sky”. The name Celica is derived from Spanish and means “celestial, mystical, or divine”. “Celica” and “celestial” both evolved from the Latin root coelica.
This next part has never been confirmed by Toyota. There are many variations of the Asian dragon that are rooted in Chinese mythology, but as it happens the most common one is called the tianlong, or “celestial dragon” because they are said to guard the heavenly kingdom. In some legends, they even pull chariots for the gods, a perfect parallel for a sporty personal coupe. As tidy as this may be, it could be just a happy coincidence, as it would require two separate translations into English to connect the bridge, but dragons do represent luck, so we’ll take it. Happy Year of the Dragon from JNC!