In the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, the noted talk show host and car collector takes a ride in a 1971 Toyota Celica. The Celica was a game-changing car for not just Toyota, but the sport coupe segment that it spawned. Leno is especially fond of its copious standard features, sharp styling and impressive engine. There are a few factual errors (it was not Toyota’s first sports car or a joint European-Japanese styling effort) but overall a great overview of what makes the first-gen Celica a classic and an excellent basis for a “hot rod.” Watch the video below.
1st Toyota sports car??? What about the 2000gt?
Kept thinking this to myself the whole time.
Actually, the Sports 800 predates the 2000GT.
He corrects himself later and says first sporty car in the US.
DEAR JAY, WE LOVE LENO’S GARAGE BUT PLEASE CONSIDER COLLABORATING WITH JAPANESE NOSTALGIC CAR NEXT TIME YOU DO A VINTAGE JAPANESE CAR VIDEO. PLEASE? -YOUR ADORING FANS
Where can one get a denim shirt? Is there a bulk store that has them?
You know how to reach me, Mr. Leno.
No offense to the Toyota corporate guys but couldn’t they get somebody with more oldschool blood in their veins?
When Jay does a vid on one of the Datsuns from the Nissan museum, those guys will liven things up since they’re true gearheads.
Ahha…the vintage 1970s Celica…the car that ignited my love affair with Japanese iron!
Looks like Jay has one of those CHP Explorer’s tailing them during the drive. Police escort or just pure coincidence?
First Toyota sports car or not, I was surprised, and unbelievably pleased and excited, to see Jay do a video with a vintage / nostalgic Japanese car. I don’t remember too many from his former mind-blowing website that he had back in the NBC era, other than one with his Honda S600.
Hey even if the old silver fox had it a bit wrong, I am sure glad he’s one of us – a car nut and one that appreciates Japanese product!
I sort of recall he’s done a vid on RX3 as well as a Honda S600. Didn’t he do one for a Datsun 210 too?
Ironically, a major site here in Aust (Shannons Insurance) have just released a vid on the first gen celica too.
Seems our cars are getting popular girls and boys!
Leno has done one with a Datsun 510 — an employee of his, if I recall correctly.
Toyota’s marketing rep had things wrong. The USDM Celica came with a 5 speed in the 1974 GT models, not in ’72 as he mentioned. I can go on and on, but yeah, they should have sent an old school gearhead.
Yes, I agree with Ryan.
As a proud original owner of a new ’72 Celica (and still have it), I remember the details. As a 17 yr. old @ the time, i studied that brochure like it was the only printed material known to mankind. Price was wrong. My ’72 was $2847.00 not the $4000. Only options were A/C, am/fm radio and dealer installed 8-track tape player which was mounted under the dash to the left of the steering column (on U.S. cars). Yes, as mentioned in the video, radials in ’72. Mine had 165-13 Dunlop radials. The color on the video is the same as my Celica. Altair green metallic. Some peculiar things. On the console near the back where the hand brake is, there is a silver tray. Looks like it’s missing and carpet shows. Another, but difficult to tell, the center area and the tops of the back seats. Those areas are vinyl – at least on mine. Video appears to be cloth and blowing in the breeze a bit. Not sure. Love the car and happy to see it getting some attention from Jay!
My parents were 25 and 22 when they bought their gold 73 ST brand new. They sold the car in 1979 with 120k miles on it and we used to see it around town for a few years after that. Years later I was lucky enough to locate a blue 72 ST that was bought new in Seattle and I became its 4th caretaker from 2002 to 2006. It was originally your color and I would love to have another one someday! Do you have any pictures of your Celica? Would love to see it!