eBay Listing: 1978 Toyota Celica
The recent introduction of the Scion FR-S would lead a newcomer to believe that rear wheel drive 2+2 sports cars were a new discovery for Toyota. Rather, the company has a long history of making sporty cars and one of their longest-lived nameplates was Celica. The first three generations of the Celica were rear wheel drive and helped build the foundation for Toyota’s reputation in the United States.
This 1978 Celica is from the first year of the car’s second generation. Relative to current expectations of performance this car seems like a relic. However, when one contemplates what else was available on the market in 1978 this shines in a brighter light. For example, when the Chevy Corvette came standard with but 185 horsepower from it’s 5.7 L V8, the 95 horsepower from the 2.2L four cylinder 20R engine is actually proportionally about the same as the new FR-S to a contemporary Corvette.
These were also practical cars, and the liftback design with fold-down rear seats gave the car surprising carrying capacity. Because of their practical nature and their now legendary reputation for reliability, low-mileage examples are few and far between. Rust protection in the 1970s was also not what we’ve come to expect today, so this is an even rarer find; a low mileage unmolested car from a dry climate.
The example listed here claims to have just over 41,000 original miles and is reported to wear the car’s original yellow paint. The sporty black vinyl seats and interior also appear to be all original, even sporting a bit of sun fading on the rear carpets… a reason many of these wore shading louvers in their day.
This is an interesting example of a car that most of us would hesitate to call a “collector car.” However, the best examples of any car can sometimes become collectible simply by surviving. Celicas like these were great sellers for Toyota and they used to be quite common on the road. When was the last time you saw one?
Click the link to view the listing and its extensive photo gallery before the auction expires on Apr 09, 201318:20:11 PDT: 1978 Toyota Celica