The first generation Celica was released to the market in 1970,at 1970 Tokyo Motor Show in October.It was a "cut-down" version of Toyota’s supercar, the 2000GT, so it was a relatively affordable sports car.
Based on the EX-1 "Car of the Future" prototype, its styling was quite revolutionary for the day.
The Celica was Toyota’s version of the Mustang - an image car rather than a high-volume car.
The first generation came out in two different versions, the LT and ST.
The lower-end LT was equipped with a 2T carbureted four-cylinder engine displacing 1600 cc, while the ST came with a twin Solex-carburetor 2T-B engine.
The Celica sold well from the outset, its first major change or addition taking place in 1974 with the addition of the GT model.The 2T-G that powered the high-end GT model was a DOHC twin-Solex carburetor 1600 cc engine.
The GT model came with various upgrades like underbody spoilers, tinted windows, different hood flutes, power windows, air conditioning, GT front grill, and shared a few things with the ST - a full-length center console and oil pressure/ammeter gauges, rather than the LT’s warning lights.
There was also a GTV version, which could even be considered a hybrid between the GT and LT versions, as it had the 2T-G engine, with a slightly cut-down interior, and did not come with things like power windows, but they were optional. The GTV has firmer suspension
In 1974, 1976 and 1977 Celica wins Motor Trend "Import Car of the Year."
In 1976, the Celica line was enlarged with the addition of the liftback model, available only in GT trim.The Liftback was introduced for Japanese market in April 1973, but not until 1976 for North America.
The GT package included the larger engine, offered sportier handling and a higher-grade trim. This model was marketed as a sport-touring type vehicle, offering greater comfort and luggage capacity than the standard models.
The first Celica for North America, 1971 ST was powered by 1.9 liter 8R engine. The 1972-1974 models have 2.0 liter 18R engine. For 1975-1977, engine for the North American Celica is 2.2 liter 20R. The Celica GT and LT models were introduced in the U.S. for the 1974 model year. The top-line GT included a 5-speed manual transmission, rocker panel GT stripes, and styled steel wheels with chrome trim rings. The LT was marketed as an economy model. Mid-1974 saw minor changes in the Celica’s trim and badges.
In June 1977 Celica reache one million models produced.
The very first entry for Celica in the World Rally Championship was in 1972 RAC Rally when Ove Andersson drove TA22 1600GTV into the ninth place.
- 2T, 1.6L, carburetor, OHV
- 2T-B, 1.6L, twin-Solex carburetor, OHV
- 2T-R, 1.6L, twin-Solex carburetor, DOHC
- 8R, 1.9L engine, carburetor, SOHC
- 18R, 2.0L engine, carburetor, SOHC
- 20R, 2.2L engine, carburetor, SOHC, 90-96 hp (replaced 18R in 1975)
Wheelbase - 95.5 Inches
Length - 171.5 Inches
Width - 63.4 Inches
Height - 51.4 Inches
Weight - 2,482 lb
Turning Diameter - 32.8 ft
Gas Tank - 13.2 Gal
Brake Disc Front/Rear - 9” / 9”