Home > Cars, Steve > Celestial


I’ve chosen – and purchased – a secondary car for daily driving duties. If you remember before I had mentioned that I was looking into a Porsche 911 (996) and then more recently, I had been looking at FC RX7s. Well, neither of those ended up being the car I chose and neither of those are anything like the end result. What did my travels, research, and emotional connections lead me to buy? A 1974 Toyota Celica ST of course!

(Betcha didn’t see that coming)

A little background to my choice. I’ve always loved the Celica line of cars and when I started doing some research into the ones that I knew the most about (5th, 6th, and 7th gens) I started to find little trails of intruique regarding the origins of the name and beginings of a long line of successful cars.

(It’s a Celestial Dragon, not a viking longship)

What started out as a clone of the very popular Mustangs of the time, the Celica eventually evolved into a smaller and faster coupe that would grow from its RWD roots, to an AWD rally destroying powerhouse, to a fun and sporty little FWD street tuner. The Celica line has seen many changes and while it has always retained a little 4cyl it has changed bodies, drivetrain layouts, and purposes throughout its history.

(Perhaps you’ve heard of my WRC dominance? …also we got caught cheating once…our bad)

Enough about the line of Celicas, let’s talk about my car. I’ve nicknamed the new old girl Project Terrier a bit as an homage to my little Boston Terrier puppy, Mila, and a lot of respect to the fact that the car is 37 years old and is still holding together beautifully. Sure there are little bits of rust and the engine needs some work, but all together this is a perfectly functioning car that is doggedly maintaining life with a tenacious – terrier like – attitude. Project Terrier just seemed to fit.

(That’s one pretty 37 year old lady)

The project isn’t going to be anything like Lil’ Dirty (the tC) and the car will undergo only the most basic of changes for the time being. Mainly, I’m going to be updating and replacing the braking hardware, giving the suspension a look over, and fitting a better carb (which needed to be replaced anyway), but that’s pretty much it. The car is going to go through a slow and methodical OEM/OEM+ upgrade path until the car is reliable to be driven daily. The end goal of course is to take the tC off the road as a DD and turn it into a fully dedicated track star. It’s still some time away for that to happen, but we’ll get there.

-Steve likes his new dragon boat badged car

Categories: Cars, Steve
  1. Jeff
    February 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Neat car! And it’s the same color as your other one!

    So you’re going to take an AC-less, RWD, carbureted project car as your daily, and turn your FWD economy car as a track car? I must be spending too much time in reverse, because this looks backwards.

    • Mediocre Steve
      February 15, 2011 at 12:54 pm

      Seems like you’ve got a pretty good idea of what I’m doing…what’s backwards about it?

      I bought the tC with the explicit intent of taking everything out of it and rebuilding it how I wanted it. Considering I wanted it as a track car anyway, I’m right on track for my goals there.

      I wanted a cool car for my daily driver for when the tC became a track only car. Keeping with that desire I purchased a cool older RWD/Carb’d Celica. It’s an eye catcher, doesn’t need anything fancy in the way of upgrades to become a reliable DD and I forsee it being an awesome “cruising” car. Seems like I’m on track with this car too.

      Now all I need is a MR AWD diesel built for offroading and I’ll have achieved my life’s checklist of obtaining, building, then driving all the cars, engine types, drivetrain layouts, and purposes that I’ve ever wanted.

      (I never even use the AC in the tC anyway, so no big deal not having it in the Celica)

      You’re just still mad because I didn’t buy the Porsche…don’t lie.

  2. Jeff
    February 15, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I am a little mad about us being Porsche-less. I won’t lie. Let’s drive to Winthrop and make up.

  3. alexg57
    February 15, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Yea, it’s pretty sweet, Steve. Can’t wait to see how it turns out after some tune-up and polish time 😉

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