1970 advertisement of celica 1st gen.
First generation / A20/35 Series (1970–1977)
|Production||Dec 1970–Jul 1977|
|Body style||3-door liftback |
|Engine||1.4 L T I4 |
1.6 L 2T I4
1.9 L 8R I4
2.0 L 18R I4
2.2 L 20R I4
|Transmission||4-speed W40 manual |
5-speed W50 manual
3-speed A40 automatic
|Wheelbase||94.75 in (2,407 mm)|
|Length||164.2 in (4,170 mm)|
|Width||63.0 in (1,600 mm)|
|Height||53 in (1,300 mm)|
|Curb weight||890 kg (1,962 lb) (Early Coupe) - |
1,166 kg (2,571 lb) (US Liftback)
|Related||Toyota Carina |
Displayed at the 1970 Tokyo Motor Show in October, and marketed in December of the same year, the Celica was a personal car that emphasized styling and driving enjoyment. Japanese models were ET, LT, ST, GT, and GTV. The appearance of the headlights recessed into the grille and the tail light treatment on the hatchback seem to suggest the appearance was influenced by the 1969–1970 Ford Mustang but on a much smaller scale.
For export markets, the Celica was offered in three different levels of trim; LT, ST and GT. The lower-end LT was equipped with the single carbureted four-cylinder 2T engine displacing 1600 cc, while the ST came with a twin downdraft-carburetor 2T-B engine. The 2T-G that powered the high-end GT model was a DOHC 1600 cc engine equipped with twin Mikuni-Solex Carburetors.
At its introduction the Celica was only available as a pillarless hardtop notchback coupe. The SV-1 liftback was shown as a concept car at the 1971 Tokyo Motor Show. With slight modifications, this was introduced in Japan in April 1973 as the 2000 cc RA25 and 1600 cc TA27 liftbacks. It was then exported to Europe in RHD form as the 1600 cc liftback. After the October 1975 facelift, it was available in both RHD and LHD forms in other markets. The RV-1 wagon was also shown at the 1971 Tokyo Motor Show but it did not reach production.
The Japanese GT models had various differences from the ET, LT and ST including the hood flutes, power windows, air conditioning, and specific GT trim, but shared a few things with the ST - a full-length centre console and oil pressure/ammeter gauges whilst the LT had warning lights for these functions.
There was also the GTV version, which had the 2T-G engine, a slightly cut-down interior, and did not come standard with things like power windows, but they were optional. The GTV has firmer suspension.
The first generation Celicas can be further broken down into two distinctive models. The first of these was the original with slant nose (trapezoid-like shape front corner light). This is for Coupe model only, TA22, RA20, and RA21. These models were released from 1970 to 1975 and came equipped with the 2T, 2T-G 1.6 liter, or 18R 2.0 liter motor. They had a 95 inches (2,400 mm) wheelbase. The second series (98 in (2,500 mm) wheelbase) had a flat nose (square front corner light) and slightly longer wheelbase, and was known in Europe as the TA23. This facelift model appeared in Japan in 1974, but for export was the 1976 model year. The Japanese version had engines under 2.0 liter so as to conform to Japanese regulations concerning engine displacement size, thereby allowing buyers to avoid an additional tax for a larger engine.
The first Celica for North America, 1971 ST was powered by 1.9 liter 8R engine competing with the Datsun 510 and Mazda 808 . The 1972-1974 models have 2.0 liter 18R-C engines. For 1975-1977, the engine for the North American Celica is the 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. The automatic transmission became an option on North American ST and LT models starting in the 1973 model year. For 1975, the '74 body was used, but body-color plastic fascia and sturdier chrome and black rubber bumpers, replaced the chrome bumpers used in the earlier cars (in accordance with US Federal bumper laws).