This 1977 Toyota first-generation Celica was the subject of a resto mod by it’s owner, Brian Karasawa. Back in the early 70’s, he was one of the early pioneers in the Japanese car enthusiast’s scene who were amongst the first to have modified their foreign “econo-boxes”. There weren’t a lot of aftermarket parts options available for him and his Southern California Shoreline Racing club member friends to choose from at the time. They all owned rear wheel drive cars such as Mazda RX3’s, Datsun 510’s, Capri’s and Celicas, making their lightweight platforms perfect candidates for engine and suspension upgrades. As a youth, he did what he could on a limited budget to modify his first Celica by cutting the springs, installing some Hayashi 13X7 rims and also a louder exhaust system, which all together created the look he was going after, but didn’t exactly have the performance to back it up. Recently he decided that it was time again for him to build a car like he had always wanted in the past, but this time around built right without any of the budget limitations that he had in his youth and the results seen on the continuing page are epic. See for yourself in the pictures and video…
Brian went digging in his storage to round up some inspiration and found that he still had a good number of trick parts. Included in the find were a set of 44mm sidedraft Mikuni carbs, a 20R Mikuni manifold, an original Doug Thorley TRD header, a 4.3 rear end and a brand new Tilton flywheel. Next, he acquired a 1977 Toyota Celica liftback that he went about restoring in preparation for it’s new life with old school performance parts.
For the powerplant, he utilized a 22R block with a 20R head and ported, polished, swirled, and bolted the head with ARP studs. Then the block was bored out to 92mm, Arias pistons were installed and the crank was balanced. An Isky cam and dual 44 Mikuni sidedrafts, along with the Tri Y TRD header and Tilton flywheel with truck clucth.
The car was finished in a very period correct state, with all of the build details available in the Superstreetonline.com article linked at the bottom of the page. There you will find all of it’s suspension, engine, drivetrain, interior and exterior modifications listed.
We respect Brian’s commitment to keep his Celica modified in-period. You will hear absolutely no quibbles from us, other than not having been asked yet if we want to drive it. We wait in anticipation, most likely in vein. We understand.
Enjoy a video presentation of this feature car here:
Engine and Drivetrain: 22R Block; 92mm Arias pistons, balanced crank; 20R head by Rich Kemph Cylinder Heads, port, polish, swirled valves, 288/480 Isky cam, custom rocker assembly; Mikuni/Solex 44mm sidedraft carbs, manifold; TRD header, custom Magnaflow exhaust, Tilton flywheel, Toyota Truck clutch with 4:37 geared rear end. Approximately 185 horsepower, as per video.
Suspension and Wheels: Stiff Stuff Cut coils, Tokico shocks, Addco front and rear sway bars, Rollers 14×7 Hayashi Racing Command 500 wheels with 195/50R15 Toyo Proxes T1Rs front and rear.
Body and Trim: Outside House of Kolor Sunset Pearl paint, shaved moldings, Japanese “Banana” taillights, amber side markers, Tom’s corner lenses, blacked-out window trim.
Interior: Factory-restored seats, door panels, trim panels, headliner, and carpet; Formula France steering wheel.