Sunshine Survivor – 1974 Toyota Celica ST

Back when it was just a used car, Toyota’s Celica in lower-specification versions did not seem like anything more than just a 2-door commuter with a little more style than a Corolla. But time can do a lot to change perspectives, and the first-generation A20 Celica has some very appealing features, both in terms of its styling cues and some of its mechanical virtues. The A20 Celica’s curvy Coke-bottle design is quite elegant, and the front grill and rear panel have some neat period cues. 1974 cars still got the smiley bumpers, and while all A20-generation cars got the slim door handles, the facelift models got clunkier styling. Let’s take a look at this 1974 Toyota Celica ST for sale for $4200 in Redondo Beach, CA.

1974 Toyota Celica ST left front

Toyota’s 522 Yellow is a great color for this car, and the red ST stripe tones the brightness down a little. Polished mesh alloys look great, and though the massive side marker lights on the front and aftermarket rub strips aren’t great, they do serve a practical purpose. The car is said to be completely original specification and in survivor condition, and is running, shifting and driving well with 66,000 miles. It has been repainted once around 20 years ago, and the only defect is said to be some chipping in the left door sill. Paint color looks a little mismatched, but lighting can often suggest problems where there are none.

1974 Toyota Celica ST left rear

Things look equally nice back here, and while the car does not have the earlier 1-tail rear lights, it’s a good looking design that is done in the spirit of American muscle cars, without directly copying any of them. Recent plates suggest the car might have spent some time off the road, and the seller was unable to navigate the treacherous DMV waters. 1974 cars did come with overriders, and you can see the slots in the body and marks where the rubber nubbins sat on the bumper.

1974 Toyota Celica ST engine

This car was listed for auction last September with about 20,000 fewer miles and the exact same pictures, so go in with your eyes open. Things look good under the hood, but not so polished you’d be afraid to drive it and occasionally leave it out for the night. The two-liter 18R-C was good for about 97hp and 106 lb.-ft. of torque, neither of which are stunning numbers, but respectable if you consider the car’s roughly 2000-lb. curb weight.

1974 Toyota Celica ST interior

The interior shot doesn’t show much, other than you get two trumpets per wheel spoke for tootling your horn. There is a crack in the center of the dash, and the seller adds there are some wrinkles on the sides of the front seat covers and fraying on the left door panel. Original and period manuals are also included in the glove box. Overall, it conveys the impression of a nice survivor, and in spite of the lower ST specification, it could be a fun, low-key show and drive classic.


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One Response to “Sunshine Survivor – 1974 Toyota Celica ST”

  1. Mike P Says:

    I always liked that body style, especially the front end.

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