The modified car scene isn’t for everybody. We won’t pretend it is. Some people like stanced imports and resto-modded American muscle cars, while others prefer the like-new look of a wonderfully all-original car. Neither is wrong, just different sides of the same coin.
This stunning machine, a 1977 Toyota Celica, is rather obviously from the former group. But it’s the type of machine that even staid no-mod fans can get behind, simply because of its nth degree attention to detail and incredible craftsmanship. And its physique is only half the allure.
Lift up the hood and there’s a meticulously “neo chromed” Honda F22C engine, à la a donor 2005 Honda S2000 sports car, plus its slick six-speed gearbox. Oh yes. Like it? The super-Celica recently emerged on eBay, with competitive bidding already underway.
Think it looks familiar? That’s because it probably is. The folks over at Super Street gave the Celica a stunning feature and made it their May 2016 cover car, which explains the mouth-watering glamour shots.
According to Super Street, the car’s owners—Peter and Theresa Vong—picked up the raucous Celica after selling a previous engine-swap build. A racy LS1 V8-swapped Nissan 240SX. Not long after, a ‘70s Celica turned up in the classifieds, which had already been outfitted with its Honda S2000 running gear. The Vongs jumped at the chance to build a first-generation Celica, however the aged Celica admittedly wasn’t in the best shape. The tin worm had been nibbling over the years.
The Toyota Celica coupe was first given a fine media blasting to remove all of its cancerous rust, and then rehabbed with some new metal, aggressive front-and-rear SMILY bumpers, TRD spoilers, and wider fenders at all corners. It’s a raucous look on its own, not to mention the eye-catching Midnight Purple paint job that covers the car, which was originally intended for an R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R.
Luckily, the rev-happy Honda S2000 motor was said to be in good nick, though now it looks quite different than it did when new. The “neo chromed” engine gleams within the Celica’s engine bay, which has been stripped of all unnecessary items. Additional mods include a sultry set of custom BBS wheels, an air suspension managed by AccuAir electronics, Wilwood brakes, the limited-slip TRD differential from a Toyota AE86, plus uprated sway bars and bushings, among other sundry items.
While the engine bay and the Toyota’s go-fast exterior are standout features, the Celica’s interior is pretty first rate too. Bride Stradia Venus II seats comfort both driver and front passenger while swathes of suede splash all across the cabin, including the headliner, console, and rear seats. It’s a great look.
Take a peek at the gauge cluster too and you’ll notice that’s another Honda S2000 carryover, mixing old Japanese sports car culture with new, plus the S2000’s push-button starter.
All in all, it’s an absolute showstopper, which has claimed numerous auto show awards so far. Need it to be yours? Bidding on the Honda-swapped Celica currently sits at $18,000 with the reserve unmet.
Photo Credit: Super Street Network