Brian Karasawa's gen-one Toyota Celica is, in a word, badass. As a long-standing fan of the marque, the doting owner has tried to both restore and improve his Celica keeping period-correct modifications in mind. The 20R/22R mashup engine is outputting roughly 185 horsepower and graced with a lot of JDM-specific parts and modifications. Clearly, the exhaust has been upgraded from stock, as clips of the orange Toyota in motion are accompanied by one hell of a nice sound.

Tastes clearly vary, and there's not as much love for the first-wave of Japanese metal as there is for similar era American-iron, but we're pleased to see these cars finally getting more time in the spotlight. Scroll down below to see why we're stoked, and consider cruising your local Craigslist for late 1970s and early 1980s Japanese coolness (before we get there first).


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  • 53 Comments
      Fox Cleopatra
      • 1 Year Ago
      Story like this so much more interesting than yet another write up on the latest BMW/Mercedes/Audi variant...seriously apparently can\'t have too many of those.... I remember those Toyotas when I was in High School - awesome!
      domingorobusto
      • 1 Year Ago
      I've always wanted an RA liftback. Looks like a tiny 69 Mustang, but with plenty of old-school Japanese charm. Simple, light, RWD, great looking, what more could you ask for? I could just never find one that wasn't rusted to death :(
        Teleny411
        • 1 Year Ago
        @domingorobusto
        When I was a little kid I'd see these and think they were mini-mustangs,lol.
      thenewrick
      • 1 Year Ago
      Cool car. I wish more sports cars had bigger greenhouses and lift backs.
      Fortune
      • 1 Year Ago
      Love the pure sound of the engine. No turbos, no superchargers just pure raw hp.
      Shiftright
      • 1 Year Ago
      Awesome...
      Jason
      • 1 Year Ago
      Awesome car, great looks and what a sound coming out of it.
      jonnybimmer
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great video, great car, love the period-correct attitude towards the car. Always had a soft spot for Celicas ever since a friend of mine got involved restoring a 3rd gen (the gen that got involved in Group-B). There's a similar popular orange fastback in SoCal with an F20 or F22 swap, but I appreciate this one more due to the commitment with building up the R motor, perhaps because it's what I'd do if I were to gen a pre-injection model as well.
      NightFlight
      • 1 Year Ago
      My dad had a first generation, first year Celica that he bought brand new. He sold his 1968.5 Mustang Cobrajet II with a factory drag pack for a damn Celica during the fuel crisis.
      bK
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great looking car and very clean build!
      telm12345
      • 1 Year Ago
      I remember our accountant had a Celica convertible. It was a sweet little car and I thought it was the best thing ever (at 10 years old) to ride with the top down. It makes me feel old realizing how long ago that was! haha.
        Fortune
        • 1 Year Ago
        @telm12345
        Thats ok, the guy in the video, Brian, isnt exactly young :P
      SteveM
      • 1 Year Ago
      Awesome Car Brian. Great Video...
      miketim1
      • 1 Year Ago
      @ AB These cars have always been in the spot light.. they are not "finally" getting more time. Your just not looking in the right places. There is a bunch of OLD school Toyota auto videos and projects being done and publish. Most people only see one side of Toyota and its extremely sad..
        Max Bramante
        • 1 Year Ago
        @miketim1
        "Most people only see one side of Toyota and its extremely sad.." maybe because they are haters and haters gonna hate. Simple.
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