When the first-generation Toyota Celica debuted in 1970, it was launched on the North American market as a more affordable and probably more agile alternative to the Ford Mustang. The Japanese sports coupe arguably had a more modern appearance, more efficient powertrains, and a more advanced suspension setup. Codenamed TA22, the original Celica was sold in the United States in three different trim levels - LT, ST, and GT.
When deliveries in the US started in 1971, the Toyota Celica was available with a 1.9-liter engine, later replaced by a 2.0-liter unit for the 1972-1974 model years. In 1975, a new and more powerful 2.2-liter engine was introduced with an available five-speed manual gearbox. Starting from 1973, a four-speed automatic transmission was also launched in the country.
With this short introduction of the Celica TA22, we would like to present to you one of the weirdest restomods we’ve seen lately. It comes from Malaysia and one of the largest local interior tuning shops, Carzone Interior. The video at the top of this page starts with a brief walkaround of the car used as a base for the project. It’s an orange Celica with some damage to the exterior, missing parts, and a cabin in need of a full refresh.
What the tuning specialists did was… well, it’s difficult to be described in just two or three words, and you’ll probably have to see it for yourself in the video. If you allow us to give our two cents, the exterior is a bit over the top, though there are some very nice details. Examples include the stylish rear spoiler, the widened wheel arches, the new wheels, and the custom hood. The illuminated radiator grille, in turn, is not our cup of tea.
The exterior may not be to everyone’s taste, but we have to admit the cabin is absolutely stunning. Fine orange leather, a pair of bucket seats, and a fully rebuilt center console completely transform the old Celica’s interior. The engine start-stop button and the aluminum pedal covers look slightly out of context, though.