While Toyota may be a Japanese firm through and through, the name given to its Celica range of coupes actually has its roots in the Latin word which roughly translates as celestial. So this is by no means a car that is aiming for modesty.
The first generation of the Toyota Celica was introduce in 1970 and was originally built as a sporty option for drivers who might not have the budget to stretch to the costlier 2000GT.
The Celica borrowed the basic platform from Toyota's Carina, which was also unveiled in 1970. Engine sizes for the first generation range from 1.4 litres right up to 2.2 litres and there was a liftback model introduced in 1973 to supplement the hardtop original, with a facelift delivered to the range in 1975.
Upon the arrival of the Celica liftback in foreign markets from 1976, many began to see this model as Toyota's answer to the Ford Mustang, if only because the two seemed to share similar design cues.
The second generation Celica arrived in 1977, with a more angular design which indicated the encroachment of the style sensibilities of the 1980s. Interestingly it would be only four years before the Celica would get another major update, ushering in the third era of the car in 1981. The liftback edition remained popular amongst drivers, although there was still the original coupe option available alongside a fully fledged convertible model.
1982 saw the Celica receive a turbo-charged 1.8 litre engine, at least in the domestic Japanese market. This was part of Toyota's first push to get the Celica into the world of rallying, where it would continue to be an imposing force for well over a decade.
The fourth generation Celica arrived in 1985, introducing pop-up headlights and front wheel drive for the first time, completely altering the look and feel of the car when compared with its predecessors.
All sorts of gadgets and gizmos were crammed into this model, with features such as always-on all wheel drive and electric central locking marking the Celica's move into the future.
As the harsh angles of the 1980s gradually softened with the approach of the 1990s, the fifth generation Celica was revealed in 1989, retaining the pop-up headlamps but opting for a much rounder style to the design.
The Celica's sixth generation was once again introduced just four years down the line, in 1993. By 1999 this range would be receiving its seventh major update, with a design that would once more shock long time fans of the range and divide opinions.
The Celica would eventually cease production in 2006, although its long legacy of affordable excellence in the realm of the coupe has not been forgotten.
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