In West Side Story, the Jets and the Sharks, two Upper West Side gangs, rumble and explode in violent dance, while two doomed lovers try to get busy in the middle of it all. Some car makers have had similar rivalries, but as today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Nissan-powered Toyota proves, hatchets can be buried.
At $3,200, yesterday's 1977 AMC AMX proved to be a Hornet-o-plenty, offering visions of a tableau of engine swaps, paint choices, and delicious burnouts. As such it came away with a respectable 66% Nice Price win to start our week.
One of the issues raised in the ad for yesterday's Hornet was its lack of completion. Today's same year rb20det-powered Celica suffers a similar problem. Unlike yesterday's anemic 98-bhp AMC however - as noted - this Celica takes its orders from a two litre six pulled from a Nissan Skyline.
I know, piss shiver, amiright?
Back when snug as a bug on a drug in its original R32 home, the rb20det in this Celica was factory rated at a robust 212-bhp. Here, who knows? The ad says that it has a Big Ass Turbo, claimed pilfered off of - of all things - a dump truck. Up front where this last year of the first-gens used to have its big-ass bumper, there now precariously sits an air to air intercooler to feed that turbo.
The back bumper has been likewise reverted to the earlier less protective but far better - and more Mustangier - looking smiley face form. The rest of the car appears in excellent shape, however the pics of it without its hood are a little too reminiscent of a male Jersey Shore cast member walking around without his shirt. Wheels look like Pannies or their ilk, the smoke gray centers standing in nice contrast to the white on rice body. Out back a spoiler tops the trunk lip, and this is one car where that feature looks awesome.
Even more awesome is the interior which looks to be all original right down to its spindly three spoke steering wheel and faux woodgrain on the dash. The interiors of Japanese cars from the ‘70s were often paragons of Asian baroque, but the Celica like its Datsun 240Z competitor was crafted in a manner that has stood the test of time. Here too it seems, have its materials.
It's not all sake and bukake however as the ad notes a number of significant foibles possessed by the car, although most are rectifiable. First and foremost there appears to be nothing to keep the big-ass turbo from swallowing road debris, squirrels, or girls' bikini tops. And while I'm hearty supporter of the last one, they all can put a serious hurt on that JDM engine's lifespan.
Other issues noted are the lack of any gauges whatsoever, the seller complaining that the original mechanical gauges are incompatible with the gameboy Akihabara electronics demanded by the Nissan mill. The seller also claims the car hasn't yet benefited from a wire tuck, making the underhood view something like a teenagers bedroom floor.
Regardless of the bad, there's a lot here that's good, topped off by the claim that all the work done was handled by professionals. That's a sketchy assertion to validate, but there's no denying the end result of the work - whoever did it - is well worth a look.
Of course the reason we're all here today is less to look and more to judge, and you now need to vote on whether or not at $12,000 this combining of Nissan and Toyota is a match made in heaven. What do you think, is that price for this rb20det-powered Celica worth saying I do? Or, is this a franken-car that you'd leave at the alter?
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