Paleontologists presently believe that the Neanderthals and more modern humans at one time bumped uglies. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe old-school Celica has likewise been given a bun in the oven from a more modern Honda, but is it a value so simple that even a caveman can understand it?
Ventura Highway in the sunshine, where the days are longer and the nights are stronger than moonshine. . . Sorry, I was just having an America moment. Contrary to the proselytization of that mainstay of inoffensive seventies folk-leaning AOR radio and elevator music, yesterday’s 1972 Pontiac Ventura wasn't going to cause the free wind to be blowing through anybody’s hair anytime soon. Not for its nearly twenty six grand asking price at least, as presaged by its 72% Crack Pipe loss. Alligator lizards in the air indeed.
That Ventura, while somewhat home-brewed, was the epitome of the American Muscle car, all V8 engine and fat back meats under emotive, purposeful haunches. Its tradition evoking appearance kind of makes you wonder how another nation might just tackle such a car.
Toyota’s Celica was a pony car that had been washed and run through the dryer without someone reading the Woolite-only warning on the label. Smaller but still possessing the typical styling tropes of the American pony car, the four cylinder coupe and later fastback never really was given the balls to back up its looks.
This show-worthy 1973 Celica has been bestowed with a massive beefy pair, and they come by way of Honda. The original 18R and Toyota rower have been given the heave-ho, replaced by both the engine and gearbox from Honda’s S2000 convertible. And it's stacked!
The F20C is a rare bird, a Honda mill designed to sit East-West instead of North-South. All aluminum and rocking a VTEC head, Yo, the stock 1,997-cc four pumped out a remarkable 240-bhp at a scrotum-tightening 8,300 RPM.
Oh sure, the F20C offers about as much down low as a Castrato chorus, but put your foot in it and. . . well, check out the video from the Tubes of You.
Pretty sweet, huh? The rest of the car looks equally up to the task and of course there’s a build thread to show you just how it got there. Sunset orange paint from the 350Z catalog strikes a nice balance between modernity and retro chic, while a slew of JDM details - grille, badges, yada, yada - provides the car an old school gravitas. The fact that it’s dropped and rides on a bunch of brand name suspension bits to which a bad-ass set of Dori three piece wheels has been bolted doesn’t hurt the looks either. Shaved locks and Talbot (not Tolbet) mirrors add a nice bit of detail.
On the inside, there’s a set of Ricky Recaros nestled in a an orange snuggie made of chrome moly. The seat on the left faces a Nardi tiller and a set of custom-faced gauges while the one on the right gets glovebox. All in all it looks like a nice place to spend either some road rocketry or JDM car show.
The ad notes that the car has appeared in a magazine - you know those glossy paper things your dad used to read - and includes a shot of the car on its pages. It doesn’t appear to be Oui magazine, so I don’t know if that’s even a plus or not.
I do know that the seller wants to be rid of his custom ride, and is asking $18,000 for honor of making it your own. He’d also entertain $17K if you’re willing to BYO-Wheels. I like the Doris so we’ll stick with the top number. What do you think about this Honda-fied Celica for $18,000? Is that a price that should have it doing centerfold duty in a new owner’s driveway? Or, would someone have to be a Neanderthal to pay so much?
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