'77 Celica GT, Speed Academy, and my first old school Toyota

Please introduce yourself and Celica or ride(s).
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Dave Pratte
Posts: 15
Joined: November 16th, 2015, 7:49 pm
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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'77 Celica GT, Speed Academy, and my first old school Toyota

Post by Dave Pratte » November 22nd, 2015, 10:25 am

Hey guys and gals. My name is Dave Pratte and I'm one of the co-founders of a website and YouTube channel called Speed Academy. I was an Editor at a tuner mag called Modified for a decade, plus I've freelanced a bunch for a variety of print and digital outlets. I've been lucky enough to do some pretty cool stuff as part of my career, including racing in three 25 Hours of Thunderhill enduros, driving the Nurburgring in a variety of speed machines, and track testing a bunch of top Japanese tuning shop demo cars out on Fuji Speedway's handling course.

I've wanted to build an old school Japanese car for a lot of years now, with wants including an FJ60 wagon and the RA24 Celica GT I recently acquired. Mine is from Arizona, which I bought from a racing buddy who lives down there. Life got too busy for him to tackle another build and he knew I wanted his Celica, so he sold it to me for a song. I just had it shipped to my home here in the Hamilton, Ontario area, so it's still got lots of Arizona sand in it. I'll give it a good wash during teardown.

My grandma owned this very model of Celica when I was 5 or 6 years old, so there's some nostalgia happening here, but mostly I just love the body style of the RA24 and look forward to restomodding it for street use and track use. I had the previous owner remove the original engine before shipping the car to me since it was seized, plus I always intended to do an engine swap anyway.

I'm considering a Beams 3S-GE Black Top engine with the 6-speed trans, or perhaps a 1JZ VVTI with R154 trans.

Looking forward to learning more about these beautiful old Celicas from you all. I've already learned a lot by searching this forum and have found great options for a custom front crossmember from Cary (1jzra21) for an engine swap and Panic Wire for a custom harness.

Cheers,
Dave from Speed Academy
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neil reid
Posts: 2371
Joined: May 19th, 2008, 10:14 am
Location: Central Ontario Canada

Re: '77 Celica GT, Speed Academy, and my first old school To

Post by neil reid » November 22nd, 2015, 11:41 am

Welcome Dave, You have a couple members real close to you down the QEW. There's a few more of us scattered around the province (I'm in Orillia) as well.

Car looks like a good starting point for a build. You won't find a more helpful resource anywhere for info on these cars.

If you would please add your location to your profile it will help in future when looking for parts etc. Prevents a bunch of "where are you" posts

:cheers:

Neil
If it ain't broke, BREAK IT
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Dave Pratte
Posts: 15
Joined: November 16th, 2015, 7:49 pm
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: '77 Celica GT, Speed Academy, and my first old school To

Post by Dave Pratte » November 22nd, 2015, 1:26 pm

Thanks Neil! I updated my location so all you southern Ontario dudes hoarding "smiley" bumpers can take my money :P

neil reid
Posts: 2371
Joined: May 19th, 2008, 10:14 am
Location: Central Ontario Canada

Re: '77 Celica GT, Speed Academy, and my first old school To

Post by neil reid » November 22nd, 2015, 4:15 pm

Ha! Don't think there's a stash in Ontario. They do come up for sale but not very often. Keep your eyes open an your wallet close..you'll need it.

Mine are fiberglass, a ton cheaper and easily found. Obviously not as "robust" though

Cheers
Neil
If it ain't broke, BREAK IT
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Dave Pratte
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Joined: November 16th, 2015, 7:49 pm
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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Re: '77 Celica GT, Speed Academy, and my first old school To

Post by Dave Pratte » November 24th, 2015, 10:05 am

Ya, as badly as I want the steel bumpers, I may settle for the fiberglass ones at least as a short-term solution and then I can hunt for steel smileys over time. I was thinking of blacking out all the chrome on the car anyway, so fiberglass makes more sense for smileys in that case anyway.

ra21fred
Posts: 178
Joined: March 18th, 2008, 5:25 am
Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Re: '77 Celica GT, Speed Academy, and my first old school To

Post by ra21fred » November 25th, 2015, 7:19 pm

I have a set from a 73, if you decide to go the chrome route

skeptic
Posts: 793
Joined: February 24th, 2008, 10:32 am
Location: Keizer, OR

Re: '77 Celica GT, Speed Academy, and my first old school To

Post by skeptic » November 25th, 2015, 11:16 pm

Wow, the body looks like it's in great shape. Is that really the original stick-on side molding?
1977 GT Liftback
3SGTE and stuff
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Dave Pratte
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Joined: November 16th, 2015, 7:49 pm
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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Re: '77 Celica GT, Speed Academy, and my first old school To

Post by Dave Pratte » November 26th, 2015, 9:21 pm

ra21fred wrote:I have a set from a 73, if you decide to go the chrome route
Will these fit my RA24? If so, I'm definitely interested! Would you mind sending me some pics? Or I'll just drive down to check them out in person.

Dave Pratte
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Joined: November 16th, 2015, 7:49 pm
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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Re: '77 Celica GT, Speed Academy, and my first old school To

Post by Dave Pratte » November 26th, 2015, 9:23 pm

skeptic wrote:Wow, the body looks like it's in great shape. Is that really the original stick-on side molding?
I think so. I'm planning to remove them. You want them?

ra21fred
Posts: 178
Joined: March 18th, 2008, 5:25 am
Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Re: '77 Celica GT, Speed Academy, and my first old school To

Post by ra21fred » November 27th, 2015, 5:22 am

Dave Pratte wrote:Will these fit my RA24?
I thought so, but after looking into it further, I think only the rear will. But someone smarter than me, will chime in I am sure.

neil reid
Posts: 2371
Joined: May 19th, 2008, 10:14 am
Location: Central Ontario Canada

Re: '77 Celica GT, Speed Academy, and my first old school To

Post by neil reid » November 27th, 2015, 7:06 am

ra21fred wrote:
Dave Pratte wrote:Will these fit my RA24?
I thought so, but after looking into it further, I think only the rear will. But someone smarter than me, will chime in I am sure.


Front will not fit for sure and the back might fit a coupe but definitely not a liftback (needs widened). Subject to verification.

Neil
If it ain't broke, BREAK IT
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neil reid
Posts: 2371
Joined: May 19th, 2008, 10:14 am
Location: Central Ontario Canada

Re: '77 Celica GT, Speed Academy, and my first old school To

Post by neil reid » November 27th, 2015, 7:10 am

Dave Pratte wrote:
skeptic wrote:Wow, the body looks like it's in great shape. Is that really the original stick-on side molding?
I think so. I'm planning to remove them. You want them?
Nope that colour combo was never offered from Toyota...it's a custom job. White cars came with the red/black striping st shown below (72, me as a baby) a 77 gt would have same colours but applied as yours along the bottom. A graphics house can make them. templates are available here from andrewzuku's wiki

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Neil
If it ain't broke, BREAK IT
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Dave Pratte
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Joined: November 16th, 2015, 7:49 pm
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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Re: '77 Celica GT, Speed Academy, and my first old school To

Post by Dave Pratte » November 27th, 2015, 5:28 pm

Oh, I thought skeptic meant the chrome trim down the door and rear quarter to prevent door dings, not the graphics.

Man, I'm such a 1g Celica newb. I did some reading last night so have a bit of a clue about slant nose vs flat nose now (mine's a flat nose, so the slant nose smileys won't fit, as you guys have already pointed out).

The smiley hunt continues. If I go with fiberglass smileys, I can at least pretend I prefer them because they're lighter, haha.

garzini
Posts: 534
Joined: September 19th, 2011, 10:10 am
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Re: '77 Celica GT, Speed Academy, and my first old school To

Post by garzini » December 8th, 2015, 8:26 pm

Dave Pratte wrote:
The smiley hunt continues. If I go with fiberglass smileys, I can at least pretend I prefer them because they're lighter, haha.
they may be lighter... but not by much. :) That's a nice car you stole from the desert. Looking forward to pics pics and more pics of progress :2thumbs:
77 ST Coupe w/ 2JZ-GE
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My Build is here --> viewtopic.php?f=4&t=16943

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