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Toyota Celica Liftback

Toyota Celica Liftback Published: 29th Dec 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Toyota Celica Liftback
Toyota Celica Liftback
Toyota Celica Liftback
Toyota Celica Liftback
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CAR: Toyota Celica Liftback YEAR: 1977 OWNER: Chris Manning

After many months of toiling away working on my 1977 Toyota Celica Liftback, at last an opportunity presented itself to do a long distance drive to Wales to join the Guild of Motoring Writers on their ‘Bring Your Own Vehicle’ event, which took place in early September.

I had one small job to do before embarking, as I had recently bought a Powerspark electronic ignition kit, to hopefully cure hesitant running at speed on moderate loads. On removing the old points, I noticed that the earth wire in the Denso distributor was frayed and so replaced the wire, before fitting the Powerspark kit, which was simple to do.

The first run with the Celica with its new electronic ignition (and decent earth wire) sparking away was a revelation (they all say that-ed). Not only was it running without any hesitation but was pulling much better from lower revs and tick over was noticeably smoother as well and I could not wait to start the long run to Llangollen.

The Celica ran faultlessly all the way to Wales and I would recommend anyone thinking of fitting electronic ignition, instead of traditional points, that it would be £30 or so well spent.

Based at the Gales Hotel in the centre of Llangollen, around 15 Guild members, and their partners, made the journey successfully from all parts of the UK for the weekend event, and the assembled vehicles ranged from a Jaguar Mk2, Austin Cambridge, Daf 55, Alfa Romeo SZ and my Celica plus a sprinkling of modern machinery including a Ferrari, Porsche 911 and Jaguar F-Type.

Saturday was the main driving day with more than 100 miles of a mixture of country lanes and B-roads including a gated section high up in the hills of Snowdonia with only sheep for company.

Wales being Wales, it rained throughout the day and by the time we all arrived at the area around Portmeirion, the only option was to take refuge in a local pub for some much needed refreshment. The rain abated on the return afternoon run back to Llangollen and the chance to explore the town and visit the Llangollen Steam Railway, which was having a ‘steam weekend’ so we were treated to the sounds and smells of live steam during our stay.

A visit to a country house took up most part of Sunday, followed by a roast dinner in the hotel. My girlfriend and I had decided to stay for an extra day, which gave us the opportunity to visit the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. This World Heritage site carries the Llangollen canal 120ft over the River Dee and was well worth the visit. Monday’s journey home saw us detour to Aberystwyth for a lunch stop before continuing a drive through mid-Wales to cross the Severn Bridge and a thankfully trouble-free motorway run back to Essex, with the Celica happy to cruise along in fifth just under 70mph for mile after mile.

We covered over 750 miles during our ‘Welsh Wander’ tour and the Celica averaged a creditable 27.3mpg overall and consumed a pint of oil. The only problem was on the evening return run when the lights behind the speedometer and rev counter failed to illuminate and I had to get my girlfriend to shine a torch onto the dials to occasionally check my speed.…

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