The Toyota Celica has been imported into the United States for many years. The first model, introduced in 1971, was equipped with rear wheel drive and a carbureted 4-cylinder 1.8L (8R-C) engine. Available only in the ST 2-door sport coupe, this was Toyotas version of the Mustang. The Celica would be available for the next 3 years with the 1.6L (18R-C) engine. The next major change was in 1974, when the GT was offered with a 2.0L (20R) engine that, in various versions, powered many Celicas for the next 11 years. In 1976 the Celica line added the liftback model which was only available in the GT model. This new GT package was equipped with a larger faster 2.0L engine and was much more sportier looking than its previous coupe model. By 1978, the next Celica generation was released, and was now powered with a 2.2L (22R) engine. Both the ST and GT models were still available.
In late 1982 the introduction of the third generation of Celicas were introduced. A complete body change was made on all models, adding a new fuel injected twin cam engine. Now a powerful 2.4L (22R-EC) was the stock engine in the GT models; and the 22R carbureted engine was still in the ST in 1982 and part of 1983. In 1983, the Celica GTS model was introduced. Having the same body styles as the GT liftback and ST coupe, but equipped with larger tires, fancy alloy wheels, fender flares, sports suspension and a sportier interior. By mid 1983, all of the Celica models were fuel injected and offered a manual or automatic transmission. In 1985 the Celica offered a convertible model with the GTS package. These models were made in Japan, but the convertible roof installed in the U.S., using American parts.
The Toyota Supra was introduced in January of 1979 as the Celica Supra. The styling was based on the Celica liftback with a longer and wider design. When introduced the Supra had a fuel injected in-line 6-cylinder 2.6L (4M-E) engine, and like the Celica, was rear wheel drive. In 1981, the 2.8L (5M-E) single overhead cam engine was already a new part of the Supras powertrain. But apparently this was not enough power for the Supra lover. In 1982 the 2.8L (5MG-E) double overhead cam was introduced, and a brand new body style was hitting the streets. This model stayed the same until December of 1985.