Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned LS1 swap, even if it is in an import? RX7’s, Nissan 240’s, and even now Mazda Miatas seem to be common place in the LS swap scene. However, in this video we came across on YouTube we get a look at a far less common LS swapped import, that even has a bit of classic flair to it. This Celica is a 2nd Gen model that was produced somewhere between 1977 and 1981, and came from the factory with a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout making it a perfect candidate for an LS swap.
The video’s caption tells us that the engine is an LS1 with an aftermarket cam that gives this ride from the far east an American style lumpy idle through full 3-inch exhaust piping and Magnaflow mufflers. The transmission is likely a 4L60E that we are told has a nice 3500 RPM stall torque converter, and a 31 spline limited-slip rear end from a 4×4 Ford Explorer finishes out the driveline. The engine seems to sit nicely between the frame rails of the Celica, and even seems to be using stock exhaust manifolds and a modified stock accessory drive.
This car maybe a Toyota, but thankfully it sure doesn’t seem to show it. No cheesy body kits or big wings for this Celica, and at first glance it could even be mistaken for a Fox-Body Mustang. And best off all; this little pocket-rocket only weighs a paltry 2,700 pounds. Check out the video here.