When I found out that my good mate Mathew Hughes was taking photos at Classic Celica Appreciation Day, I had to message him for the set so I can show this to our fans! Giving a plug and exposure is what I am so proud about here on Street Cover and CCAD definitely deserves it. I was on the hunt for the guys that organised the event and I was directed to Rodney Try who was one of them and here was my interview with him. Enjoy!
My Name is Rodney Try and have been driving, building and owning Celica’s for 26 years, I currently work for a small company that provides Diaries, Yearbooks and print services to Schools.
I bought my first car when I was 13, it was a body shell, a lot of boxes and a Workshop Manual. Before Cars I would build pushbikes, before that, lego and Meccano. So cars was just a natural progression, I couldn’t afford one that was already built anyway.
I bought my first Celica when I was 16, I was looking for an Affordable Celica or a 240Z for my P’s and since I couldn’t drive to see them on my own, the first one I got to check out was a Local RA23 Celica that the owner was happy to drive over for me to inspect. And that’s how it started.
What car do you have and what has been done to it?
What car do I have? That’s not as quick to answer as it should be.
My Number 1 vehicle is “The Unicorn” it’s a 1973 Model TA22 Celica. It runs a stroked and bored 2TG Twin Cam running Forged pistons and rods, 11.3:1 compression and 288 Degree cams with twin 45mm Webers, and a bunch of other goodies.
This is helped along by TRD 4:1 extractors, IS200 6 Speed Gearbox. TRD LSD and rides on a set of 14″ Speedsharks.
Inside is a Half Cage, Saas racing seat and 3 point harnesses and a Momo Prototypo steering wheel. Plus a Bluetooth stereo with hands free of course.
It’s a really fun car to drive and is all Engineer approved.
Car 2 is a 1976 TA23 Celica fully restored from the ground up and built as a JDM spec GT replica in its original factory colour. It’s also pretty fun.
I also have another 73 TA22 Celica, Two 71’s model Celica’s, a 1990 Toms C5 Spec MA70, a one owner FJ62 Land cruiser and a couple of daily drivers.
How long has the event been running for?
This year was the 10th official Classic Celica Appreciation Day. So it’s the 11th year of the Event. The first year it was an unofficial event of sorts organised by Steve, a Newcastle area based Celica owner who organised it as part of his Birthday Celebration. The Toymods Car Club promoted the event and we had a great turn out and response to the event so we made it part of our Annual event Calendar. Holding it on the 4th Sunday of May each year.
The event has grown to be much more than just for Classic Celica’s as its popularity grew we have kept the events focus on Classic Celica’s but “allowed” the later models and now also get all sorts of Toyota’s attend the event.
What is your favourite model of the Celica?
My Favorited Celica model is the 1971 TA22 GT. It’s “the” Celica, the one that started what was one of Japans first truly affordable sports cars and it led part of a huge transition in the way the rest of the world saw Japanese vehicles.
What’s the next plans for CLASSIC CELICA APPRECIATION DAY 2018?
Next year’s Classic Celica Appreciation Day will all going to plan be much the same as this years. We are going to start a little bit earlier but all going to plan it will once again be a casual cruise down to Wiseman’s Ferry for a Family suitable fun filled day of Celica’s, Friends and good conversation. It’s a really friendly and awesome day.
I love how you guys focus on Celica’s, what advice can you give to people that want to get into the Celica culture?
Long gone are the days where people just had a Classic Celica for transport. They are too old, too hard to get parts for and to be honest too expensive for that to be the norm anymore.
The most common kind of Celica owner is the more enthusiastic variety. They own one because they want one, maybe they wanted one as a kid, maybe there Dad had one or maybe they just saw one and had to own it. These kind of people usually find they get along great with other Celica owners and they make up a good percentage of the Celica ownership Community. They might have a Stock original one, a built track car or busted old one in need of love but it doesn’t matter. These people can come to a meet and enjoy the social aspect of Celica ownership and you can see a corporate banker having a chat with a council worker or the Retired guy chatting with a teenager and no-one cares. The usual social boundaries that stop these people interacting don’t apply because they come together with a common interest, Celica’s.
The friends I have now I have mostly met through Social Car Club interaction and for anyone thinking of getting a Classic Celica I can only encourage you to check out Groups such as Toymods Car Club and Facebook groups such as Garage Celica. You can restore, maintain and enjoy an old car on your own, but to find the right parts and support a social network makes a huge difference.
Other than that, always buy the best start you can vehicle wise. Body work is expensive but can generally be fixed with Skills and money. Some parts are incredibly hard to get in good condition, such as interior items so a complete vehicle is a better start than one in boxes.
The first release of anything is generally the most sort after but I genuinely prefer the earlier styling of the 71 model. The in floor fuel tank may not be as safe, but man those tail lights and the bigger boot space is epic, not to mention not having the blemish of the filler cap on the Quarter pillar. Even the colour range for the 71 model is more to my liking (inside and out). The red interior was a flat light only option and looks awesome with the white exterior. But the dark Blue Metallica paint (yep in 71) is my stand out preference