Not everyday you come face to face with legends, and we were extremely lucky to be able to feature a pristine 1975 TA23 Celica that belonged to one of my many friends who had a united passion for restoring and maintaining Japanese Legends. Celica is actually derived from the Latin word “Coelica”, which means “Heavenly” or “Celestial”, which certainly can be seen in the TA23 of which after 30 odd years are still very much in demand with car enthusiasts and petrol heads all over the world, although most Celicas out there aren’t as fortunate as this one.

The car goes by the name of “Naga”, Christened by its owner CK and the reason for the name of choice is because of the vintage Celica logo, which depicts a dragon and with its vibrant orange colour resemblant to that of the fire a dragon breaths. The story of why he opted to adopt this particular legend rather than the other Japanese legends goes back a long way, but the main reason why CK picked the Celica is because both his Father and Father in Law were once happy owners of TA Celicas themselves, and they were 100% supportive of Ck’s choice to start this project of his own, and judging from its looks and sick custom colour, one can already tell how much tender loving care this car has recieved.

Ck chose 3 simple principles to adhere to for the build process of this car and they are as follows: One; The car is to be slammed as low as possible, two; install a dummy oil cooler and three, the implementation of a Takeyari style exhaust. These principles are future plans, of which are then mated to a selection of aftermarket and original parts, which makes for an epic creation to come. The styles of the car are inspired by the unmistakable look of the Shakotan (シャコタン) cars  literally bringing Naga back to its roots, as cars like these are the absolute epitome of Shakotan roots. Another source of inspiration that Ck was telling me about was the infamous BMW, known as “rusty slammington”, which leads to a future plan, rusted fenders that in essence is supposed to correctly portray the era of the car.

Click on the link below to see what Rusty Slammington looks like!


Now with the brief history lesson down.. let’s get on with the interesting bits! Details!

There is just so much to like about Naga; especially the legendary Hayashi Bomber rims, like butter to bread pairs with the car with such  perfection.

Best looking of the lot, in my opinion.

No matter which angle you look at it, it is quite hard to find faults.

see what i mean?

Sexy curves.

The original 1.6L 2T motor paired with modern parts.

The Re-upholstered interior, and the original dash board with all of its bits still intact, left as is, to preserve its original classic charm.

Naga will be on display at the Art Of Speed exhibition at Publika Solaris Dutamas in Kuala Lumpur, displayed alongside other Japanese classics and American and European classics as well, Malaysian 7Tuners, do head on down and have a look! Stay tuned for coverage on this event, especially on the Japanese muscle category. Should be some pretty epic stuff!



Words-Eugene Chan

Photos-Eugene Chan




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