oh 1st gen celi's were so much simpler haha
the modelcode is split in 3 basic groups in which every character has a distinct meaning.
The first group TA22L-
is a basic vehicle identification code.
The second group -MZ-
lists options of the vehicle like autotrans, sportspackage and such. In this example only 2 characters are used, but 3 or 4 are no exception to the rule.
The third group -NN
defines the trim level like LT,ST,GT and such. Both characters are singled out as exterior/interior code characters but will not be separately quoted since the trim level is always equal for both. Meaning something like you can't have a GT exterior with an LT interior.
An additional 3rd character L or R can be grouped behind these two characters defining left or righthand side drive. And now for a bit more detail;
TA22L-MZ-NN The first character in this- example theT
represents the series of the engine used in the car. Toyota used 2 different series of engines for the Celica being the T and the R series engines.
Second character is the only constant character in every Celica. It stands for chassistype A. This is the chassis Toyota used to base their Celica and Carina models on.
Ah yes the type designation. More significant type changes of the Celica were marked by a change in the type designation. Basically you could bring it down to this;
*-**-**Coupe. Economy class. Came with the T and the 8R engine Dec ' 70 through Aug.'72
*-**-**Coupe. Not sure yet, suspecting it's the US equivalent of abovementioned type. Came with the 18R engine.
*-**-**Coupe. Built Dec'70 through Sept '75.Most significant change in fillercap placement to meet new safety regulations.
*-**-**Coupe. The 22 successor. Built Sept'75 through Late '77. Most significant change is the slightly longer nose section.
*-**-**Coupe. US version of the Celica. sporting safety bumpers and R-series engines only. Built? Dunno, again any info on this topic is appreciated.
*-**-**Liftback. Japanese domestic variant and predecessor of the export liftbackmodels. launched April-73. Since it was relieved by the 28/29 mid '75 logic suggests it was not in production more then 2 years. Came with 18R series engine only.
Most significant detail, the 5split taillights which were unique for this type.
*-**-**Liftback. Same as the 25 liftback, launched April-73, came with 2T series engine only.
*-**-**Liftback. Most common none U.S. model. Launched mid '75 right till the end in '77. Featured the 23 types long nose section.
*-**-**Liftback. U.S. version of the 28 Celica. Launched mid '75 right till the end in '77. Safetybumpers and R-series engines only. Special environmental gripes to make the cleaner for some states.
*-**-**Liftback. Domestic Japanese Celica. 77only. High luxury standard. Most significant detail, the TTCN (Toyota Total Clean System) which involved some gripes to the engine to make it meet Japanese emission standards
*-**-**Liftback. Domestic Japanese Celica. 77only. Basically the same as the 30. lacking information on differences between those two yet.
Drive side. L stands for Lefthand drive. R for righthand drive.
Info on this part varies too since after 10/75 some of the codes including this Z became obsolete. Most commonly accepted explanation as follows:
Z Tandem master cylinder brake system (ST) package. Became obsolete as all post 10/75 were standard equipped with this feature.
4 speed manual gearbox
5 speed manual gearbox
3 speed auto transmission
GT suspension, brakes sport package
Rearranged enginebay to suit the twincam engines.
Californian regulations clean burn type.
Uprated suspension package, used on GTV's. It is also used for some other post 7510 models sold to markets where roads could be poorer (unsealed)
The trim code
Courtesy of http://www.classic-celica.nl