Sold for $1,155,000 at 2014 Gooding & Company. Sold for $797,500 at 2016 RM Sothebys. To say it's difficult to conceive of a Ferrari-like Toyota is too often stated. It is easy to think of the automobile manufacturer as the maker of fine, but relatively sedate production cars. There have been glimpses of another side of the company, however, but this has always been veiled behind a lack of need to prove one's self. Though never really pushed to prove itself to the world, the 2000 GT would be Toyota's means of dabbling in a world for which it had been unknown and showing the world just what it could do if it wanted to.
There would be just a total of 351 examples ever built; and this from a company that builds Corollas at that rate nearly every hour! To think of Toyota, the gigantic automotive giant producing a run of less than 400 vehicles seems an utter waste of time. Never to be bullied, a short-run production sportscar just didn't seem to fit Toyota's ethos. But then again, maybe the car was exactly what Toyota needed.
The 2000GT would be what Japan needed. In a world today with body kits and high performance upgrades, it seems hard to imagine Japan without some kind of a sportscar, but that is exactly what the land of the rising sun was without, even as late as the 1960s. Companies, like Toyota, were beginning to make a name for themselves on the world stage building large numbers of smaller, efficient vehicles that would become world famous for their reliability and simplicity.
Toyota's image was the same as Japan's, at least as far as the rest of the world was concerned. The company decided it was time to shed this image of itself and the country. In cooperation with Yamaha, Toyota would propose to build a two-seater sports car.
Measuring just a little more than 45 inches in height, the 2000GT is about as classic a sportscar from the 1960s as one could find. Elegant, flowing lines, the pointed nose, laid-back interior and blunt tail, the 2000 GT could have just as easily been designed somewhere in Europe. Sporting such features as pop-up headlights and Plexiglas-covered headlights, the car boasted of a unique and iconic look that made it one of the most exciting at the time.
Making its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1965, the 2000 GT would receive rave reviews and would be widely held at the first instance of a Japanese supercar would ever be unveiled to the world.
Just a total of 351 examples of the 2000 GT would ever be built. Chassis MF10-10088 would be of an even fewer fleet. In all, just 62 examples of Toyota's supercar would ever be imported to the United States, and this meant a very few number of left-hand drive examples. 10088 is one such example.
Considered one of the best examples still in existence, 10088 would have just two owners over its lifetime and would spend most of that lifetime as part of a Toyota dealership in St. Louis. Sporting less than 50,000 miles, the 2000 GT would be restored by Maine Line Exotics and would actually be put up for bid on eBay in 2011.
Superb example of Toyota's image-shedding supercar, and a piece of Japanese history, 10088 certainly belongs in a worthy collection and would be deservedly rewarded at the 2014 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach auction when it sold for $1,155,000.
It would seem Toyota and Japan not only shed its stoic image in the classic car market; it would appear cars like the 2000 GT are going to be major players in the years to come. Toyota would not only introduce the supercar to Japan, it would seem its offering will introduce some competition to long-standing traditions in the classic car market as well.By Jeremy McMullen
The Toyota 2000GT was a sports car produced in very limited numbers by Toyota in Japan. First seen at the Tokyo Motor Show of 1965, production vehicles were built between 1967 and 1970. It revolutionized the automotive world's view of Japan. Reviewing a pre-production car in 1967, 'Road & Track' magazine summed up the 2000 GT as 'one of the most exciting and enjoyable cars we've driven.' 351 regular production cars were manufactured, with most being painted either red or white, and selling for approximately $6,800.
The engine was a 2.0-Litre straight-6; transformed by Yamaha with new double overhead camshaft heads to produce 150 horsepower.
- The Toyota 2000GT appeared as a prototype at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show and was introduced as a production model in 1967.
- Model number: MF10L; Frame: 10122; Engine Number; 10157; production date: 10-12-67; Color code: 2309W (Pegasus White); Serial number: P-112.
- This vehicle is a left-hand-drive model.
- A high-performance grand touring car, only 337 Toyota 2000GTs were produced. Only 54 were imported to North America.
After the Ford racing contracts ended, Carroll Shelby took on a contract from Toyota to develop their 2000GT sports car.
In 1967, Toyota entered into an agreement with Shelby American Racing, Inc., to develop the 2000GT for SCCA Production Competition. The terms of the deal were simple: The manufacturer was to ship three cars (chassis #10001, 10005, 10006) to Shelby in California, where they would be modified to current SCCA regulations and developed for the 1968 series.
In the summer of 1967, Shelby received the three chassis, which had already been prepared for racing in Japan. On September 6th of 1967, chassis #10001 (used as the R&D car) took to the track for the first time at Riverside Raceway in California with former Formula One driver Ronnie Bucknum piloting. After the only two testing outings and several Shelby suspension and engine modifications, Dave Jordan took to the track for a third test and shaved over four seconds off the lap times. The Toyota 2000GT had arrived and was about to make an imprint on the American racing scene.
When the 1968 SCCA season began, Dave Jordan became the driver of this car, #23. The freshmen Shelby 2000GT's showed true potential and starring in the SCCA C-Production series. All told this car racked up two 1st place, four 2nd place, and three 3rd place finishes. Scooter Patrick finished 4th in the overall points championship. In the end the two cars had an overall finishing record above 80%. This not only proved the already famous reliability of Toyota and development skills of Shelby American, but also the inherent speed of the 2000GT itself.
Chassis #10005 and #10006 were eventually restored by Bob Tkacik and Peter Starr. They still own the #10006 car today.
In 1967, Toyota entered into an agreement with Shelby American Racing, Inc. to develop the 2000 GT for SCCA Production competition. The terms of the deal were simple : The manufacturer was to ship three cars (chassis number 10001, 10005, and 10006) to Shelby in California, where they would be modified to current SCCA regulations and developed for the 1968 series.
In the summer of 1967, Shelby received the three chassis, which had already been prepared for racing in Japan. On September 6, 1967, chassis number 10001 took to the track for the first time at Riverside Raceway in California with Formula One driver Ronnie Bucknum piloting. After only two test outings and several Shelby suspension and engine modifications, Dave Jordan took to the track for a third test and shaved over 4 seconds off the lap times. The Toyota 2000 GT had arrived and was about to make an imprint on the American racing scene forever.
When this 1968 season began, SCCA ace Scooter Patrick was assigned to the number 33 car, while Dave Jordan became the official driver for the number 23 car. The freshman 2000 GTs showed true potential and stamina in the SCCA C-Production class, famously scoring three 1-2 finishes. All told, the pair racked up four wins, eight 2nd place finishes, and six 3rd place finishes, with an overall finishing record above 80%. This not only proved the already famous reliability of Toyota and development skills of Shelby American, but also the inherent speed of the 2000 GT itself.
In the 1960s Toyota wanted to build a world class car because the Japanese auto industry wanted to expand worldwide. Based on SCCA demands the 1967 model had many performance features not needed on a car designed for the street.
Toyota did the design but Yamaha built the car. In designing the car, Toyota used the technology of that era. Most of the performance features were from European influences. The car was hand built, so each individual body part was stamped with a number. The body is one welded piece of steel. The dash, console, steering wheel, etc., were fabricated by the Yamaha Piano & Violin craftsmen. The wheels are magnesium, which was used to make them light and strong.
These cars were built in the 1968-1970 model years. 351 total cars worldwide were made in the four years of production.
During the 1968 SCCA racing season, two 2000GTs were raced. They were prepared by The Carroll Shelby Organization in Southern California. After the 1968 season, Toyota decided to change direction with their racing efforts and the 2000GT's faded into history. The two Shelby prepared cars are still active. One is in the state of Maine. The other is in Florida. Most of the 40 remaining GT's are in museum's or private collections.
The world first saw the Toyota 2000 GT at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show. Production began two years later and continued in limited numbers until 1970. This vehicle was very important for the Toyota Motor Company because it proved to the world that they could produce sports cars and not just economical and practical vehicles.
Raymond Loewy of Yamaha was responsible for the design. The product was originally intended for Nissan but the company decided not to implement the design. The design was proposed to Toyota who accepted the design. The vehicle is visually similar to the Jaguar E-Type. Light was provided by driving lamps and pop-up lights. To protect the exposed driving lamps, a Plexiglas cover were installed. There were bumpers on the car though they provided little in the way of protection. The body is comprised of aluminum and located under the hood was a potent six-cylinder engine in 2 or 2.3 liter size.
During its short production lifespan only 337 were produced. The final versions featured air-conditioning and some were given an additional scoop located underneath the grille which helped provided air to the AC unit. By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2006
Sold for $1,045,000 at 2014 RM Sothebys. Sold for $533,500 at 2016 Gooding & Company. When production of the 2000 GT came to an end in 1970, just 351 examples had been built. They were priced at $7,000 in 1967 and was considered by many to be an expensive proposition for a largely unheard of car. It was over $2,500 more than the Corvette and $1,000 more expensive than the Jaguar E-Type and Porsche 911.
Most of the 2000GTs had right-hand-drive configuration. It Solar Red example is one of just two sold new to Mozambique. It was acquired and subsequently exported from Mozambique by Roger Holstead, a South African sports car enthusiast, in the late 1970s. The car remained with Holstead until 1986, when it was sold to Peter Starr and Robert Tkacik, of Maine Line Exotics in Biddleford, Maine. That year, it was acquired by Javier Quiros, who was the Toyota importer for Costa Rica. Quiros had the car shipped to Costa Rica.
In September 2013, the 2000GT was fully restored to its original specifications under the stewardship of its current owners. The car was repainted in its original shade of Solar Red. After 4,000 man-hours of labor, the work was completed in late May 2014. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2014
Sold for $803,000 at 2015 Gooding & Company. This Toyota 2000 GT was imported to Switzerland in January 1969 by Emil Frey Ag, the official Toyota importer. It was subsequently delivered to 'Garage des Nations' in Geneva on the 30th of January and remained there until August of 1971 when it was delivered to its first known owner, Mr. Meier, and registered in Geneva. The car passed through the ownership of two more collectors, before coming into the care of its current caretaker in 1982. The new owner commissioned a cosmetic restoration with it being repainted in its original red. A more extensive restoration followed in 1993. After the work was completed, it was used on several rallies and classic car events.
In 2014, the car was given additional mechanical attention, along with having the body repaired and restored. The seats were correctly re-trimmed, and the rosewood veneered dash, a by-product of Yamaha's piano-building heritage, was also restored. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2015
Sold for $825,000 at 2015 RM Sothebys. Today, Toyota is known for its quality of engineering and the longevity of its products, but not necessarily for any earth-shattering performance. However, on the track, Toyota has a fierce reputation and it must not be forgotten the supercar in Japan was first birthed with the brand. That first supercar would be known as the 2000GT.
Made famous by Sean Connery in the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice, the 2000GT would garner a lot of attention and would capture the imagination of many, but what was it? The movie was set in Japan, but what Japanese automaker built a car like that? Toyota.
In reality, it was Albrecht Goertz and Yamaha that had produced a prototype of the 2000GT originally. However, none of the other Japanese manufacturers would agree to produce the car, except for Toyota.
Toyota already had a reputation for designing and building practical, rather mundane, automobiles. Those within the company wanted to change that image. The concept provided just such an opportunity. Practically overnight, Toyota would go from conventional to eccentric. The other Japanese manufacturers would be left behind.
Toyota appeared to be the last to ever produce a supercar, and yet, it would be the first from Japan. And, the first of these new supercars from Japan would reach the shores of the United States for the first time with chassis 10083.
Though there were two other left-hand drive 2000GTs produced, chassis 10083 would be the first of these to arrive in the United States. The car would arrive in San Francisco on special order to Bay area resident Scott Pfefer. Registered on black plates, Pfefer knew his sports cars well and recognized the significance of the new Japanese supercar.
Being a partnership of Yamaha and Toyota, Pfefer would have ever confidence driving the car and would do so quite regularly over his 10 years of ownership. In total, almost 66,000 kilometers would be accumulated before it would pass on to another owner.
The next owner would be Oggie Davis. He would acquire the Toyota in 1970. Davis was an authorized Toyota dealer in California and would use the car to great effect before he too would sell the car, this time to Alex Sokoloff of Palo Alto.
Jim Thelan would come to own the car at one point and this would be a remarkable purchase as it would make two 2000GTs he had in his collection. Known for his enthusiasm for Japanese automobiles, Thelan would make 10083 a prominent feature within his collection and would retain the car for around 20 years.
After 20 years with Thelan, 10083 would become available for purchase. It would be at this time that the present owner came to possess the two-door coupe.
Bearing a rich red livery that was done very early on in its life, 10083 remains unrestored in every other respect, and therefore, is one of the most highly original 2000GTs in the world. One of just 351, this particular chassis has to be regarded as one of the best simply because of its originality.
Significant in so many ways, this 1967 Toyota 2000GT is a part of a history that paved the way for so many others like the Nissan GTR, Lexus LFA, Acura NSX and now the Toyota FT-1. Each and every one of the 2000GTs is significant and this particular example one of the most originally significant. Now the car stands out and is known when James Bond needs his escape.
Recognized for its high originality, estimates of $1,000,000 to $1,300,000 would be given prior to its inclusion as part of RM Sotheby's 2015 Monterey auction.By Jeremy McMullen
In the 1960s, Saturo Nozaki designed a sports car for Toyota, and soon, Yamaha and Toyota joined forces to develop and build Nozaki's design. It was planned as a low-volume, high-image car and drew inspiration from Jaguar's E-Type. The new car, dubbed the 2000 GT, was fitted with Toyota's basic iron-block inline 'six' from the Toyota Crown. It was given a new Yamaha-developed aluminum cylinder head with hemispherical combustion chambers and chain-driven dual overhead cams. Triple Mikuni-Solex carburetors and tubular headers helped elevate horsepower to 150 BHP, allowing the GT-class sports car to achieve speeds of 120 mph. Performance was enhanced with near-perfect weight distribution and a low center of gravity.
Racing versions soon appeared at Japanese Grand Prix and one set Japan's first three FIA-sanctioned land speed records - all while the 2000 GT was still a prototype.
The 1967 Tokyo Motor Show saw the debut of the 2000 GT alongside the famous model/actress Twiggy, who returned to England with the gold 2000 GT show car afterwards. The 2000 GT was later featured in the James Bond film, You Only Live Twice. Toyota supplied movie producer Albert R. 'Cubby' Broccoli with two prototypes from the 2000 GT development program for the movie.
From 1967 to 1970, just 337 examples were produced.
This example was bought by Japanese electronics company Denon in July of 1990 from its original owner in California. At the time of purchase, the car had just 3600 miles. In 2005, Japanese DMV records recorded 4,086 miles. In 2007, it had 5,255 miles and by 2009 it had just 7,634 miles. Currently, it has 12,542 miles.
The car was repainted in 2004; everything else remains completely original. It rides on reproduction alloy wheels but the original factory delivered mags still remain with the vehicle. It has an aftermarket air conditioning. By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2015
Sold for $925,000 at 2015 Mecum. High bid of $700,000 at 2016 Mecum. (did not sell) Just 62 examples of the Toyota 2000GT were sold in the United States between 1967 and 1970. This particular example sold new to Sebring and Watkins Glen veteran Otto Linton. For several decades it was part of the Jacobson Collection and in succeeding years, it has been owned by only two collectors. It has been sympathetically restored.
351 examples of the Toyota 2000GT were built from 1967 through 1970. By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2016
Acquired by the current owner in 1977 and presented in all original condition with the exception of one repaint in the original Pegasus White. From 1967 through 1970, Toyota produced 351 examples all hand built by Yamaha Motor Co. This is 1 of 62 left hand drive examples exported to the United States. This car is fitted with a 7000 RPM twin-cam 2-liter inline six-cylinder engine with three twin-choke side-draft carburetors and fully synchromesh 5-speed gear box. Four wheel Dunlop disc brakes and fully independent suspension were standard equipment along with rack and pinion steering, engine oil cooler and genuine magnesium alloy knock off wheels. The original interior includes a rosewood dash and center console and a mahogany telescoping steering wheel and shift knob.
In 1965, when this car was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show, Japan was known as a maker of inexpensive economy cars. Imagine the shock to both the public and the motoring press when the 2000GT was introduced. Yamaha completed the initial design for the car while Raymond Loewy was responsible for its flowing lines. Originally intended as a product of Nissan, which decided not to take on the project, it was brought to Toyota, which moved forward with what is today acclaimed to be Japan's first ultra sports car.
Priced at more than $7,000, only 337 were produced. This original example with little more than 31,000 miles from new, is powered by a 150 horsepower Yamaha-designed DOHC inline six-cylinder engine giving the car 'street cred' and often drawing comparisons to the contemporary Jaguar E-Type.
Serial #1 of only 351 hand-built Toyota 2000 GTs ever produced. It was prepared and campaigned by Carroll Shelby for Toyota Motor Corps. inaugural U.S. racing program in SCCA C-Production. Having been prepared for racing in Japan, MF10-10001 was chosen as the development car for the Shelby/Toyota project. The engine was tweaked to produce to 205 hp and major suspension modifications were performed to improve handling. MF10-10001 was piloted to several podium finishes by Porsche driver Davie Jordan along side teammate Scooter Patrick in the 1968 SCCA C-Production season.
Since restoration completion in 1966, this Shelby/Toyota 2000GT has participated nationally in the many races continuing the tradition with several podium finishes.
Thrilling automotive admirers, collectors and historians for over 40 years, the Toyota 2000GT was Japan's original exclusive sports car. Created in a joint collaboration by Toyota and Yamaha, this exceptional and exotic GT is still appreciated today for not only its beauty and performance but also its historic significance. Japans first supercar, the 2000GT was a limited-production, rear-wheel drive, front-engine, 2-seat hardtop coupe grand tourer. Stunning its audience, the car was first debuted to the public at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1965 though it took another 2 years before it went on sale. In Japan, the 2000GT was exclusive to Toyota's Japanese retail sales channel dubbed Toyota Store. The price topped $6,800, over $1,000 more than the target E-Type.
Revolutionizing the automotive world's view of Japan, the 2000GT helped to change the current opinion that Japan was known only for cheaper, quality-lacking vehicles. Known for building family cars, or economy sedans models after French and English version, up until this point the Japanese were not known for their sports or GT cars. The arrival of the GT proved that Japanese auto manufacturers could in fact produce a sports car that was capable of rivaling similar European models.
Compared favorably to the Porsche 911, a pre-production 2000GT in 1967, Road & Track magazine reviewed the vehicle as 'one of the most excited and enjoyable cars we've driven'. With such positive publicity the Toyota 2000GT was well on its way to being the first serious collectible Japanese cars and the original 'Japanese supercar'. Today these models have sold at auction for as much as $375,000.
Much of the credit for the Toyota 2000GT goes to Albrecht Goertz, a freelance German-American designer who was a protégé of Raymond Loewy. Credited with designing the BMW 507, he had traveled to Yamaha in Japan in the early 1960's to create a two-seater sports car for Nissan. Though a prototype was constructed, Nissan chose not to pursue the project, possibly because its cost and sophistication were too high for the production and marketing plans they were making. Yamaha also worked for Toyota but at the time was considered the most conservative of the Japanese car manufacturers. Toyota accepted the proposal in an attempt to improve their image, but chose to go with a design from their own designer Satoru Nozaki.
Vividly eye catching and with a design that is widely considered to be a classic the 200GT featured smoothly flowing bodywork finished in aluminum. Pop-up headlights fronted the supercar and large plexi-glass covered driving lamps framed either side of the grille in the same fashion as on the Toyota Sports 800. Barely any bumpers at all though, unfortunately the plexi-glass driving lamp covers were easily damaged. Drastically low, the Japanese supercar measured just 45.7 inches to the tallest point of the roof. The 2000GT had a slight hint of the Jaguar E-type along with being very technologically advanced. It had a 2,329-mm wheelbase and a length of 4,176 mm. The front of the vehicle was updated slightly in 1969, making the driving lamps smaller and changing the shape of the turn signals. The rear turn signals were also updated and made slightly larger along with some modernizations on the inside of the sports car. Some models were fitted with air conditioning and featured automatic transmission as an option. These models also had an additional scoop fitted underneath the grille, which supplied air to the A/C unit. The inside of the supercar did feature comfortable, though cramped space with luxury features that included a rosewood-veneer dashboard and an auto-seeking radio tuner. Road & Track felt that the interior of the 2000GT was up to the standard for a 'luxurious GT' stating that it was an impressive car 'in which to sit or ride - or simply admire.'
Based on the engine in the top-of-the-line-Toyota Crown sedan, the engine in the GT was a 2.0 L (121 in³) straight-6 (the 3M). This engine was completely transformed by Yamaha and featured all-new double overhead camshaft heads into a 112 kW (150 hp) sports car engine. Carburetion was completed through three two-barrel Solex 40 PHH units. Special MF-12 models, nine, were constructed with the larger but SOHC 2.3 L 2M engine. The vehicle was offered with three different final drives. Getting 31 mpg, the car was fitted with a 4.375 ratio axle and was rumored to be capable of reaching 135 mph.
Driving the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission the engine in the GT was longitudinally mounted. In a first for a Japanese vehicle, all-round power-assisted disc brakes were fitted, and also a limited slip differential. The emergency brake gripped the rear disc directly.
With figures that were comparable to first-class Italian supercar production of the time, only 351 regular production models of the 2000GT were built. The breakdown was 233 MF10's, 109 MF10Ls, and nine MF12Ls according to Yamaha and Toyota data. All vehicles were constructed by Yamaha, and it took two years for production vehicles to emerge.
The Toyota 2000GT was sold for around $6,800 in the U.S., a much higher price tag than contemporary Jaguars and Porsches. Despite their hefty cost it was believed that no profit was made on the cars since they were more concept cars, a demonstration of ability rather than a true production car. Most 2000GTs were painted either red or white, and around 60 models reached North America. Other models were estimated to have spread thinly worldwide in much the same manner.
Coming in third in the '66 Japanese Grand Prix the Toyota 2000GT also won the Fuji 24-Hour Race in 1967. The vehicle also set numerous FIA world records for endurance and speed in a 72-hour test. The record car was unfortunately destroyed in a pace car accident and was eventually discarded. This prompted Porsche to soon prepare a 911R especially to beat this record.
Competing in the CP category, Carroll Shelby would also enter a pair of 2000GTs to compete in the SCCA production car races. Originally he built three cars, including one spare. Though they performed well, 1968 was the only season the car competed in the U.S. Toyota took back one of the vehicles and rebuilt it into a replica of their record car which today still remains in Japan. The two remaining Shelby cars still reside in the United States.
Making its most famous screen appearance in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice, two custom open-top 2000GT models were built. A factory-produced convertible was never offered during the car's production run. Most of the movie was filmed in Japan. The cars built for the film didn't have roofs, merely an upholstered hump at the rear of the cabin to simulate a fold top and because of this they were not ever fully functioning convertibles.
Before they decided to make fully roofless cars, building the car as a targa was first tried, allegedly due to Sean Connery's height which didn't allow him to fit into the ultra-low coupe version. This eliminated the rear side windows but retained the hatchback of the original vehicle. Unfortunately when the Targa was completed, Connery's head stuck out of the top so much that it was deemed too ridiculous looking and roofless version would have to be constructed if the car was to be featured in the film. The vehicle was mainly driven by his girlfriend; Akiko Wakabayashi in the film anyways. 45 years later, the Toyota 2000GT has become a true icon and now an integral part of the history of James Bond.
Though not as well known as the Nissan Z to the general public like later Japanese sports cars, many collectors esteem the 2000GT as quite possibly the first highly collective Japanese car. Well-preserved models can reach high auction prices, though parts availability can be a problem.
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_2000GT http://www.topspeed.com/cars/toyota/1967-1970-toyota-2000-gt-ar10869.html http://www.motortrend.com/classic/c12_0509_classic_coupe_comparison/viewall.html http://www.kaiartintl.com/toyota_2000gt_book http://blog.toyota.eu/2012/10/25/you-only-live-twice-james-bond%E2%80%99s-toyota-2000gt-convertible/ By Jessica Donaldson