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Toyota 2000GT Sells For $1.2 Million

By raccars Published

A stunning 45 year old 2000GT has become the most expensive Toyota in the world, after fetching $1.2 million at a California auction. The 1967 car has only 62,000 miles on the clock and has been impeccably restored but retained its original radio, instrument dials, console, rosewood veneer dashboard and seats, all of which are in perfect condition.

The 2000GT was a landmark vehicle for Toyota in the 1960s, giving the Japanese manufacturer for the first time a sports car good enough to rival its European counterparts. The rear-wheel driver, hard top, two seater coupe was produced in a limited run and has often been compared to its contemporary, the Jaguar E-Type, due to its low, sleek profile and sparkling performance. Today the 2000GT is also known as the first Japanese supercar and is the most desirable and collectible Japanese car in the world.

After offering a prototype two seater sports car to Nissan, which wasn't pursued, Yamaha took the idea to Toyota, where it was taken on to perk up the company's rather staid image. The aluminium bodyshell, pop-up headlamps and ultra-low roofline have afforded it classic status, while its 135mph top speed was impressive for the era. The 2000GT came with a 2.0 litre, six-cylinder engine, for 150bhp and a five speed manual transmission.

The 2000GT also made a star turn in the 1967 James Bond film, 'You Only Live Twice,' for which two custom open top models had to be produced to accommodate the 6'2" Sean Connery. The production car however remained a hard top, with a slightly cramped but stylish and luxurious interior.

The record-breaking example sold recently was part of the Don Davis Collection in Texas, bought from another Texan collector in March 2011 for $650,000. It had been restored earlier but underwent further work, including restoring the headlight buckets to black, an authentic grey finish to the side window surrounds and restoration of the wheels to their original colour. The bodywork underwent a bare metal respray to return it to its original Bendix Yellow colourway. While this example's $1.2 million price tag is the highest ever for a Toyota, 2000GTs in top condition regularly command prices in the region of £500,000.

With only 351 2000GTs ever built, of which only 62 were left-hand drive, rarity value is a significant factor in setting prices. The California sale was organised by specialist RM Auctions, who described it as "the finest and most authentic 2000GT to come to market in recent years."

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