1967 Toyota 2000GT
Chassis number: MF10-10140
When Nissan rejected Albrecht Goertz’s design study, Toyota picked it up and retained
Yamaha to build the pretty two-seater coupe that would become the 2000GT. The car was
envisaged as an image-setting, low-volume model. Work on the project commenced early
in 1964. The 2000GT was one of the stars of the Tokyo Motor Show in 1965, though production
proper did not start until May 1967.
Beneath the 2000GT’s aerodynamic coupe coachwork was a Lotus
Elan-inspired backbone chassis, equipped with double-wishbone
independent suspension at all four corners and disc brakes all-round,
the latter a first for a Japanese car. A five-speed all-synchromesh
transmission, rack-and-pinion steering, oil cooler, heated rear window
and magnesium-alloy knock-off wheels were all state-of-the-art features.
The Yamaha-built twin-cam six was based on the
Toyota Crown’s cast-iron 1998 cc block and produced 150 bhp at 6,600
rpm. With a top speed of around 130 mph in road trim, the 2000GT was one
of the fastest 2-liter production cars of its day.
Although it succeeded in generating a considerable amount of favorable
publicity for Toyota, the 2000GT was handicapped from the start by its
cost, which was more than that of a Jaguar E-type or a Porsche 911. Just
337 were made between 1967 and 1970; 335 coupes plus the two special
roadsters that starred in the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice.
Today this landmark Japanese sports car is both rare and highly sought
The example pictured here is one of only 62 cars—53 twin-cams and nine
of the later single-cam models—imported for the US market between 1967
and 1970. The car’s original owner was a doctor who purchased it new
from Fair-Way Motors of Reno, Nevada, on December 28, 1967, stabling it
with his Ferrari 275 GTB/4, Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster, De Tomaso
Pantera and Ferrari Dino 246 GTS. That so obviously discerning an
enthusiast should consider the Toyota fit company for such a collection
is an indication of the impact that the car, arguably the first
“proper” sports car to emanate from Japan, had at the time.
The current owner acquired this 2000GT from the doctor in 1990 after it
had covered just 42,228 miles. The car’s engine and gearbox were
rebuilt in 1993 at 45,000 miles by its new owners, Maine Line Exotics,
specialists in the sales and restoration of 2000GTs, and the body
re-painted in correct and original Solar Red in 1995. Complete with
factory tool bag, jack and emergency light and described as in
“excellent condition in every department,” the car comes with
thorough documentation from new, including original title deed,
owner’s warranty identification card, service booklet, owners and
This car sold for $151,000 at the Brooks Hershey auction on October 6, 2000.
The price, which included the buyer’s premium, was well over the
auction company’s high estimate of $110,000.
The Toyota 2000GT is one of the great “what-ifs” in recent
automotive history. What if Toyota had developed the car, and produced a
lower-cost successor? What if they had stayed with their racing program?
What if they had made the interior big enough so that anyone over
5’9” didn’t have to fold up like a pretzel to fit?
Demonstrating the fickleness typical of most car companies, Toyota
campaigned the 2000GT in SCCA C-production for just one year. Despite a
nearly unlimited budget, preparation by Carroll Shelby and the masterful
Scooter Patrick as head driver, Toyota finished second to Porsche in
points. (On the track, according to Raymond Milo, who was there: “They
finished as the first of the non-Porsches, a long way back.”)
Porsche had been in the racing game for a long time, so not beating them
the first time out was no disgrace. However, Toyota’s marketing
department moved on to more profitable things, like selling Celicas with
gauge and wing packages. Thus the short-lived 2000GT racing program came
to an abrupt end.
The 2000GT market is indeed a strange one. Most of the cars in the US
are in the hands of a pair of dealers, and if this sale had been between
the two of them, we would have suspected price collusion. However, the
fact that there were at least three interested private party dealers for
this car shows that the price made should be considered as a realistic
benchmark for a superb 2000GT.
On the other hand, there are a few ratty 2000GTs racing in Europe in
vintage events, and those cars are hardly worth $50,000—although, with
massive doses of contemporary technology, they have proven to be quite
The 2000GT will always be an orphan car, with a limited following. If
all the cars owned by the two dealers were to come on the market at the
same time, we would likely see a price implosion. However, so long as
the supply is strictly limited, prices for good cars should stay in the
$100,000-$150,000 range.—Pat Braden
(Historical data and photo courtesy of auction company.)
Original list price
SCM Price Guide
Bottom left side of block