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Bonham's 2000

Cet article trouvé sur en 2001 relate l'histoire de cette 2000GT vendue aux enchères 151 000 $ par Primemotors du Maine lors d'une vente Bonham's, le 6 octobre 2000.

C'est un modèle 1967, châssis MF10-10140, importé aux USA. On retrouve cette voiture en France chez Christie's en 2006.

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 after.

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 service-repair manuals.

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 competitive.

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

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