original and perhaps still most ambitious Japanese sports grand tourer,
the Toyota 2000GT presaged the Datsun 240Z and Mazda RX-7 as
revolutionary all-world Japanese sports cars and, had Toyota done more
with the car, likely would have been as legendary and successful as the
Instead, the 2000GT is an incredibly rare,
extremely collectible car--a lovely and refined precursor to the
following decades of more utilitarian Japanese technological
innovation, a sort of Asian Jaguar E-Type. Unlike most cars mentioned
in the same sentence as the E-Type, the 2000GT's hardware--a powerful
DOHC straight six engine, disc brakes, and a top speed rumored to be in
the 135-mph range--made it a worthy analogue.
Years ago, I came across a 1966 issue of Car Life
that featured a road test of the 2000GT (concluding that it was a
stunningly good car), and I've wanted one ever since. The James Bond
movies have made many a car famous (I'm convinced Aston Martin owe
much of its fame to the Bond movies); the 2000GT is one of the rare
Japanese cars 007 deigned to pilot. Bond drove an even more rare 2000GT
convertible in You Only Live Twice
that most remaining examples go for more than $100,000 nowadays, even
if one could obtain a 2000GT, it wouldn't make much sense to actually
drive it. Given its competence as a sports car, that's a pity.
These photos come from a Japanese-language site
; I can't read the text, but it has lots of great 2000GT photos.
- Chris H.