Stunning Toyota 2000GT heads to auction

Arguably one of the most beautiful cars in the world, this 1 of 351 Toyota 2000GT will be auctioned at RM Sotheby’s Petersen Automotive Museum auction in December

Back in the 1960s Japanese cars consisted of high volume, cheap to buy, economy products that were about as appealing as a stale rice cake. Many of the cars were well built and reliable, but they lacked that sex appeal required to put Japanese engineering on the global map.

Things changed at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show when the breathtaking Toyota 2000GT was revealed. Here’s your chance to drive home in one of just 351 2000GTs ever made as this one heads to RM Sotheby’s Petersen Automotive Museum auction.

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Imagine the awe in the room as the covers were taken off the 2000GT for the first time. It is truly one of the most elegant shapes to wear four tyres with its long bonnet, delicately swooping arches, and teardrop rear. Great job Toyota!

Or was it? You see, it was actually Yamaha that designed what would become the 2000GT as a means to enter the sports car market. However, the motorcycle brand lacked the experience and means to produce it in-house, so they approached Nissan with the project.

Astonishingly Nissan turned Yamaha down, after which they turned to Toyota. Thank goodness Toyota saw the potential in this beautiful sports car, or else it might never have happened.

Beneath the lengthy bonnet is a Yamaha developed inline six-cylinder engine that has its origins in the Toyota Crown. 150bhp and a curb weight of just 1,088kg made for a strong power to weight ratio and agile handling. Sound great, right?

So why did Toyota only produce 351 of them? Sadly, as impressive as the 2000GT was, for just $1,000 more you could buy a Jaguar E-Type or Porsche 911, each with a strong sporting past. Badge snobbery is ultimately what killed this Toyota.

This right-hand drive example came into being on 27 November 1967 and was delivered to a Japanese customer. According to the lot description it was the 98th of 233 cars destined for its home market.

It features an aftermarket air conditioning upgrade installed by many Toyota dealerships — essential for humid days in Japan where it spent most of its life. Imported to America from Mr. Fujita’s car collection in 2013, it has continued to be preserved in its highly original state.

This rare Japanese sports car hits the auction blocks 8th December 2018.

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