If you or your father has one of those James Bond box sets, and you‘ve watched all the old Bond movies, then you may have caught a glimpse of one of the rarest cars Toyota ever built, the 2000 GT in the movie You only live twice.
The world got its first look at the 2000 GT in 1965, at the Tokyo Motor Show. Production began in 1967, but only 342 cars were ever sold, of which 86 were exported.
Despite the 2000 GT’s good looks and equally good performance, it was more expensive than the superbly styled E-Type Jaguar and Porsche’s 911, but without the cachet of those brands.
Powered by a Yamaha enhanced 2.0-litre inline-6, the 2000GT had a top speed of 206km/h and a 0-60mph-sprint time of 10 seconds.
The car was designed by Japanese designer Satoru Nozaki and was the first double overhead camshaft (DOHC) that the Toyota had ever employed.
There is no doubt that the E-Type Jaguar and Lotus Elan influenced Satoru’s design, but the overall shape was original and well regarded in Europe and the United States.
But given its substantial price of US$6,800, the 2000 GT was impossible to market outside of Japan, where it didn’t sell that well either, as the Japanese were not yet interested in sports cars. They soon would be though.
In 1970, Toyota stopped producing the 2000 GT and put its faith in the more affordable Celica model, while Datsun came out with the iconic 240 Z sports car, which took the world by storm with its affordability, looks and high performance.
There’s no denying that this exotic sports car from Toyota is a great looking machine. If you want one, then be prepared to shell out over AUD$270,000 for a reasonable example.