1967 Toyota sports car sells for $1.39m

RICHARD BLACKBURN
Last updated 12:49 15/05/2013
Toyota 2000GT

MINT: The 1967 Toyota 2000GT.

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A Toyota sports car has sold for more than $1 million to a collector in the United States.

The mint condition Toyota 2000GT, one of only 351 built, was sold by RM Auctions for US$1.15 million (NZ$1.39m).

The 2000GT was Japan's answer to the Jaguar E-Type. Co-developed with Yamaha, the low-slung sports car was powered by a 2.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine that was good for 112kW and a top speed of 217 kmh.

With its aluminium body, disc brakes and double overhead camshafts, the car showcased Japanese technology to the rest of the world at a time when the nation was trying to establish itself as a global force in the automotive industry.

Two specially built convertible versions of the car starred alongside Sean Connery in the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice. They were built because Connery was too tall to fit in the hardtop versions.

Repected car magazine Road and Track said the 2000GT was "one of the most exciting and enjoyable cars we've drive", comparing it favourably to the Porsche 911.

Toyota 2000GT

Repected car magazine Road and Track said the 2000GT was "one of the most exciting and enjoyable cars we've drive", comparing it favourably to the Porsche 911.

At the time of its release, the car sold in the United States for about US$7000, which was more than the 911 and E-Type.

The 2000GT also had a brief motorsport career that included a 3rd place in the 1966 Japanese Grand Prix and a win in the Fuji 24-hour race. 

Toyota 2000GT

Despite the appearance in the Bond hit, the 2000GT never gained the attention of the European sports cars, mainly because only 62 were exported to the United States.

In recent years, though, surviving examples have become sought-after, making the car arguably the most collectible Japanese classic.

-Fairfax Media Australia

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