The most expensive Japanese car in history!
The 365 Oldtimer Museum is open every day of the week, with over 50 cars and 30 motorbikes! The museum aims to show the history and development of the car and motorcycle industry through the diversity of the vehicles on display. In addition to the many curiosities, you will also find rarities that were made or survive in only one piece!
Cars driven by James Bond himself are known the world over, and the Toyota 2000 GT was no exception. It was Sean Connery himself who made the car’s screen debut in 1967. Unfortunately, even James Bond himself didn’t achieve the sales figures Toyota had hoped for. The prototype, which saw the light of day in 1965, was called the 280 A1. Production started in 1967 and was completed in 1970, with only 351 cars rolling off the production line and 150 leaving the country at the time. Although Toyota was renowned for its cheap cars, this was not exactly the case with the 2000 GT, which cost US$6611 in 1967, more expensive than a 911 Porsche or a Jaguar E-Type. Despite this, Toyota didn’t make a huge profit on the 2000 GT, but in return they learned for life around the world that a Toyota was worth the price. Today, the little bulbous Toyota has grown into Japan’s best-selling collector car.
The model was equipped with Toyota’s 1998cc inline six-cylinder 3M engine and a synchronised five-speed gearbox. The engine was also fitted with a Yamaha-designed DOHC aluminium cylinder head with 79° tilted valves. Air and fuel were fed to the cylinders by 3 Mikuni-Solex 40PHH carburettors. The 6 cylinders could propel the tiny cousin at up to 215km/h with 148 horsepower. The recommended maximum rev range was 3500 rpm, but the car had no problem with 7000 rpm. The coupe’s highest point was 116cm, its width 1600mm and length 4176mm. In many ways the 2000 GT was a pioneer as Japan’s first supercar, and in addition to the aluminium engine components mentioned earlier, the so-called ‘pop-up’ headlamp, which only popped up when the driver used the headlamp, was a novelty. The daytime running lights were provided by plexiglass-covered lamps mounted in the front of the car. The designers stretched the stems of the X-shaped chassis so that the driver and one passenger travelled at the centre of gravity, creating the perfect driving experience. Behind the wheel, you’re immediately struck by the refined, clockwork-precision feel of a true Japanese car. The rosewood-covered dashboard with its many tiny instruments gave the driver the feeling of a small plane. For that, thanks to the famous Shoichi Saito, who took the incredible perseverance to go from design to 280 A1 in less than a year. Although the car was designed to perfection more than 50 years ago, to this day those who see it know at first glance what they are dealing with. The aim was to give Japan a car that could compete with the British E-Type or the German Porsche 911. They achieved that goal, and the 2000 GT became an icon that launched a whole new car industry for Toyota. Today, that place is occupied by the Supra, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because the 2000 GT was not just a beauty, it was a real racing car. It won the 1000km Suzuka race in 1966 and 1967, as well as the 24-hour race at Fuji. Carroll Shelby himself bought three 2000 GTs for racing and converted them, one of which was later bought back by Toyota, but the other two remained in the USA. All in all, Toyota was one of the first milestones in Japanese supercars, which is perhaps why it has become such an iconic car.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Provide your e-mail address and click the button below to receive special deals and premium offers