Toyota’s high-performance sports car 2000GT produced from 1967 to 1970, brilliantly shining in the history of Japanese automobiles, can be said to be Toyota’s leading supercar.
It is said that Toyota decided to develop a full-fledged high-performance sports car right after Japan’s first full-scale international car race, held at the Suzuka Circuit in May 1963, the first Japanese Grand Prix. Although they won the touring car divisions, there were no cars that could compete in the sports car division. Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz were clear winners in this category.
The actual development began in 1964. However, at that time, Toyota was planning a series of new cars and had no spare capacity to produce sports cars. The engine tuning, prototyping and production were outsourced to Yamaha Motor.
The size that fits into the 5-number standard is quite small when compared with modern cars. However, the style of the long nose and fastback, the sports car style of the 1960s, is composed of flowing curves, and its beauty is still popular. It first Japanese car to use a retractable type headlamps.
The interior was of a quality that could be called a luxury sports car, with a Yamaha-style instrument panel made of genuine rosewood and a multi-view meter embedded in the instrument panel.
The engine was a 3M type equipped with a DOHC head based on the M type 2L straight 6 SOHC. The fuel supply system was equipped with three Solex carburetors and generated a power specification of maximum output of 152 hp / maximum torque of 130 lb-ft. The suspension used a double wishbone in both the front and rear, an elaborate method at that time. It was the first domestically produced car to use a four-wheel disc brake.
The Toyota 2000GT was released in May 1967, but participated in the 3rd Japan Grand Prix held at Fuji Speedway in May 1966 before its release. Following the pure racing car Prince R380, it finished 2nd in qualifying and 3rd in the final. In October of the same year, it challenged a high-speed endurance speed trial, setting three new world records and thirteen new international records by class for 78 hours of continuous driving, and became a attractive commercial product.
A minor change was made in 1969, with some minor cosmetic changes, a three-speed automatic transmission was also introduced.
Toyota produced 2000GT at a loss and production in the red continued for a total of 337 units. However, it is undoubtedly a historic car that played a role in bringing Toyota’s technology to the world.
Toyota 2000GT Main Specifications
— Length × Width × Height: 4175 × 1600 × 1160mm
— Wheelbase: 2330mm
— Weight: 1120kg
— Engine type: Straight 6 DOHC
— Displacement: 1988cc
— Maximum output: 152 hp / 6000rpm
— Maximum torque: 130 lb-ft / 5000rpm
— Drive system: Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
— Transmission: 5-speed MT
— Tire size: 165HR15
— Vehicle price at that time: 2.38 million yen ($6,600 US Dollars)
— Now, you can get one of these from $500,000 to $1 million depending on the condition.