Toyota 2000 GT MF-10

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Keywords: antique and classic cars,automobiles,rm auctions,toyota motor corporation,uncategorized
Description: Built from 1967 to 1970, the 2000 GT is Toyota’s E-Type. This one sold for nearly $1.2 million a couple of weekends ago.

This 1967 Toyota 2000 GT sold for nearly $1.2 million at auction last month. Credit Courtesy of RM Auctions

It received little more than passing mention in the Lavishly Expensive Roadster Edition of Wheelies, but something significant happened a couple of weekends ago. It wasn’t earth shattering, but it was noteworthy: RM Auctions sold a 1967 Toyota 2000 GT for nearly $1.2 million. It ended up being one of the higher priced cars in a batch that included Ferraris, Porsches and one-off concept cars like a 1954 Chrysler GS-1 Special that sold for $616,000.

According to the figures David Kinney – publisher of Hagerty’s Price Guide – came up with, the yellow ’67 is not only the most expensive production Toyota in history, but also the highest-priced Asian production car ever.

“I believe it to be a double highest price ever achieved, both for a Toyota production car and for any Asian car,” he wrote in an e-mail. “I have looked for anything higher and have been unable to find it.”

But 2000 GTs were never cheap cars. An article in the February 2009 issue of Automobile magazine puts the list price of one when new at $7,230, which is more than $50,000 in today’s dollars. By comparison, a Chevrolet Corvette sold for $4,663 and a Jaguar E-Type for $5,559. Even a Porsche 911 was only $6,190.

The 2000 GT saw only limited production. Although the exact number of cars built varies from source to source, RM Auctions claims Toyota built 351 of the curvaceous little sports cars from 1967 to 1970. Toyota did not build enough cars to have established an American presence sufficient to be heard over the big block din of the muscle-car era, but it also means 2000 GTs are highly collectible now.

The 1967 Toyota 2000 GT featured a 150-horsepower in-line 6-cylinder engine. Credit Courtesy of RM Auctions

A technologically advanced car for its age, the 2000 GT featured a dual overhead cam 2-liter in-line 6-cylinder engine, fed by three Solex 2-barrel carburetors. It produced 150 horsepower at 7,000 r.p.m. and the engine was mated to a 5-speed manual overdrive transmission. In its description of the car, RM Auctions said it was capable of reaching a top speed of 135 miles per hour.

Although the 2000 GT was a short-lived nameplate, it left a lasting legacy. It was the car that showed Japanese car manufacturers that they were capable of building more than just stodgy family cars that many considered knock-offs of European designs. Toyota, and later other Japanese automakers, knew they could do sporty, and they knew they could do beautiful.



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