Among those in the know, the Toyota 2000GT is appreciated for its style, craftsmanship and performance. But for decades, it has been overshadowed in the collector world for more prestigious and recognized European marques. But Toyota’s classic is finally getting its due after setting a new record for a production Japanese car. The car from the Don Davis collection in Fort Worth, Texas, recently sold at auction for $1.15 million, the highest a 2000GT has ever fetched at auction.
With a price of $7230 new in 1967, approximately $50,000 in today’s dollars, the 2000GT was never a cheap car, being more expensive than its more common peers of the time, the Porsche 911, which sold for $6190, and the Jaguar E-Type, which sold for $5559. But the 2000GT was far more rare than either of those models, especially in North-American spec. Of the 351 2000GTs built, only 62 were built with left-hand-drive.
Although not particularly fast or powerful by today’s standards, the 2000GT was acclaimed for its refinement and performance by automotive journalists of its day, who compared it to the Jaguar E-Type. Its 2.0-liter overhead-cam inline-six was developed by Yamaha, and produced 150 hp. Thanks to its light weight, the 2000GT could attain a 135 mph top speed.
This particular example, which was an original U.S.-spec car, has gone between the U.S. and Japan, where it was in a private collection. When it was acquired by Don Davis, it underwent an extensive restoration, which included such painstaking details as painting the inside of the headlamp buckets black, and restoring the wheels to the correct color. The car was stripped down to its bare sheetmetal and repainted its original Bendix Yellow.
In related auction news, John Lennon’s 1965 Ferrari 330GT 2+2 Coupe will be up for auction at the Bonhams auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. The car is expected to sell for the equivalent of between $267,000 and $338,000. Other cars of note that will be at the Bonhams’ Goodwood auction are the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 driven by Juan Manual Fangio, and one of six right-hand-drive 1966 Ferrari 500 Superfast sports cars.
Source: RM Auctions, Bonhams