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Japanese Handmade - The Toyota / Yamaha 2000GT

The 2000GT is a rarely sighted car whose roots stem from The Land of the Rising Sun. This limited production car has made its mark in the world of collectors, racing, and one James Bond film, You Only Live Twice. 

Making its debut at the Tokyo Auto Show in 1965, showing the rest of the world that the Japanese could design a car that has performance and the good looks to marry with. It looked nothing like a Land Cruiser or Corona, and most definitely did not perform like them. 

It was a low, had flow, and go due to a 2.0L straight six engine with three twin Mukuni carbs, an aluminum head, and dual overhead cams. This produced 150 horsepower with competition versions getting north of 200hp.  Production started two years after its initial showing due to problems. This did not phase Carroll Shelby, the AC Cobra king, as he ran two of these cars during the SCCA / 1968 racing season, finishing just behind Porsche. Other noted racing finishes include winning the 1967 Fuji 24 Hour Race and third place at the 1966 Japanese Grand Prix.

Current day collectors seek out these this lesser known model, but as with other low production cars, first you have to find one. You see, only 351 of these hand built beauties were produced, with less than 60 making it to the United States. This was due to Toyota viewing this Yamaha built car as a design study and concept to show the world their capabilities.

There is a Raymond Loewy (U.S. industrial designer) connection to this car as well. It is said that an understudy of his, Albrecht Goertz, inspired the 2000GT design via a different sports car prototype that was developed and built for Nissan. Yamaha had their hands on this project too, but it did not go anywhere. Toyota brought in Satouri Nozaki to further and finalize the design of the 2000GT.

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Reader Comments (1)

Fantastic post, keep up the good work...

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNeckdeep

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