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The Toyota 2000GT is a limited-production, front-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-seat, hardtop coupé grand tourer designed by Toyota in collaboration with Yamaha.
First displayed to the public at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1965, the 2000GT was manufactured under contract by Yamaha between 1967 and 1970. In Japan, it was exclusive to Toyota’s Japanese retail sales channel called Toyota Store.
The 2000GT revolutionized the automotive world’s view of Japan, then viewed as a producer of imitative and stodgily practical vehicles. As sleek, high-performance fastback, it demonstrated its auto makers could produce a sports car to rival the better marques of Europe.
The 2000GT design is widely considered a classic among 1960s gran turismos. Nozaki’s bodywork was inspired by the E-type Jaguar.
Its smoothly flowing bodywork was executed in aluminium and featured pop-up headlights above large plexiglass covered driving lamps flanking the grille similar to those on the Toyota Sports 800. Bumpers were minimal, and the car was extremely low, just 116 cm (45.7 in) to the highest point of the roof. Despite a custom open-top version built for the James Bond film You Only Live Twice, a factory-produced convertible was never offered.
Toyota entered the 2000GT in competition at home, coming third in the 1966 Japanese Grand Prix and winning the Fuji 1000 Kilometres race in 1967. In addition, the car set several FIA world records for speed and endurance in a 72-hour test. Unfortunately, the record car was destroyed in a pace car accident and eventually scrapped. These records shortly prompted Porsche to prepare a 911R especially to beat this record.