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Meets Around the World - Four One One

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1967 toyota 2000 gt: japan's first supercar
"May I fetch your car, Mr...?" utters a nervous valet attendant. The British secret agent replies in a calm and collected tone. "Bond. James Bond. And yes, you may-I drive a Toyota." A Toyota?! Amidst a sea of high-brow European sports cars, for his swan song role as Double-O, Sean Connery actually rocked a JDM ride-a '67 Toyota 2000GT Convertible, to be exact.

Debuted at the 1965 12th Tokyo Motor Show, the 2000GT was billed as the first true original Japanese supercar-a title held exclusively by top-tier offerings from European carmakers until that point. Its bold styling marked a departure from other copycat designs Japanese manufacturers had been criticized of in their early sports car builds, and its promise of high-dollar, sports car-rivaling performance seemed far-fetched coming from a car-maker known for practicality and economy. But by the time the production 2000GT hit showrooms two years later with a 150hp 2.0L DOHC inline-six, five-speed manual gearbox, limited-slip differential, and four-wheel independent suspension with power-assisted disc brakes, the critics bit their tongues.

One year prior to its production debut, a prototype 2000GT placed Third in the Japanese Grand Prix and won Japan's Fuji 24-hour race a year later, before going on to set several FIA speed and endurance world records-about the same time Road & Track magazine was touting the 2K as "one of the most exciting and enjoyable" cars they'd ever driven, pairing it with offerings from Porsche and Jaguar. Legendary racer/builder Carroll Shelby was an early proponent of the car, as well-he bought and raced three of them to such success that Toyota actually bought one back for the company's corporate collection. The other two remain in stateside collections.

The Toyota 2000GT was actually produced by Yamaha for Toyota from 1967 to 1970, and in very limited numbers-351 cars were produced in total; only 60 of which reached our shores. Additionally, the 2000GT was offered exclusively as a coupe. The two convertibles made famous by You Only Live Twice simply had their roofs hacked off and were given upholstered humps at the base of their cabins to simulate folded-down soft tops-it seems that the Double-O's head was, literally, too big for his ride.www.toyota.com

1967 Toyota 200GT

DISPLACEMENT: 2.0L
ARRANGEMENT: INLINE-SIX
COMPRESSION: 8.4:1
ASPIRATION: NATURAL
FUEL DELIVERY: MIKUNI SIDE-DRAFT CARBURETORS (X3)
OUTPUT 150 HP @ 6,600 RPM / 130 LB-FT OF TORQUE @ 5,000 RPM
TRANSMISSION FIVE-SPEED MANUAL
BODY TWO-DOOR HATCHBACK COUPE
SUSPENSION FOUR-WHEEL INDEPENDENT (F & R) / ANTIROLL BARS, ( F& R)
BRAKES FOUR-WHEEL DISC BRAKES (F & R)
WHEELS CAST MAGNESIUM 15-INCH DIAMETER
CURB WEIGHT 2,481 POUNDS
PERFORMANCE 0-60 MPH IN 8.3, 135 MPH TOP SPEED
MSRP $6,800 (1967, U.S.-SPEC)

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