Posted Jan 19th 2012 12:29PM
For those new schoolers out there, import performance is not something that started in the early 1990's. It didn't start with the Civic EG hatchback and it most certainly wasn't based front wheel drive platforms. As we see every year at Tokyo Auto Salon there are many fine examples of Japanese sports cars from yesteryear and the Toyota 2000GT is right up there with the best of 'em.
The Toyota 2000GT is a legendary sportscar over in Japan but never received much notoriety here since it was never made it to Canada (like the Nissan Skyline). So don't be afraid to admit you have never seen one of these, or perhaps know little about it. Well, here are the 'Coles notes' on this FR coupe that has fetched as much as US$375,000 at auction and even made it into the James Bond flick, You Only Live Twice.
The car was only built between 1967-1970 and over that period only 351 cars were produced, of which 62 left-hand drive models made it to the U.S. market. The 2000GT was powered by a high-revving 2.0-litre inline-6 that produced 150 ponies at a time when domestics were pushing over 400 off the dealer floor. However, this was a lightweight (just over 1000 kg) low-slung and ultra slippery fastback that sliced through the air on its way to a 135 mph terminal velocity.
It is believed there are only 40 left in North America but judging from our finds at the Tokyo Auto Salon this year, you'd think they were still rolling off the line. We stumbled upon five of them in all kinds of trim, full race set-ups, street cars and even a mega rare roadster. But the most curious of them all was the Toyota Crazy Car conversion to an electric vehicle. Oh, the humanity.
Check out the gallery and peep the video from Japan of the Toyota 2000GT for the future.
Image Credit: Copyright 2012 Adam Truesdale / OL
Related GalleryTokyo Auto Salon: Toyota 2000GT
Video Source: YouTube