Produced in collaboration with—and manufactured by—the Yamaha Motor Corporation, the launch of the limited-production, race-bred Toyota 2000GT in 1967 marked a watershed in the automotive industry’s perception of Japanese-made cars, proving that worthy rivals to the likes of the Porsche 911 could emerge from outside Europe.The first seriously collectable car to emerge from Japan, the 2000GT’s E-Type -esque looks weren’t its only stand-out feature. It was also the first Japanese production car to benefit from all-round power-assisted front and rear disc brakes and a limited slip differential.
What’s more, while it employed the 2.0-liter 3M straight-six from the rather more stately Toyota Crown sedan, Yamaha engineers ensured (chiefly thanks to the addition of a double-overhead-cam valve train and three carburetors) that the 2000GT could call on 148 bhp on its way to a top speed of over 130 mph.
The net result was a string of distance speed records, racing success in both Japan and the US, a memorable appearance on the silver screen in You Only Live Twice, and widespread critical acclaim for a car that is still considered a design classic.
To get behind the wheel of Japan’s first supercar, buy the Toyota 2000GT today on Simraceway.