Toyota’s 2000GT is more than a “might have been”—it’s a “should have been.” A pretty coupe with performance and equipment to match its good looks, it predated the rival Datsun 240Z, which was a worldwide sales success. The Toyota failed to reach much more than 300 sales partly because of low capacity, but even more because the car was launched before Japan was geared to export.
That left only a domestic market, largely uneducated in the finer qualities of sports cars, to make what they could of the offering. As a design exercise, the 2000GT proved that the Japanese auto industry had reached the stage where its products rivaled the best in the world. It is just a pity not more people were able to appreciate this fine car first hand.
The design of the Toyota 2000GT is based on an earlier prototype penned by Albrecht Goertz, creator of the BMW 507 and the Datsun 240Z. When Nissan rejected the design, it was offered to Toyota and evolved into the 2000GT.
Unusual combination of high-tech pop-up and fixed headlights gave the front a cluttered look.
The 2000GT’s snug cockpit featured a walnut-veneer instrument panel, sporty wheel, stubby gear-lever, form-fitting seats, and deep footwells. The eight-track stereo is a nice period touch.
Short-throw wooden-top gear lever.
The panel on the right concealed the GT’s battery; the one on the lefthand side of the body was the air cleaner. This arrangement enabled the hood to be kept low. The engine was a triple-carb six-cylinder Yamaha, which provided 150 bhp. A competition version boosted output to 200 bhp.
Discs on all four wheels.
S P E C I F I C A T I O N S
MODEL Toyota 2000GT (1966–70)
BODY STYLE Two-door sports coupe.
CONSTRUCTION Steel body on backbone frame.
ENGINE Yamaha inline DOHC six, 1988cc.
POWER OUTPUT 150 bhp at 6600 rpm.
TRANSMISSION Five-speed manual.
SUSPENSION Fully independent by coil springs and wishbones all around.
BRAKES Hydraulically operated discs all around.
MAXIMUM SPEED 128 mph (206 km/h)
0–60 MPH (0–96 KM/H) 10.5 sec
0–100 MPH (0–161 KM/H) 24 sec
A.F.C. 31 mpg (11 km/l)