Ok, so when we say Toyota we actually mean, designed by Yamaha originally for Nissan. Confused? Yep, so are we - that's how they rolled in the late sixties. The effort to compete with the americans, english and the germans simply had the japanese motivated. These were the days where the Corvette, E-type Jag' and the Porsche 911 ruled. They effervesced style, class and charisma... at a price. The irony of the subject in this article is, whilst japanese manufacturers of the day were known for emulating regular styles more affordably, and questionably lesser quality - this car attacked the known sports car world to the tune of about 1-2K more than its counter-rivals. Ballsy.
Enter, the 1967 Toyota 2000GT
Engine: Inlone-6, 2.0ltr, 24v
Power: 150bhp @ 6600rpm
Torque: 130 @ 5000rpm
0-100 kph: 8.4sec
Top speed: 220kph
This wasn't their usual thing, but by golly the japanese grabbed it by the horns and took a risk... one which provided street cred' and told the world to watch this space for the future of competitive design. So, what do you get when you take the engine from a Toyota Crown, slap on double overhead cams, three carbies, independent suspension and disc brakes on all 4 wheels and a 5speed box? You got yourself some 1960's driving awesomeness.
One of these set you back about 7000 deneros back in the day. At only 351 made, these days you may be lucky enough to pick one up at auction for up to a cool million... but it did feature in a James Bond movie so that's gotta be worth something, right? 007 aside, this thing was no slouch - it set 13 speed and endurance records in Japan and was promptly labelled Japan's first Supercar. Suddenly the aforementioned pricetag, production numbers and performance combined gave you not only glamour, you got something else special. Exclusivity. It was the late '60s, need we say more...