Only 351 of these sports cars were produced.
Last year, the legendary Toyota 2000GT celebrated its 55th birthday. Launched in 1965, it completely changed perceptions of Japan as producers of otherwise reliable but bland vehicles, while also serving as a precursor to more modern Toyota sports cars like the GR Supra and 86. A mere 351 examples were produced, making the 2000GT incredibly rare and highly-valued.
Toyota South Africa is in possession of one of these classic sports cars and has just announced some of the details of a full bumper-to-bumper restoration to return chassis number MF10-10207 to its former glory. This vehicle is one of only three that were designated for the South African market and was reportedly originally finished in Thunder Silver.
However, there is some debate as to whether this was the case, with some sources recalling this car as being finished in white. Right now, it's painted in sporty Solar Red. Generation Old School, a classic car restoration company in the country, will lead the restoration. The business has previously worked on American classics such as the Ford Mustang. As you can see from the pictures, the restoration project is at an early stage, with the body separated from the chassis and oily bits.
Back in the 1960s, the 2000GT was a big deal. It was the first Japanese car to come with both power-assisted disk brakes and a limited-slip differential.
The body not only looked good but was fashioned from aluminum. The 2000GT was motivated by a 2.0-liter inline-six engine modified by Yamaha. It produced 148 horsepower and 129 lb-ft of torque, enabling the sports car to reach 62 mph in ten seconds. The Toyota was so influential that even Carroll Shelby entered two modified 2000GTs as part of the 1968 SCCA production car series.
Decades later, it's hard not to imagine what a modern interpretation of the GT2000 would be like. In the next chapter of the restoration, Toyota will share more behind-the-scenes details and introduce the team leading the project. We can't wait to see the end result.