It's one of the rarest of its kind.
When you think of classic sports cars from the 60s and 70s, you probably think of something like an early Porsche 911 or a Jaguar E-Type. Japanese cars rarely feature in the same breath as these sorts of vehicles, but the very first halo car that Toyota ever made was worthy of being considered alongside these icons. The Toyota 2000GT's styling was inspired by the legendarily E-Type and, although not very successful in terms of sales when it launched thanks to a price that made its European counterparts seem relatively affordable. Nevertheless, it's now considered one of the very first truly collectible Japanese cars, and the one featured here is especially valuable.
Only 351 regular production 2000GTs were ever made - excluding the two convertible versions. That makes the Japanese sports car extremely rare, but this particular coupe is one of just 62 original left-hand-drive, US-market examples. It has a storied history and was originally bought by legendary American racer Otto Linton, who held on to it for more than 30 years. He eventually sold it to a fellow Toyota dealer named Rich Jacobsen. It changed hands again after some time, with Maine Line Exotics pampering the car with a full restoration. This made it desirable enough for Toyota Motorsports to have it displayed at the 2007 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion as part of the company's 50th-anniversary display.
Shortly thereafter, the car was sold to a collector of classics named Brown Maloney who even drove it in the 2010 Copperstate 1000 road rally before it was added to the RM Sotheby's Elkhart Collection. When listed, experts figured it would sell for around $850,000, but with only slight weathering of the interior, someone thought it was worth more. On auction, the hammer fell on this car at $912,500. That's a pretty big payday, although not the highest ever seen for a 2000GT. Cars like this proved that the Japanese could compete with the best in the world. We hope that the 2000GT's great-grandchild, the Toyota 86, can become just as special someday.