Rare Toyota Racer Sells for $2.5M

A rare Toyota sold for $2.535 million at Gooding & Co.’s Amelia Island collector car auction to earn the achievement of the most valuable Japanese car sold at auction, according to CNN Business.

It was a Toyota 2000GT, which is a model that was produced from 1967 to 1971. However, it is not merely a Toyota. This specific vehicle tacked on an additional name making it formally known as a 1967 Toyota-Shelby 2000GT.

Toyota intended to make up to 1,000 2000GTs a year, but only 351 were ever made. Adding to the rarity, the Toyota-Shelby 2000GT is technically a pre-production model with a chassis number of MF10-10001. This indicates it was the first 2000GT to get a serial number.

The 2000GT possessed a starting price of more than $7,000, which translates to approximately $60,000 today. For comparison, this cost more than a Jaguar XKE or a Porsche 911 at the time. A Toyota 2000GT also appeared in the 1967 James Bond film, “You Only Live Twice.”

Features it boasted included a six-cylinder engine, made with the help of Yamaha, that could provide as much as 150 horsepower allowing the car to travel from zero to 60 miles per hour in 10 seconds and at a top speed of 137 miles per hour.

The auctioned vehicle and two other 2000GTs were given to the famous racing driver and manufacturer Carroll Shelby to transform them into racing cars. This history awards the car more value than conventional Toyota 2000GTs, which can be worth north of $1 million.

Changes made by Shelby included adjustable KONI shock absorbers and an increased horsepower output of 210. It served as a development model by Shelby and was used as the alternate for racing behind the other two 2000GTs given to Shelby.

The previous most valuable Japanese car sold at auction was the 2020 Toyota Supra, which sold for $2.1 million.