Were the 60’s, and Japan was living their particular economic boom. Powered by exports of electrical appliances and consumer electronics, the status of Japan resembled that of China today. They knew that they could work well, but not took them seriously and they were accused of making “trinkets”. For the emerging automobile industry, japanese this was a problem of image serious. Until Toyota launched the 2000GT in 1967, the car that fell all mouths criticism in the automotive world. Was the sport that forever changed the image of the car japanese and this is their gripping story.
The design of the Toyota 2000GT
In the early 60s, the car japanese sports was in diapers. The Toyota 2000GT took all and sundry by surprise.
At the beginning of the 60s, lit the wick of the sportsmanship in Japan. The two first grand prix of Japan – occurred in 1963 and 1964 – were a huge success. The country demanded more vehicles sporting, and Toyota began the development of his flagship of sportsmanship, who would baptize as 2000GT. However, we make a point prior, a historical anecdote that gives meaning to his birth. The project Z-Car – also called the A550X – carried out in collaboration by Toyota and Yamaha.
Datsun wanted to develop a powerful two-seater, and hired the services of Yamaha to do this. Although they manufactured motorcycles, Akashi already then ventured as consultants and engineers in projects of automobile. The Z-Car was designed by Albrecht Goertz, a designer of German-american of great international reputation. For economic reasons or strategic Datsun abandoned the project. Barely a year after, it was Toyota the which hired the services of Yamaha to develop the 2000GT.
Even the great european manufacturers were able to look the other way when the Toyota 2000GT was unveiled in 1965.
Toyota attributed its strokes Satoru Nozaki, one of the maximum responsible of the design of Toyota at that time. Although some sources even claim that the authorship aesthetics of the 2000GT should be shared, I am of the opinion that his aesthetic inspiration was also to a much greater extent, the Toyota Sports 800. In the Lounge of Tokyo in 1965, Toyota astonished the world with the presentation of the stunning 2000GT. Never before has Japan had designed a car so balanced, so beautiful and aesthetic refined. A true gem.
The car that astonished the world
The secret aesthetic of the Toyota 2000GT were some proportions almost perfect. Its long hood gave rise to a cabin in a teardrop shape – the driver sitting almost over the rear axle of the car. The beams were protected by a glass and the crossing were disappearing, giving the car a aerodynamic shape and a few lines extremely clean. No frills, no ornaments unnecessary. In the rear, a few simple riders round and an escape from the central double put the icing on this cake of 4.17 meters.
Many media of the time as compared with the Jaguar E-Type, and claimed that it was a fantastic GT.
But it was under your skin where did the magic: the Toyota 2000GT was one of the most advanced cars of its time. Its chassis was a semi-monocoque aluminum, on which is mounted the steel body. More than 50 years ago already had a rack steering, a synchromesh gearbox five relationships, brake discs-ventilated at all four wheels, or a fully independent suspension on both axles. A limited-slip mechanical rear axle was in charge of pass efficiently the power to the ground.
The true jewel in the crown was its engine. Based on the six-cylinder in-line of the Toyota Crown, it was redesigned in full by Yamaha. With two liters of cubicaje, this atmospheric six-cylinder engine had double overhead cams and was powered by three carburetors Solex 40 PHH dual body. A power of 150 HP at 6,600 rpm was at the time sensational, but it was his specific power of 75 BHP/litre which amazed. The Toyota 2000GT weighed 1.120 kilos and weight distribution was nearly perfect (49/51).
Nine units known as MF-12 were equipped with a larger engine, 2.3 liters, and a single camshaft.
Accelerated up to 100 km/h in 8,6 seconds and its maximum speed was 220 km/h. In its interior, a speedometer tare up to 260 km/h and a tachometer that reached up to 9,000 rpm let it clear the intentions of the car. Today we are surprised by the abundance of wood on your dashboard. At the time, all the sporting pride of the wood in your cabin – now is the carbon fiber – and, moreover, Yamaha was expert in its management, thanks to its experience in the production of musical instruments.
On paper, everything was fantastic, but Toyota wanted to show that the car was truly special. And at that time, meant to enter into competition head first. In 1966, a Toyota 2000GT, decorated with the green and yellow TRD participated in the Speed Trials of the Yatabe High Speed Testing Course, a huge circuit oval. For 72 hours – 3 days – circulated at an average speed of 207 km/h, breaking 3 world records for average speed and setting 13 world records, without suffering a single mechanical problem.
Some magazines praised both its dynamics that are missing more power by the engine of two liters.
Porsche built a year after the Porsche 911R with the aim to snatch some of those records to Toyota. The brilliant Toyota 2000GT was crowned also the winner of the 24 Hours of Fuji in 1967 and participated in the japanese Grand Prix of 1966, reaching the podium in your category. It is estimated that about 62 units were exported to the united states Perhaps did not know that the same Carroll Shelby praised this small japanese sports, and prepared at least three units to compete in competitions organised by the SCCA.
James Bond and the only two 2000GT convertibles
For the James Bond film “you Only Live twice”, Toyota built two units convertible of the 2000GT. It was one of the first examples of product placement of cars, asians, and helped to cement his international reputation. Toyota made a 2000GT Targa, but the head of Sean Connery stood out too much, and we opted for a convertible. One of the units is in the Toyota Megaweb Museum in Japan, and Daniel Craig – the latest 007 – what he described as his Bond car favorite. Almost nothing.
The Toyota 2000GT today
Today the Toyota 2000GT is one of the most valuable cars of japanese origin. handcraft production was limited to 351 units and their historical significance – not to forget its beautiful design – have made their price at auction already exceeds the seven figures with ease. This fantastic sports helped to completely change the image of Toyota at the global level, announced to the world their technical expertise and also urged his competitors to develop and launch sports similar. The Datsun 240Z and the first Nissan Skyline GT-R were released shortly after.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Source: Toyota | R&T | Hemmings |