The 2000GT made its most famous screen appearance in the 1967 James Bond movie You Only Live Twice, most of which was filmed in Japan. Two one-off topless models – fitted only with tonneau covers to simulate functioning convertible roofs – were made specially for the film. It is claimed a targa had been considered to accommodate the burly 6′ 2″ Sean Connery. Continue reading for more interesting facts.
5. Manufactured by Yamaha
First displayed to the public at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1965, the 2000GT was manufactured under contract by Yamaha between 1967 and 1970. In Japan, it was exclusive to Toyota’s Japanese retail sales channel called Toyota Store.
4. Rivaled European Sports Cars at the Time
The 2000GT revolutionized the automotive world’s view of Japan, then viewed as a producer of imitative and stodgily practical vehicles. As sleek, high-performance fastback, it demonstrated its auto makers could produce a sports car to rival the better marques of Europe.
3. Compared to Porsche 911
Reviewing a pre-production 2000GT in 1967, Road & Track magazine summed up the car as “one of the most exciting and enjoyable cars we’ve driven”, and compared it favorably to the Porsche 911.
2. Engine Based on Toyota Crown Sedan
The engine was a longitudinally mounted 2.0L straight-6 sourced from the top-of-the-line Toyota Crown sedan. It was transformed by Yamaha with a new double overhead camshaft head into a 112 kW (150 hp) sports car engine. Carburation was through three two-barrel Solex 40 PHH units.
1. Only 351 Production Units Were Built
Only 351 regular production units of the 2000GT were built, figures comparable to contemporary elite Italian supercars. Taking two years for production vehicles to finally emerge, a total of 233 MF10s, 109 MF10Ls, and nine MF12Ls were built by Yamaha according to Toyota and Yamaha data.