Toyota 2000GT spurs Japan’s racing culture — Newsday

18 Май 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Toyota 2000GT

Toyota 2000GT spurs racing culture

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Only a few were built and most left Japan, but the stunning broke new ground for Toyota and the company world-wide respect as an automaker.

How and why this two-seat became so influential is a story as fascinating as the car itself.

In the early the Japanese automobile industry taken seriously outside its market. Most of the cars and being built there odd-looking knock-offs of British and not considered worthy of export to or North America. The few that did it to our shores from the Far East to worry, let alone impress, the -based domestic builders, who only Volkswagen as a threat to outright market supremacy.

In the meantime, some of the major producers planned nothing than a rapid expansion the globe. One such company was which originally exported its under the Datsun label. the need for some type of centerpiece, the company invited in 1963 to create a high-performance touring coupe.

Yamaha, in commissioned German-born stylist Albrecht Goertz, a man who had previously BMW ‘s low-volume and expensive 503 and 507 roadsters back in the mid-1950s. when Nissan executives the initial mock-ups, including a Elan-inspired chassis wrapped in a aluminum body, Yamaha it to Toyota.

The company jumped at the despite the fact that the car not be nearly as cheap to make as the of its other economy-minded lineup. The new car however, make an ideal flagship, showing that could compete on a much scale than anyone had imagined. Interestingly, Nissan later hire Goertz to the hugely successful 240Z machine that looked like the car that originally a Toyota badge.

Goertz’s ahead-of-the-time design elements from a number of sports cars, including and Jaguar. It also featured compartments behind the front that held the battery and air The interior was finished in genuine that covered the instrument and floor console (the wheel was also made of

Perhaps the most unusual of the car was its two sets of headlamps. One pair the grille while another be made to pop up from each In this way, the car could minimum North America n restrictions for headlights.

The car’s 2.0-liter inline engine was adapted from Crown sedan, but was fitted a Yamaha-designed double-overhead-cam valve and three carburetors. In street the powerplant made 150 horsepower and zero-to-60-mph times of 8.5 seconds. Top was clocked at close to 140 mph. On the few full-race versions, the motors coaxed to 200 horses.

A close-ratio manual transmission was standard, but a number were fitted three-speed automatics.

Toyota 2000GT

Christened the (for its nearly-2,000-cubic-centimeter — — engine displacement), the Toyota caused a sensation first viewed at the 1965 Motor Show .

But production problems resulted in a delay before the initial of cars rolled off Yamaha’s lines. By this time, movie buffs had viewed a one-off convertible version of the car took center stage in the Bond 007 flick, You Only Twice.

If the 2000GT’s looks slack jaws, then so did its price tag. At more $7,000, the low-to-the-ground (less four feet tall) was far pricier than the Jaguar XKE and the Corvette and was much more most Japanese buyers afford. There were few tire kickers on this of the Pacific Ocean willing to that kind of money on a unknown and untried car company.

It really seem to matter to the top at Toyota, who were basking in the new-found status. In Japan, the car had a successful competition racer in to setting a number of high-speed records. In the United States, AC boss Carroll Shelby fielded a team of two 2000GTs the 1968 Sports Car Club of (SCCA) season, finishing behind Porsche .

In 1970, after a production run of a 337 vehicles (only 54 shipped to America ), Toyota ceased all production.

By that time, the had been well and truly home. The 2000GT allowed to solidify an image of high and world-class quality that has it flourish the world over.

Gunn is a feature writer Wheelbase Media. He can be reached on the Web at by clicking the contact link. supplies automotive news and to newspapers across North .

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