Toyota 2000GT RH

Car producer : 

Toyota

Model:

2000GT RH

Year:

1967-1974

Type:

Coupe



The Toyota 2000GT is a limited-production, front-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-seat, hardtop coupé grand tourer designed by Toyota in collaboration with 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.

Most of the 2000GT's design was done by Yamaha, which also did much automobile work for other Japanese manufacturers, originally for Nissan rather than Toyota. Many credit the German-American designer Albrecht Goertz, a protégé of Raymond Loewy who had previously worked with Nissan to create the Silvia, as inspiration. He had gone to work for Yamaha in Japan in the early 1960s to modernize Nissan's two-seater Fairlady sports car. A prototype 2000GT was built, but Nissan declined. Yamaha then proposed the design to Toyota, whom they also did contract work for, then perceived as the most conservative of the Japanese car manufacturers. Wishing to improve their image, Toyota accepted the proposal, but employed a design from their own designer Satoru Nozaki.

The 2000GT design is widely considered a classic among 1960s gran turismos. Its smoothly flowing "coke bottle" bodywork was executed in aluminium and featured pop-up headlights above large plexiglas covered driving lamps flanking the grille similar to those on the Toyota Sports 800. Bumpers were minimal, and the car was extremely low, just 45.7 in (116 cm) to the highest point of the roof. In spite of a custom open-top version built for the James Bond film You Only Live Twice, a factory-produced convertible was never offered.

The interior offered comfortable, if cramped, accommodation and luxury touches such as a rosewood-veneer dashboard and auto-seeking radio tuner. Road & Track was impressed, considering the interior suited to a "luxurious GT" and calling the 2000GT an impressive car "in which to sit or ride - or simply admire."

In 1969, the front was modified slightly, making the driving lamps smaller and changing the shape of the turn signals. The rear turn signals were enlarged at the same time, and some alterations were made to modernise the interior. The last few vehicles were fitted with air conditioning and had automatic transmission as an option. These cars had an additional scoop fitted underneath the grille to supply air to the A/C unit.

The engine was a longitudinally mounted 2.0 L (121 in³) straight-6 (the 3M) based on the engine in 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. Nine special MF-12 models were also built with the larger but SOHC 2.3 L 2M engine. Fitted with a five-speed manual transmission, the rear wheel drive car was available with three different final drives.

Both a limited slip differential and all-round power-assisted disc brake, a first for a Japanese car, were standard. The dashboard mounted emergency brake gripped the rear discs directly.

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. 

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