Rare Toyota 2000GT sells for nearly £700,000

A rare example of Toyota’s famous 2000GT sports car has sold for nearly £700,000 at auction.

Only 351 examples of the stunning two-door coupe were ever built, making it unusual to see one come up for sale, and this example is one of just 62 left-hand-drive models built for the US market during its brief three-year production run.

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The car was sold at Sotheby’s in the US with fierce bidding eventually seeing the car, which once belonged to racing driver Otto Linton, selling for $912,500 - around £696,000.

The 1976 Solar Red example is chassis number 100 and was ordered direct from Toyota by Linton after he acquired a Toyota dealership in the mid-1960s. Linton reportedly viewed the 2000GT as one of his favourite cars and he held onto the sports car for more than 30 years before selling it to fellow Toyota dealer Rich Jacobsen, who added it to his private collection.

(Photo: Darin Schnabel/RM Sotheby’s)

Six years later the car was acquired by Maine Line Exotics, famous for working on most of the US examples of the car, where it underwent a full restoration before being sold to collector Brown Maloney. Rather than shelter the newly restored car in a garage, Maloney entered it in the 2010 Copperstate 1000 road rally.

A predecessor to the famous Supra, the 2000GT’s creation was inspired by a growing interest in high-performance cars in Japan after the country began hosting Grands Prix. Unveiled in concept form to the public in 1965, production began in 1967 and ran until just 1970. Powered by a 150bhp 2.0-litre straight six, the 2000GT could reach 6pmpg in 8.6 seconds and had a top speed of 146mph. It was the first Japanese car to feature all-round independent suspension, disc brakes and magnesium alloy wheels.

(Photo: Darin Schnabel/RM Sotheby’s)