Again within the late Sixties, Toyota put collectively one of the vital stunning motor automobiles veer penned by human fingers. It was low, glossy, with its lengthy hood hiding a Yamaha-developed two-liter inline-six. However what’s a stunning efficiency automobile with no racing program? What’s a racing staff within the late ‘60s with out Carroll Shelby? Toyota, it appears, thought all these questions out, and these items all got here collectively for a Toyota-backed, Shelby-developed 2000GT race staff.
Toyota gave Shelby three 2000GTs to run within the 1968 SCCA season, two of which positioned third and fourth place for the season behind a pair of Porsche 911s. Toyota ended this system after that first 12 months, however the vehicles lived on — together with this one, the primary ever 2000GT produced, which simply raked in over $2.5 million at public sale.
The earlier report for Most Costly Japanese Automobile Ever Offered was a really totally different Toyota — the first ever 2020 Supra, which was auctioned at Barrett-Jackson for charity. With this 2000GT solely pulling a mere $435,000 extra, it virtually seems like a deal. The Supra might have an unimaginable exhaust notice, however does it have racing heritage and the basic Shelby colours?
Often, when vehicles go for absurd quantities of cash, I’m here to gripe about excessive costs making issues inaccessible to most lovers. But when any automobile is really price $2.535 million, it’s seemingly this unhealthy boy with its laundry listing of accomplishments: first-ever 2000GT, first Toyota to compete in SCCA, first deal between Carroll Shelby and a Japanese automaker. Add all that historical past to one of many best-looking vehicles ever fashioned from metallic, and the worth begins to look a bit extra cheap. It could solely be a matter of time till one other Japanese automobile eclipses this one in sale value, however for now its place within the report books is rightly earned.