A true rarity, Toyota’s exquisite 1960s 2000GT sports car made an uncommon appearance in the automobile sale arena. Auctioning for more than $900,000 on 25 October at RM Sotheby’s in the United States, it is considered a highly valuable and rare model by car collectors.

The 2000GT is an exceptionally scarce vehicle as it is and the fact that the renowned American race driver, Otto Linton was its buyer and owner made for an even more brutal bidding battle between the auction’s bidders. The car was appraised at its highest estimate of $912,500 (approx. £696,000 and INR 6.80 crore), however, the competitive bids pushed its price past the estimated value and it ended up with an anonymous buyer for $900,000. This model was the hundredth of all 351 identical peers which were produced in a short period of three years. Bearing the chassis number MF10-10100, it was built in 1967 and came as a Solar Red unit.

If being one of the 351 models ever made wasn’t enough to make it an exclusive vehicle, it goes a step forth by being a member of the only 62 cars of its kind which were specifically made for export to the States with a left-hand drive. The first owner of this car, Linton took advantage of owning a Pennsylvanian Toyota dealership and ordered one of his all-time favourite sports cars– the 2000GT. After holding on to this unique coupe for more than three decades, he handed the ownership baton to another Toyota franchise owner Rich Jacobsen. The sports car was a part of Jacobsen’s private collection for six years before it was given to Maine Line Exotics. Its full restoration by the specialist company, as it has done for at least 53 cars of this model, led to the car being a part of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion for Toyota Motorsport’s 50th anniversary display in 2007. Later, it came into the possession of Brown Maloney who drove it to his heart’s content. Known for his classic motor vehicle collection, he also participated in the 2010 Copperstate 1000 road rally with this car.

Ultimately, it made its way to RM Sotheby’s Elkhart Collection with a guide price of $700,000 (INR 52,035,375) to $850,000 (INR 63,185,812). The first and Japanese Grand Prix events led to an increase in demand for high-performance sports vehicles by motorists. As a result, Toyota began researching and developing ways to create a car which would not only fit daily use, but with a few tweaks here and there would make it just as operational on the race track. Its trial and error efforts final bore fruit with an exceptional performance at the demanding Speed Trials in 1966 at Yatabe High Speed Testing Course. It was at this event that the yellow-and-green 2000GT tuned by Tosco was catapulted into legend by enduring a tropical storm at an average velocity of 128.67mph, breaking 3 world records and setting up 13 more speed and endurance records. It also became a Bond car in the movie You Only Live Twice with a specially created open-top style for Sean Connery.

Aayushi Primta

Aayushi Primta

Hi there! I am an amateur automobile enthusiast with a love for muscle cars. When I'm not surfing the net about latest cars, you'll find me looking up recipe videos on YouTube or playing board games. Favourite Car: '67 Camaro Quote: Always focus on the front windshield and not the rearview mirror - Colin Powell