1969 Toyota 2000GT
Rare, beautiful, and startlingly expensive, the 2000GT has all the attributes of a European supercar, but it’s not European at all. It’s a common myth that Count Albrecht von Goertz penned the coupe, it was actually Toyota designer Satoru Nozaki who created the 2000GT’s sharply creased lines—low and sporting, with classic long-hood/short-deck proportions. But if you’ve heard that Yamaha was involved in building the 2000GT, that’s not a myth. Starting with this car, Yamaha established a lasting relationship with Toyota handling engineering work for their high-performance engines. Yamaha designed the 2000GT’s 2-liter inline six’s DOHC head and carried out production of the car, all by hand, on a very limited scale. The beautiful woodwork on the dashboard is a prime example of the quality of construction, drawing on Yamaha’s experience crafting fine pianos. The performance potential of the engine was unleashed by none other than Carroll Shelby. It also gained some fame as James Bonds’ ride in the film “You Only Live Twice,” as a convertible (although Toyota never offered one from the factory). With very few ever built (less than 400), they’re still expensive, with even the shoddiest examples commanding six figure prices. If you think that’s too high a price to pay, you clearly haven’t heard the sound of that lusty six at full tilt—worth the price of admission by itself.