RM Auctions Monaco 2014 Highlights – 1968 Toyota 2000GT Joins Million-Plus Japanese Car Club

Rare is the key word for any Asian car to crest the million dollar mark — only two or three other 2000GT’s can claim membership, and only since 2013.

Even referring to the group as “Asian” cars is quite a misnomer – no other car from South Korea or China is anywhere near this mark in classic car values.

Values for the ultimate 1960s Japanese supercar are firmly on the ascent, with buyers eager to own its delicate curves and precision inline-six engine. Outright power is not really part of the appeal with only 150-horsepower available from the Yamaha-partnership engine – but that is not the point.

The point of the 2000GT was to prove Japan’s rightful place in the car-making rich country club. Surprising as it might seem today when Japanese cars are known for their world’s best reliability and assembly quality, the first few decades of Japanese car-building were pretty lousy in terms of vehicle quality as well as technology. Building mostly licensed old English and European car designs was no way to make “Made in Japan” a national pride symbol.

The prove the Japanese ambition to be among the world’s elite car-making countries, Toyota brought a hugely expensive and extremely limited-run model to the market. Overall, less than 400 in total were ever made. This car is pretty good value, then, with its $1,001,000 sale price.

To bring only $200,000 or so less than the all-time record-holding 2000GT from New York in the Fall of 2013 is very, very impressive for RM Auctions in Monaco – which is one of the last bastion of high-class tax havens.

It seems that Toyota has earned its rightful place among even the European auto collector elite via the stunningly-beautiful 2000GT.

In the 1960s, the 2000GT was best known from the line… “Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond.”

In 2014?

“Welcome to Monte Carlo, Mr. Toyoda.”

Official Details below from RM Auctions

1968 Toyota 2000GT

To be auctioned on Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sold for $1,001,801

150 bhp, 2,000 cc Yamaha DOHC hemi-head inline six-cylinder engine, triple Solex twin-choke side-draft carburettors, five-speed fully synchromesh manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel power-assisted Dunlop disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,329 mm

Perhaps the attendees at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show didn’t realise it at the time, but they were witnessing a paradigm shift in the automotive industry, as Toyota had just announced the 2000GT, which is the car that would be Japan’s first entry into the global sports car market. It was a bold move by Toyota, a company that had never produced a sports car, but they wanted to show that it could compete with the automotive superpowers from Europe and the United States, and the 2000GT certainly put them on notice. 

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.

He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.

Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.

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