A UK restoration team has brought an ultra-rare Toyota 2000GT back to pristine condition, as part of the sports cars 50th anniversary celebrations.
The Toyota 2000GT became world-famous as the star car in the 1960s James Bond film 'You Only Live Twice', and it seems it wasn’t just Bond being shot at, with the discovery of a bullet hole in the car's driver's door.
It’s a mystery that adds to the allure of the car for owner Jane Weitzmann, who said: “We don’t have a lot of history on the car, but we did discover during the restoration there had been a bullet hole. It would have hit the driver somewhere in the upper thigh, so that could account for the (crash) damage that had obviously been done to the front end at some point.”
Jane and her late husband wanted to own a 2000GT since they first saw it in the Bond film and were delighted finally to be able to source a car from Japan nine years ago. The restoration has returned it to its original condition and it has taken pride of place in a classic car collection that also includes its ‘60s sports car sister, the Toyota Sport 800.
Toyota says the 2000GT marked a 'watershed' moment in the brand's history, a demonstration of how the company could develop and build a light and nimble contemporary sports car with international appeal. Although it did not achieve a sales breakthrough, it remains a design classic. Its low, compact and muscular lines becoming a reference point for the team which created today’s GT86 coupe, says Toyota.
“The car is beautiful, the epitome of a proper little sports car with beautiful proportions, perfect engineering, perfect set-up and a lovely car to drive,” said Jane. “It’s the joy of being able to throw her round a corner, knowing she’ll go exactly where you tell her to.”