The Don Davis Collection | Lot 149
1967 Toyota 2000GT
$1,155,000 USD | Sold
| Fort Worth, Texas
27 April 2013
- “Toyota’s E-Type,” the greatest Japanese car of all time
- One of only 351 built
- Original left-hand drive U.S.-delivery example
- Beautifully restored, with great attention to authenticity and detail
- Among the very best in the world
150 bhp, 2,000 cc Yamaha DOHC hemi-head inline six-cylinder engine, three twin-choke side-draft carburetors, five-speed fully synchromesh manual transmission with overdrive, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel power-assisted Dunlop disc brakes. Wheelbase: 91.7 in.
The Toyota 2000GT is perhaps most aptly described as “the best sports car you’ve never heard of.” Developed in conjunction with Yamaha, this slinky two-passenger coupe packed a two-liter inline six-cylinder engine with a cast iron block and double overhead cams, good for 150 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and a top speed of over 135 mph. James Crowe, writing of the car in Road & Track, described it as “highly refined in handling and driving and one of the most exciting cars we have driven.” The luxurious interior fittings, including a rosewood veneer dashboard and a signal-seeking radio, were described as “up to par for a luxurious GT—an impressive car in which to sit or ride, or simply admire.”
The 2000GT was the Japanese E-Type, a car that could run against the best that Europe had to offer and, frankly, win, and it has been credited with establishing the Toyota name as a force to be reckoned with in the automotive world.
Unfortunately, the 2000GT has never achieved the same fame outside of Japan as its European brethren, in large part because only 351 were built and very few were exported outside of its home country. As its wonders have begun to achieve recognition in recent years, surviving examples have become highly sought-after, and today, the 2000GT is universally described as the most collectible, desirable, and valuable Japanese automobile ever produced.
Don Davis’ 2000GT is very special, as it is one of only 62 left-hand drive examples produced and an original U.S.-delivery car. After spending its first few decades stateside, the car returned to its home nation in the ownership of a private enthusiast, then, once again, it made its way to the United States. It was acquired by Mr. Davis from another prominent Texas collector only a short time ago.
The car had been previously restored to high standards, but during its time in the Davis Collection, it has undergone significant work to improve the restoration’s authenticity, including painting the inside of the headlamp buckets black, applying the correct grey finish around the side window surrounds, finishing the wheels the correct color, and taking the Toyota down to bare metal and respraying the body its original Bendix Yellow. The reading of 62,000 miles is believed original, as demonstrated by the excellent condition of the unrestored gauges, dash, console, and seats, which are all in highly original condition. The car’s authenticity and quality is documented against the factory specifications in Shin Yoshikawa’s respected volume on these automobiles, Toyota 2000GT: The Complete History of Japan’s First Supercar.
This car is without a doubt the finest and most authentic 2000GT to come to market in recent years, and as such, it is an outstanding and virtually unrepeatable example of a car that has only grown ever difficult to find as its greatness has begun to be recognized. If the world is fair, there will be a time in the future when the collections that require a Daytona, a Miura, and a Ghibli also demand a 2000GT. Don Davis’ car offers an opportunity to move ahead of the pack and to acquire an example that stands firmly head and shoulders above the rest.