2000GT: the Toyota that lived twice

The Toyota 2000GT became world-famous as the star car in the 1960s James Bond film You Only Live Twice, but it seems the life-or-death adventures of this classic sports car – celebrating its 50th anniversary this year – have not been confined to the movie screen. A UK restoration team working to bring one of the ultra-rare models back to pristine condition discovered that at some point in its history a bullet had been fired through the driver’s door.

It’s a mystery that adds to the allure of the car for owner Jane Weitzmann, who shares the story of her treasured 2000GT in a new video that’s helping Toyota mark the model’s first 50 years.

She 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 to finally 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 Sports 800.

The 2000GT marked a watershed in Toyota’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 Toyota GT86 coupe.

“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.”

Comments (3)

  1. And now sadly the cheapest and practical RWD car Toyota has to offer is….Hilux :\
    I wish new 210hp Yaris will be AWD or it seems pointless to me. I had Yaris in my life and it feels as a great platform for awd no wonder its used for rally cup, right now I`m owner of 2010 Prius and looking to switch to something I will have greater control of and something that will give me more fun in winter. Prius is alright, its smooth and practical, but I think I`m still too young for it 🙂 you cant even handbrake in corners as its footbrake instead. I would like to see Lexus IS for poor (actually I can buy it, but I just don`t like luxury cars and see no point in spending 40k euro on car, I like cloth interior over leather as its not as cold in winter or hot in summer, alcantara in my prius is lovely but its probably still only leather for Lexus, I love practicality in Toyota)
    I was looking forward for GT86 for a long time but when I saw it its just so unpractical 🙁
    Rear seats are for kids only , boot space isn`t all that great, huge and low front bumper and exhaust is the lowest part at rear bumper . And boxer engine ? Come on! If I wanted boxer engine I would buy WRX STI or Outback, its better then GT86 and cost difference is not all that great. I would like to see inline 4 or 6 – those that Toyota are famous for!
    I don`t know guys, future will tell, I love toyota, just hope they will produce good bmw 3 analog or audi s1, s3 , maybe even ford mustang in the end of the day 🙂 Cheers

    1. Hi there,
      We wish we knew more of the history of this! We think there would be lots of people interested. 🙂

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