Indeed, you read that right. The first Toyota-Shelby 2000 GT in history will go up for auction next March at the great Amelia Island automotive event in the USA, thanks to Gooding & Co. In itself, this Toyota racing car is a highly valued collector’s item, but if the preparation of Shelby American is added to that, it becomes a unique jewel.
The Toyota 2000 GT was manufactured between 1967 and 1970, with a total of 351 units worldwide. It is considered the first Japanese supercar, and at the time it came to be measured with the very Porsche 911.
A unique preparation devised by Carroll Shelby
Of the 351 units of the Toyota 2000 GT, only 60 cars were sent to the US; and only three were prepared to compete for Shelby American. The unit auctioned by Gooding & Co in Amelia Island, with the chassis number MF10-10001, is the first of them.
After promoting the car in the US, Carroll Shelby convinced Toyota to work together to prepare the specimens with the aim of competing in the SCCA races. > (National Sports Car Championship), which, as a curiosity, was the first automotive championship organized in the American country after World War II.
After a short career in the world of motorsport, Toyota abandoned the Shelby team despite its good results, and the car went from collection to collection (and an exhaustive restoration), appearing in major events such as theGoodwood Festival of Speed.
Without a doubt, this 1967 Toyota-Shelby 2000 GT is a unique example, and a piece of Japanese car and American motorsports history.
Originally, The Toyota 2000 GT was powered by a 2.0 liter naturally aspirated engine, DOHC in-line 6 cylinder (with double overhead camshafts) and two valves per cylinder, for a total of 12. The block was built in collaboration with Yamaha, which built the aluminum cylinder head and implemented a system of three carburetors Mikuni-Solex 40 PHH.
The 3M engine, as it was called, developed 150 hp and 175 Nm of maximum torque in a car that weighed 1,120kg. In short, its 0 to 100 km/h was reached in 8.6 seconds and the maximum speed was 217 km/h. Not insignificant figures for the time. Although nine additional models were built with the modification of the 2.3 liter SOHC 2M-B engine, which produced 140 hp but with 201 Nm of torque.
The auction will take place, specifically, on March 3 and 4 of this year, and the estimated price of this Toyota-Shelby 2000 GT is more than 3 million euros, although looking at the general panorama of the auction, it would not be surprising if it reached an even higher figure.
This article was published in Top Gear by Rodrigo García Vita.