Auctions and Brokerage
One of The Finest Restored Examples ExtantRoger Holstead, South Africa (acquired in late 1970s)Peter Starr and Robert Tkacik, Biddeford, Maine (acquired circa 1986)Javier Quiros, San José, Costa Rica (acquired in 1986)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
In the mid-1960s, Toyota saw the need to create a special model that would raise awareness of the level of quality the company was capable of producing. Toyota aimed high, seeking to compete with the world’s most esteemed sports cars. Project 280A, which created the 2000 GT, commenced in the summer of 1964. For production, Toyota partnered with Japanese motorcycle giant Yamaha for the engineering of a two-liter, dual overhead cam, inline six-cylinder engine based upon an existing Toyota cylinder block. The backbone chassis design allowed the car to sit very low and conceal its fully independent suspension.
Key to the project was distinctive and impeccable styling. Following numerous design revisions and engineering trials, Toyota in-house stylist Satoru Nozaki’slow-profile, fastback coupe design came to life. Many of the design details were unique and remain engaging to this day. With an overall height of less than 47", a curvaceous body, and brilliantly executed trim, the 2000 GT was simply stunning.
Weighing less than 2,500 lbs., the 150 hp straight six gave the car a 0-60 time of 10 seconds and a 137 mph top speed. The 2000 GT’s extremely low center of gravity and nearly neutral front-to-rear weight balance provide for a very satisfying driving experience.
With the 2000 GT, Toyota accomplished its original objective of establishinga presence on the world’s automotive stage. Though Toyota had initially set sales goals of 1,000 cars per year, the high cost of building the handmade exotic brought the project to a close after just 351 were produced. The 2000 GT attracted curious enthusiasts to Toyota dealerships and undoubtedly drove sales of all Toyota models at a critical time in the company’s expansion into foreign markets. Some of the remarkable success Toyota has enjoyed in the decades since may be traced back to these few, magnificent hand-built cars.
The right-hand-drive Solar Red 2000 GT offered here, chassis 10128, was one of only three cars sold new to Mozambique. It was later acquired and exported by Roger Holstead, a South African collector who owned three 2000 GTs, including one of the other cars delivered new to Mozambique. In 1986, the 2000 GT was purchased from Holstead by model experts Peter Starr and Robert Tkacik of Maine Line Exotics in Biddeford, Maine. It was subsequently sold in the same year to Javier Quiros, the Toyota importer for Costa Rica. Quiros frequently exercised the car, no doubt enjoying its many charms.
By 2013, the Toyota had changed hands once again, and a painstaking restoration to return the car to factory specification was undertaken by the talented crew at Restauraciones Clasicas of San José, Costa Rica. With his strong Toyota connections and access to factory records, Quiros was able to ensure thatthe car was restored as accurately as possible, down to the smallest detail. Both the body and engine were removed from the chassis so they could be brought back to as-new condition. The 2000 GT then received a repaint in its original shade of Solar Red, confirmed to be its original color by Starr and Tkacik. After what was reported to be more than 4,000 hours of labor, the restoration was completed in late May 2014. The entire restoration process is documented by photos and a ledger of expenses, which accompany the sale of the car.
The current owner, a well-known and distinguished collector in Europe, acquired the car in August 2014. The Toyota subsequently had final detailing completed by specialist Martin Greaves, and it is presented in a condition that places it among the very best of its kind. For any collector seeking a 2000 GT that is among the finest examples in the world, one need look no further.