Vintage R&T Road Test And Technical Analysis: 1967 Toyota 2000 GT – “One Of The Most Exciting And Enjoyable Cars We’ve Ever Driven”

This was a new one, as I’ve never read an actual road test of the legendary 2000 GT. At the time this was written, it was understood that the 2000 GT would coming stateside within a year, presumably in semi-reasonable numbers. It did arrive here, but only some 60 units were sold in the US. Presumably it was because the 2000 GT was never intended to be a regular production car, but a classic halo car, to enhance Toyota’s reputation even if it did lose money on the project. There’s no doubt that the desired effect happened; well beyond Toyota’s likely expectations, as the 2000 GT became a cult object from day one.

Road and Track drove a an early version, and found it quite compelling, even if it did exhibit some shortcomings, which they were told would be addressed before US sales started.

There’s also a detailed Technical Analysis after the Road Test.

The most immediate reaction to seeing the 2000 GT in the flesh is noticing just how remarkably small it is, significantly more so than one might assume from photos. It’s similar in size to an NA Miata, but even lower, by several inches. Anyone over six feet is not really welcome, but those that could thread themselves into its cabin would be pleased at the high quality of its materials and assembly. Not really surprising, from the company that built Crowns and such.

The 2 liter six’s block and internals were taken from the Crown, and Yamaha designed and built the lovely DOHC alloy head and those components that made the adaption function. And function it did, happily spinning to 7,000 rpm, except in the case of first gear, when for some reason the tested car’s engine refused to rev past 6300 rpm.

The five gear transmission came in for praise, as did the fully independent suspension, which yielded surprisingly supple ride over dips and sharp bumps. The rear suspension, looking much like one from contemporary racing cars than the more typical semi-trailing IRS, showed that it could handle dumped clutches at the drag strip without any loss of composure of the rear wheels.

The brakes were deemed “impressive”. Steering was light and quick. Ultimate cornering power was not exceptionally high, but more than enough for road driving under any circumstances. This car was built for all-round dynamics, not just ultimate skid pad numbers.

The exceptional interior, superb quality, balanced dynamics, and fine performance made this “one of the most exciting and enjoyable cars we’ve ever driven”, and deemed to be a most capable competitor to the Porsche 911, with which its price was comparable. But its limited production economics resulted it in never being a Porsche competitor, something Zuffenhausen was probably not unhappy about.