$2.5 Million for a Toyota? Rare Shelby 2000GT Smashes Auction Records

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On March 5, 2022, a rare 1967 Toyota 2000GT race car sold for an astounding $2.5 million at Gooding & Company’s collector car auction in Amelia Island, Florida. This staggering result set a new benchmark as the highest price ever paid for a Japanese automobile at public auction.

Source: Gooding & Company

The snow-white 2000GT, chassis number MF10-10001, attracted fierce bidding due to its Place in history as the first prototype 2000GT built by Toyota.

In 1968, it was selected by American racing legend Carroll Shelby to be one of just three 2000GTs modified and raced by his team in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) competition.

Shelby’s mechanics upgraded the car’s Yamaha-designed 2.0L inline 6-cylinder engine and lowered its suspension, while stripping its classic coupe bodywork of its original deep red paint color in favor of a sleek white and blue racing livery.

On January 14, 1968, chassis MF10-10001 made its competition debut with driver Gary Evans at the SCCA national convention races in Daytona Beach.

Though the Toyota-Shelby 2000GT showed impressive speed, it was outmatched by the dominant Porsche 911s and recorded a disappointing DNF after engine failure. After a full season of SCCA racing with mixed results, Toyota ended its American motorsports venture and reclaimed the surviving 2000GT racers.

After three decades in obscurity, the ex-Shelby 2000GT was rediscovered and underwent a total restoration in the 1990s. In the years since, it has been a prized entrant at automotive events worldwide, including the Monterey Historics and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it won Best in Class in 2017.

The historic Toyota’s $2.5 million winning bid at Amelia Island demonstrated rising demand for Japanese classics and cemented the 2000GT’s legacy as Japan’s first supercar.

The Shelby 2000GT proved Japan can compete for prestige with elite European marques. For Toyota, the astronomical price paid for chassis MF10-10001 represents a validation of the 2000GT as an early international symbol of Japanese sports car excellence.

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