Davey Jordan came in 2nd overall on July 7, 1968, in the rain at Riverside. Sunbeam Tiger driver Ron Dykes won, and Scooter Patrick ran 3rd.
Photo: Dave Friedman
When Japanese cars first came on the scene, although practical, most were somewhat stodgy. In the mid-’60s, however, Toyota decided to produce a sports car that would rival others of the genre. Japanese designer Satoru Nozaki penned a two-door coupe—the 2000GT—that some feel had styling influenced by the E-Type Jaguar. The in-line, straight-six, front engine was from a Toyota Crown sedan. Yamaha made it into a performer with double-overhead cams and three two-barrel Solex carburetors—also reminiscent of the 6-cylinder Jaguar engine—along with a five-speed transmission. It produced 150 bhp and could go as fast as 135mph.
An example was shown at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show, but it wasn’t until 1967 that a pre-production model was delivered to Road & Track. The magazine performed their usual road test and called it, “exciting and enjoyable.” Production started later in 1967 and continued through 1970. All cars were actually made by Yamaha. In the U.S., they sold for $6,800, which doesn’t sound like much today, but at that time you could buy a Jaguar or Porsche for somewhat less.
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