Though Carroll Shelby is best-remembered for tuning various Ford and AC cars, the automotive designer and motorsport legend also wrenched on a myriad of lesser-known makes and models – one of which was Toyota’s sublime 2000 GT.
Of the 351 specimens built, 60 2000 GT examples were earmarked for U.S. shores, and a trio of those already-rare Toyotas would end up being tuned, modified, and upgraded by Shelby in preparation for Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) competition, and one of those is going up for auction through Gooding & Co. In addition to being the very first serial-numbered example built and being the first Shelby-modified unit, this same 2000 GT was also utilized by Toyota Motor Sales USA to introduce the game-changing sports car to the American market. After it finished making its press rounds, Shelby convinced Toyota and its engineers to join forces with his tuning company to upgrade the car, bestowing it with numerous cosmetic and mechanic tweaks.
Originally finished in “Solar Red,” this RHD example spent several years being campaigned in SCCA competition. In 1980, it was purchased by a German owner that treated the 2000 GT to a complete body-off restoration in order to return it to its original 1968 SCCA configuration. This included cloaking the car in Shelby’s historic white and metallic blue racing livery and bestowing its Yamaha-supplied 2.0-liter twin-cam inline-six with numerous unique Shelby parts and components. After the decade-long restoration process, this vehicle was displayed at a number of high-profile auto shows and events including the prestigious Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, where it took first in its class.
Widely considered to be one of, if not the most significant Toyota example in history, this 1967 Toyota-Shelby 2000 GT (Chassis No. MF10-10001) is scheduled to go under the hammer at Gooding & Company’s upcoming Amelia Island Auction in Fernandina Beach, Florida, where this ultra-rare Shelby-tuned specimen is expected to fetch between $2,750,000 and $3,500,000.
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