The Don Davis Collection

27 April 2013

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Lot 149

1967 Toyota 2000GT

  • Chassis no. MF1010147

Sold for $1,155,000

150 bhp, 2,000 cc Yamaha DOHC hemi-head inline six-cylinder engine, three twin-choke side-draft carburetors, five-speed fully synchromesh manual transmission with overdrive, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel power-assisted Dunlop disc brakes. Wheelbase: 91.7 in.

  • “Toyota’s E-Type,” the greatest Japanese car of all time
  • One of only 351 built
  • Original left-hand drive U.S.-delivery example
  • Beautifully restored, with great attention to authenticity and detail
  • Among the very best in the world

The Toyota 2000GT is perhaps most aptly described as “the best sports car you’ve never heard of.” Developed in conjunction with Yamaha, this slinky two-passenger coupe packed a two-liter inline six-cylinder engine with a cast iron block and double overhead cams, good for 150 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and a top speed of over 135 mph. James Crowe, writing of the car in Road & Track, described it as “highly refined in handling and driving and one of the most exciting cars we have driven.” The luxurious interior fittings, including a rosewood veneer dashboard and a signal-seeking radio, were described as “up to par for a luxurious GT—an impressive car in which to sit or ride, or simply admire.”

The 2000GT was the Japanese E-Type, a car that could run against the best that Europe had to offer and, frankly, win, and it has been credited with establishing the Toyota name as a force to be reckoned with in the automotive world.

Unfortunately, the 2000GT has never achieved the same fame outside of Japan as its European brethren, in large part because only 351 were built and very few were exported outside of its home country. As its wonders have begun to achieve recognition in recent years, surviving examples have become highly sought-after, and today, the 2000GT is universally described as the most collectible, desirable, and valuable Japanese automobile ever produced.

Don Davis’ 2000GT is very special, as it is one of only 62 left-hand drive examples produced and an original U.S.-delivery car. After spending its first few decades stateside, the car returned to its home nation in the ownership of a private enthusiast, then, once again, it made its way to the United States. It was acquired by Mr. Davis from another prominent Texas collector only a short time ago.

The car had been previously restored to high standards, but during its time in the Davis Collection, it has undergone significant work to improve the restoration’s authenticity, including painting the inside of the headlamp buckets black, applying the correct grey finish around the side window surrounds, finishing the wheels the correct color, and taking the Toyota down to bare metal and respraying the body its original Bendix Yellow. The reading of 62,000 miles is believed original, as demonstrated by the excellent condition of the unrestored gauges, dash, console, and seats, which are all in highly original condition. The car’s authenticity and quality is documented against the factory specifications in Shin Yoshikawa’s respected volume on these automobiles, Toyota 2000GT: The Complete History of Japan’s First Supercar.

This car is without a doubt the finest and most authentic 2000GT to come to market in recent years, and as such, it is an outstanding and virtually unrepeatable example of a car that has only grown ever difficult to find as its greatness has begun to be recognized. If the world is fair, there will be a time in the future when the collections that require a Daytona, a Miura, and a Ghibli also demand a 2000GT. Don Davis’ car offers an opportunity to move ahead of the pack and to acquire an example that stands firmly head and shoulders above the rest.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 9... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. He is a life-long automobile enthusiast and ... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

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California, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski

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Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a Connecticut restoration shop as a teenager. He graduated with a... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. He att... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more