Meet the first Million Dollar Japanese Collectors Car

1967 Toyota 2000GT - yours for a million and change.  Sotheby’s has set a new world record for the most valuable single owner auct...


1967 Toyota 2000GT - yours for a million and change. 
Sotheby’s has set a new world record for the most valuable single owner auction in history when they sold off the Pinnacle Collection of cars recently. The sale raised a cool US$67 million, easily surpassing the previous record of US$53.9 million held by the Andrews collection, even though three of the top cars with bids of US$24 million did not reach their reserve prices and thus were not sold. 

In all, some 12 of the 22 cars that were auctioned hit new records. One of the snips at the auction has to have been the 1993 Jaguar XJ220. For twelve months, it was the fastest production car in the world, which was sold at a price of US$462,000. Not bad for a car that once held the Nürburgring lap record for a while. 

Jaguar XJ220

The 1988 Porsche 959 Komfort, another offering that once held the title of world’s fastest production car, also exceeded expectations with a final price of US$1,705,000. Perhaps a bit more significant than the Jaguar, the 959 was the first of the four-wheel-drive Porsche’s. Only 337 of which were built, with the rumour that each one was sold at a loss. 

Porsche 959
Perhaps the most notable price paid though was the winning bid for a erstwhile forgotten Toyota. Released at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show, the Toyota 2000GT broke new ground and signalled the coming of the Japanese car market for enthusiasts for the first time. With a very limited production run of just 351 units, unusual for a Japanese car, it was the first Japanese road car to break the million dollar barrier and is still the most sought after Japanese collector car of them all. 

They're also very closely held. Very few 2000GTs have ever gone to public auction, with only two ever crossing the block prior to very recent times: a 1967 model at Bonhams & Butterfield's Pebble Beach auction in 2001, which sold for US$140,000, and a 1967 model in a Hershey auction by Brooks in October 2000, sold for US$151,000. A decade later, there was a flurry of activity and the price of a well-restored Toyota 2000GT jumped clearly into the seven figure domain during 2013 and 2014, though the two sales so far this year indicate it has dipped below the seven figure mark again. 


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