Bond is back! The 25th James Bond film, No Time To Die, is in the cinemas now and has revived interest in the debonair British spy. What better time to remind you of James Bond’s Toyota 2000GT, which featured in the movie You Only Live Twice, the fifth in the Bond series, way back in 1967.
Appearing in the midst of the Swinging Sixties, James Bond’s Toyota 2000GT, predominantly driven by main female star Akiko ‘Aki’ Wakabayashi in the film, was no ordinary 2000GT, if indeed there is such a thing! Even Daniel Craig, who plays Bond in No Time To Die, has hailed the 2000GT as his personal favourite Bond car.
Thanks to the experts at CommanderBond.net and 2000GT.net, we can share ten interesting facts about the first Toyota supercar and its place in the 007 canon.
- The Toyota 2000GT was unveiled at the Tokyo motor show in October 1965. It would become the star of show and was later seen in car magazines around the world, where it likely caught the eye of Bond producer Albert R ‘Cubby’ Broccoli.
- Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of “Zero-Zero” (as 007 is often referred to in Japan), Toyota was happy to assist with the supply of cars for the You Only Live Twice movie.
- The first two 2000GTs to be used in the film were coupes (similar to that pictured above) but it soon became apparent that Sean Connery was too tall to comfortably fit in the car and filming of the interior shots proved tricky.
- As a result, Toyota created two 2000GT roadsters to ensure the film crew could capture all the shots they needed. These were the only open-top 2000GT ever officially produced.
- The film’s main female star, Akiko ‘Aki’ Wakabayashi, was unable to drive, so two Toyota test drivers operated the pedals and gears for her.
- Toyota (and ‘Q’, of course) installed a range of Sony gadgets to James Bond’s Toyota 2000GT. These included CCTV, a VCR, cameras behind the front number plate, two-way radios, voice-controlled tape recorder and an audio system.
- The original coupes were sold on and remained in private ownership in the UK until 1995. Both models are now back in Japan.
- The fate of the cars used in the film is less clear. Back in the 1970s one of them was reported to be wrecked, although the company who was tasked to dispose of them were rumoured to have sold it to a private buyer.
- The other 2000GT roadster was discovered in Hawaii in 1977 and eventually brought back to Japan and restored, where it now takes pride of place in the Toyota Museum. It is regarded as one of the most valued cars in the collection.
- In total, 351 2000GTs were produced (including for racing and movies) and 150 were shipped outside of Japan. It’s unknown how many are still in circulation but any put on auction can expect to sell for hundreds of thousands of pounds.
For more information about James Bond’s Toyota 2000GT, visit CommanderBond.net.
Details in this article were correct at the time of publication.