When Ian Fleming first created the James Bond character back in 1953, the legendary super spy became an instant hit. Fleming crafted his persona with story after story, and Hollywood jumped on board, bringing the spy to life on the big screen. The legend of James Bond, 007 lives on today in popular culture. Everyone remembers the great actors that have played Bond in film throughout the years, like Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, and now Daniel Craig, but do you remember the cars? Some of the most prestigious cars in automotive history have raced their way through many a James Bond movie; obviously, the debonair Bond character needs to drive a vehicle that matches his suave and dangerous aura. One of the most legendary cars not only in Bond lore, but in Toyota history was taken out for a spin recently by none other than fanatical car collector Jay Leno: a 1966 Toyota 2000GT Convertible.
Featured in the 1967 movie You Only Twice with actor Sean Connery playing our hero, the particular 1966 2000GT coupes, of which there are only two, were made into convertibles because the 6’ 2’’ Connery just could not fit. There were only 337 2000GT Toyotas produced from 1967 to 1970 and today these collectibles are worth well over $500,000. Imagine how much one of the two “Bond Models” would get at an auction.
Leno, an avid collector of vintage vehicles, got the opportunity to take the rarest of Toyota models for a spin in the parking lot of the Toyota museum. Leno said that he waited “50 years to drive this car” in his video on jaylenosgarage.com. Ahead of its time, the 2000GT was manufactured with a five-speed manual transmission and a 2.3L 150 hp engine. It was designed to be a vehicle that withstood the test of time, and this Toyota succeeded beyond all measure.
Everyone remembers Ian Fleming and one of the most legendary characters of all time in James Bond, but the vehicles that Bond drove in the movies are more fabled to some than the 007 spy himself. Toyota has wedged itself into the annals of automotive history since its origin, and the “Bond Model” is just one more piece to the storied puzzle.