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1967 - 1970 Toyota 2000GT

1967 - 1970 Toyota 2000GT

The first Japanese Supercar

Currently the biggest carmaker in the world, Toyota is mostly known for its family sedans and capable SUVs. But in recent decades, the Japanese have built themselves a solid name in sports car manufacturing and racing through vehicles such as the Celica, Supra,, GT 86, the Le Mans-prepped TS lineage, and the Lexus LFA. Five decades ago, however, Toyota was still had the sober image of an econobox carmaker. This changed with the tiny Sports 800 in 1965, and, two years later, with the 2000GT, widely regarded as the first Japanese supercar.

Initially designed for Nissan by Yamaha, the project was adopted by Toyota after the Yokohama-based company refused the idea and started working on what would become the Fairlady Z (Datsun 240Z). Realizing how the bold two-seat design would change its image globally, Toyota immediately approved the program. Production began in 1967, when the 2000GT would revolutionize Japan’s view on the automotive industry, with a sports car to rival offerings from the more famous European marques.

The 2000GT was built for only three years and in just 351 units, but its impact was huge. It was not only the first supercar to come from Japan, but also the only Japanese car to have been featured prominently in a James Bond film. Also, it is the most expensive Asian car ever sold at auction as of 2015.

Updated 08/22/2016: Gooding & Company brought a fully restored 1967 Toyota 2000 GT at a auction event in Pebble Beach during the 2016 Monterey Car Week. Check out the "Prices" section to see for how much it was sold and the "Pictures" tab for some shots taken during the event.

Continue reading to find out more about the Toyota 2000GT.

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Thanksgiving 2014: 5 Things I am Thankful for This Year

Thanksgiving 2014: 5 Things I am Thankful for This Year

2014 has been quite the eventful year in the auto industry, and the best part is we still have December left before the calendar flips to 2015. But since we’re celebrating Thanksgiving today, we wanted to take this opportunity to give thanks to some of the highlights of 2014. It was a long and exhaustive list that we somehow managed to whittle down to five things we’re thankful for.

All items on the list were newsworthy at one point or another during the year, but the things on this list didn’t make it simply because they made news in 2014. Rather, the items on this list have long-term impacts on the evolution of the auto industry moving forward. Whether it was the development of a new engine or the arrival and imminent departure of two supercars, 2014 really had them all.

Read through the things we’re thankful for in 2014 and let us know what you’re thankful for in the comments section.

Click past the jump to read about the five things I am thankful for in 2014.

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BMW and Toyota Working on a Joint-Venture Supercar

BMW and Toyota Working on a Joint-Venture Supercar

Almost two years ago, BMW and Toyota started talking about a possible partnership and once the papers were signed, they announced the new collaboration will bring a new sports car and new hybrid technologies for both companies.

Now, new details on this collaboration have surfaced online and they only bring good news. Apparently, Toyota’s supercar will be something similar to the previous Lexus LF-A supercar, but with a hybrid powertrain.

This new supercar will explore terrains never hit by the LF-A, like a hybridized V-8 engine. Even though Toyota was the first maker to offer hybrid cars in its lineup, it never had the courage to develop a hybrid hyper-car. However, things are about to change.

Sources suggest that the company is already testing the i8’s carbon-fiber frame, meaning that the two new supercars could also borrow elements from the i8. One thing is for sure though: Toyota will be the one coming with the hybrid technology since it already developed high-performance hybrid powertrains for the V-8-powered Lexus LS 600h. BMW is also offering a very successful 4.4-liter, V-8 engine in its lineup, and a hybrid system from Toyota will only make it even more fuel efficient.

Everything else on these two new supercars is pure speculation, and there are still tons of question that need to be answered, but for sure more details will follow in the upcoming months, so stay tuned!

Click past the jump to read more about BMW i8 - the model that could inspire the new Toyota-BMW supercar.

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Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Crashes and Burns While Racing... A Toyota?

Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Crashes and Burns While Racing... A Toyota?

Lamborghini destroyed in I-196 crash

The Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 not only costs a medium-sized fortune, it also pumps 631 ponies from its 6.5-liter V-12 engine. That really should give you the confidence to not need to race anyone, as you would beat three-quarters of the cars on the road anyhow, especially a compact import econobox.

So when a “Toyota-type passenger car” pulls along side your $400K+ car and starts revving his little 4- or 6-banger, you should just look, smile, and carry on as normal. Apparently, a Michigan man didn’t get this memo, as he chose to allegedly fly down the highway with said Toyota-type car trailing – you do the math; sounds like a race to us – and proceeded to wreck his beautiful Murcielago.

This wasn’t just some little “oopsy” fender bender either. He put his pricey Lambo straight into a line of trees at a very high speed. On top of that, the car then turned into a very expensive ball of flames, leaving the Lambo a charred and melted mess. Fortunately, the driver got out of the car safely and only suffered a bump on the head and a huge bump in his wallet.

The only thing that comes to our mind is “Why?” Why on earth would you put so much effort into racing a freaking Toyota passenger car that you careen off of the road and slam your $400K+ car into the treeline? Hopefully this guy takes two lessons from this ordeal:

No. 1: Street racing is for tool bags that are attempting to compensate for something.

No. 2: Don’t race your $400K car against a Toyota... It’s bad Karma (Fiery Fisker pun intended).

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Toyota TS030 Hybrid Has a Successful Debut at Cirque De La Sarthe

Toyota TS030 Hybrid Has a Successful Debut at Cirque De La Sarthe

It looks like Toyota, after a very huge hiccup, is set to return to the world of Lee Mans racing. Its pair of TS030 Hybrids have completed their first testing run at Cirque De La Sarthe – the name of the 24 Hours of Le Mans track. This test wasn’t just any test either. The all-new hybrid tested very well, as both cars finished the 10 laps required to qualify and the fastest lap amongst the two was 3:27.204, which was only 1.277 seconds slower than the fastest car (the Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro).

The only issues with the run that Toyota Motorsport GmbH reported were a few bits of “minor bodywork damage,” which the team didn’t elaborate on in its press release. Other than that, the test was a complete success for the Toyota team, but it was down its main driver, Stéphane Sarrazin, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a bicycling accident. Sarrazin is expected to be ready to resume driving duties before the race starts next week, so everything is looking good for Toyota. With Sarrazin missing, Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima were behind the wheel of the No. 7 car, and the No. 8 car had Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi piloting it.

With all of the new cars, like the Toyota TS030 and the extremely intriguing Nissan DeltaWing, this 24 Hours of Le Mans is sure to be a fun one to watch. The race starts on Saturday, June 16th and the green flag drops at 3:00 p.m. Le Mans time, which is 7:00 a.m. EST.

Click past the jump to read Toyota Motorsport GmbH’s full press release on the debut.

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$1.5 Million in Luxury Cars Seized by U.S. Customs

$1.5 Million in Luxury Cars Seized by U.S. Customs

There are a lot of new car scams in the world and most of them are initiated by the new car dealer, not the buyer. A group of buyers flipped the script on several Los Angeles dealerships, by using fake identities to purchase 20 cars and were shipping them to Hong Kong and Vietnam to sell them for two to three times their U.S. value.

It was a laundry list of luxury vehicles, such as a $280,000 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia, an Audi Quattro, 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, along with several Mercedes, Lexus, Infiniti, and BMW SUVs among others. For some reason, the thieves even threw in a Toyota Tundra.

The one that got these fraudsters busted was the Ferrari 458 Italia, as Ferrari fitted the supercar with a GPS system as standard, which Ferrari used to track the car once they found out they were defrauded. This led U.S. Customs and the California highway Patrol to conduct a full investigation and find the cars on a ship that had already pulled away from the port.

Needless to say, that ship was forced to come back and all but four of the cars were recovered. The four non-recovered cars are due to be shipped back by Vietnamese Customs.

According to the report, had the fraudsters not gone after the Ferrari, chances are they would have gotten away with this scam and made a ton of money in the process. The total amount of the vehicles seized by U.S. customs is estimated at $1.5 million, which would have pulled in around $3 million in Hong Kong and Vietnam.

We are still trying to figure out what in the world a Toyota Tundra was doing in the mix with all of these high-end luxury cars. We also wonder which thief drew the short straw and was stuck going to the Toyota dealership to pick this thing up?

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Toyota prepares all-electric supercar

Toyota prepares all-electric supercar

Mercedes has the SLS AMG E-Class and Audi has the R8 E-tron, but what about Toyota? A recent report from MotorTrend suggests that the company is preparing an all-electric supercar that will compete with these two models. An official debut is expected to be made in 2015, but the first prototypes are already testing at Nurburgring.

Although there are no official details on the future car, it is expected to be powered by four electric motors, one at each wheel with a total output of 500 HP and a sprint from 0 to 60 mph in around 4 seconds.

The prototypes caught testing in Germany feature a large grille and air intakes beside the headlights that are used to provide sufficient cooling for the electric motors. This electric supercar is said to be borrowing information from Tesla as well as utilizing the expertise gained from the work done on the Lexus LF-A. We also have to remind you that recently company CEO Akio Toyoda signed a deal to invest some $50 million in the electric sports car maker Tesla so this might have been the beginning of the project we are seeing unfold before our very eyes.

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Toyota doesn't expect to make any profits from the Lexus LF-A

Toyota doesn’t expect to make any profits from the Lexus LF-A

For all the raves the praises the Lexus LF-A has received since it was launched, it looks like Toyota isn’t optimistic about the sales of its new supercar, even saying that it would take a miracle for them to break even.

According to the company, the €375,000 price tag for each of the 500 LF-A’s that were produced wouldn’t be enough to offset the insanely expensive costs – including a plethora of technological features - the company incurred from the development and construction of the supercar.

For all intents and purposes, the materials used on the LF-A have never been used before. Of all the materials used in the car, only five can be found in the rest of the Toyota and Lexus fleet of cars. Toyota even used a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic for the LF-A’s chassis construction and body panels, as well as a powerful 552 bhp 4.8-liter V10 engine. It’s not exactly a typical car, is it?

Despite the expected losses Toyota is expected to sustain, the company made it clear that the primary objective for the creation of the LF-A was to jumpstart interest in the brand and use the supercar as the precursor for Toyota’s mission of producing better vehicles in the future.

So for now, despite the overwhelmingly positive reaction for the Lexus LF-A, Toyota has resigned itself to the growing possibility of not making a profit with the car. Nevertheless, Toyota is optimistic that the technology behind the LF-A will become the measuring stick for which all other Toyota and Lexus vehicles will be based from.

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Top Secret V12 Supra

Top Secret V12 Supra

Last week we brought you an innovative creation from the Japanese tuner and infamous speed junkie Mr. Kazuhiko Nagata. However you may know him better as Smokey due to his affinity for rapid fire chain smoking before conducting one of his highly publicized top speed runs in any of his signature gold colored Top Secret tuner cars. When Mr. Nagata chose to make his own replacement for the defunct Skyline GT-R, Nissan took notice and it is apparent just by looking at the Top Secret GT-R and the one you can buy in a dealership. Never one to rest on his laurels, Smokey decided that if putting a V8 in a GT-R was a bold move, then a V12 powered Toyota Supra would just be insane, and he was right.

In order to make the best you must first start with the best. So aside from the entirely redesigned aerodynamic front end this particular fifth generation gold Supra has the heart of a late model Toyota Century luxury limousine, a car that rivals the ultra luxurious Mercedes Benz S Class and is placed even above the automaker’s Lexus luxury brand. Smokey’s intention was to create one of the most extreme cars ever made by his tuning shop. The body kit that you are looking at on this very unique Toyota Supra is called "Final Evolution," and was a hint at what the Japanese design team at Toyota needed to create what we now know as the LF-L.

Continued with video after the jump.

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Celica runs 6.97 per 1/4 mile

Celica runs 6.97 per 1/4 mile

Have you ever dream to reach almost 200mph in 400 meters? Or you dream to travel a 1/4 mile in less than 7 seconds? Some people can. Take a look at this video and you may give up to this dream. Because you will need a car like this.

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TopSpeed Headline News

One out of three cars has worn braking fluid. AutoExpress
Results from Euro NCAP tests for Lexus IS. AutoBild
GM prepares for Red-Tag on Saturday. AutoWeek
Toyota calls back approximately 54.200 cars for engine control system failure. Internal Source
Lincoln has a new dealership – Amazon.com. DetNews
Brabus - Tune It Safe! CLS Rocket Police Car available. (...)

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