Toyota Heritage on Display
Toyota’s Heritage display at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show highlighted the brands heritage by featuring three of its standout models in history.
1967 2000 GT
With a base price of $7,230 in the 1960s, Toyota’s 1967 2000 GT now ranks as one of the show’s most expensive cars with a net worth of $1.8 million.
Chicago Auto Show visitors had the rare chance of getting up close to the 2000 GT, as there are only 337 in existence worldwide with a mere 54 finding their way to North America. Unlike many of the models that were used internationally, the one featured at this year’s show is a left-hand-drive model.
Described as the first Japanese “super car,” the 2000 GT has many claims to fame. British model/actress Leslie Hornby, better known as Twiggy, took the stage alongside the car before it later appeared on the nation’s TV sitcom, “Ugliest Girl in Town.” From small screen to big screen, the 2000 GT was featured in the James Bond movie, “You Only Live Twice.” Two cars had to be used and made into convertibles to accommodate actor Sean Connery’s tall height.
IMSA GTP Eagle Mark III
Toyota came ready to race with its IMSA GTP Eagle MKIII racecar. With a driver’s seat once filled by pro racers Juan Manuel Fangio and P.J. Jones, the car has been described as the “pinnacle of American sports car racing.”
Making its debut in July 1991, the Eagle MKIII went on to win 21 of the 27 races it entered.
1961 FJ25 Land Cruiser
Korean War veterans may claim responsibility for the presence of FJ25 Land Cruisers in Illinois, as it was their familiarity with using the models in the war that created a market for Toyota’s best-selling car between 1961 and 1965.
Designed to handle extreme conditions, the Land Cruiser was introduced in 1958 and was one of the models first sold by Toyota Motor Sales here in the US. The model on display at the Chicago Auto Show model took the high road literally when it was tested in a climb to the sixth station of Mt. Fuji in 1951.
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