Toyota 2000GT is now half a century old into its James Bond appearance image

The great Toyota 2000GT has a major milestone this year – it celebrates 50 years of existence and also the anniversary for the model’s debut in the James Bond classic You Only Live Twice.

The model actually first showed up during a show at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1965, but the classic 007 picture where the setting also happened to be Japan was the breakthrough for the sports car. The premiere was also notable for the fact that Sean Connery and co-star Akiko Wakabayashi were saving the world in a 2000GT convertible, but Toyota hadn’t constructed an open top version, with word of mouth claiming Connery couldn’t fit inside the coupe and two roadsters were customized specifically for the motion picture. Toyota actually made the 2000GT a very rare find – with a mere 351 examples produced in between 1967 and 1970 – which is why an auction featuring this model usually ends up with big six figures.

The collectors are also enticed by the Bond appearance, with many claiming it to be the coolest Bond car of all times – though auctioneers claim this is not the reason they sell so good. The motivation was provided by Toyota and Yamaha banding together for the DOHC 2.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, with two-barrel carburetors and 150 horsepower to show for. While it may not have the panache of other Bond cars, it certainly has exclusivity and beauty by its side to make up for.