Toyota 2000GT Restomod Concept – True to Its Original Legacy

Don’t let its graceful lines fool you because this HotCars exclusive render is the natural successor to the Shelby-tuned Toyota 2000GT.

As the first true Japanese sports car, the Toyota 2000GT possessed elegant styling that rivaled its British and Italian grand touring counterparts. Toyota also stepped up with its engine: a 2.0-liter DOHC inline-six that produced 150 hp, mated with a 5-speed manual transmission.

The car’s racing potential, though, was what caught the attention of Carroll Shelby. After partnering with the automaker in 1968, he tuned two Toyota 2000GTs and raced them in SCCA competitions. It’s a brief but significant time in this car’s history.

HotCars digital artist Rostislav Prokop’s reimagining of the Toyota 2000GT remains true to the spirit of the original sports car. But this refresh also includes the engine and here is where Shelby’s influence lies. While this restomod sports no racing livery, it still can throw down on the track.

Enhancing The Toyota 2000GT’s Flowing Body Lines1969 toyota 2000gt restomod prokopHotCars Photo © 2023 Valnet

Prokop keeps the original’s low, Coke-bottle design but also smooths some of its edges, especially on the overhangs. The car is now painted a light silver gray and the body is fiberglass.

In the front, the quad headlights with their top pop-up lights remain but are now halo LEDs. The grille still sits between the lower headlights but is narrower this time. There’s also a carbon fiber lift-off hood, which both reduces weight and simplifies maintenance tasks during a race.

At the sides, the wheel wells are more pronounced, amplifying its likeness to a Toyota Supra. Moving towards the back, carbon fiber enclosures frame the headlights, which are now all red halo LEDs.

New Tuning Inspired By Shelbytoyota 2000gt restomod render prokopHotCars Photo © 2023 Valnet

In 1966, the car’s first year of production, Toyota won races in its own country. Two years later, Shelby and his team helped the carmaker go international. The build included adding triple Mikuni carburetors and custom mag wheels along with some racing bits to push the 3M engine’s horsepower up to 200 hp.

Unfortunately, Porsche 911s bested Shelby’s Toyotas. But a swapped Toyota Supra 2JZ-GTE inline-six gives Prokop’s restomod more potential to win. Starting with a base of 320 hp, we imagine that improvements such as a larger turbocharger, engine tuning, and upgrades to the manifold and other systems could push output to more than 1,000 hp.

Currently, the rare Toyota 2000GT is prohibitively expensive, with an average price running at $1 million, according to classic.com, and a Shelby Toyota recently sold for a whopping $2.5 million last year. But this sleek restomod Toyota 2000GT offers all the excitement of the original and costs no money to dream about.

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