Remember that story of the Toyota 2000GT that was ruthlessly crushed by a tree and an uncaring universe? Well, it’s back in the Japanese news again, as the owner prepares to file a lawsuit against the province in which the accident occurred.
The incident occurred in Toyama Prefecture at approximately 9:00am on June 8, 2014. Just as the unnamed driver of the 2000GT was passing under a 100-foot birch, the tree came down on top of the rare classic, pretty much destroying it (along with the hearts of fans across the world). The driver sustained light injuries, but probably much deeper emotional ones. He had just bought the car three months before.
At the time, it was reported in the Japanese press that people had warned authorities that the tree, which had a rotting trunk and hung over the road at a sharp angle, was dangerous. That forms the basis of the lawsuit, which alleges that the incident could have been avoided and that the prefecture didn’t properly maintain the highway.
The lawsuit seeks ¥39 million, which seems like a lot until you convert it to US dollars and realize it’s equivalent to just $360,000 USD and includes the owner’s medical expenses. In the US, the 2000GT is a million dollar car. We’d say the Toyama Prefecture Highway Department is getting off light.
Widely considered one of the most beautiful and historically significant cars from Japan, there were only 337 Toyota 2000GTs built. Of those, the Japanese press estimates there are only 100 or so in the country. The crushed 2000GT is currently undergoing repairs.
Images from attorney of plaintiff.