Classic & Sports Car pits Toyota 2000GT against UK and US counterparts


The June 2014 issue of the UK’s Classic & Sports Car pits a Jaguar E-Type against a 1965 Corvette and a Toyota 2000GT to see which continent produced the best sixties sports coupe. Long-time readers know what’s coming next: A genuflecting ode to the perennial British favorite, a car that God himself did bestow on mankind because he felt bad about the whole global flood thing, while the Toyota, created only to pay tribute to the all-great Jaguar, is just lucky to be in the E-Type’s beatific presence.

Except, that didn’t happen. 

Instead, CClassic & Sports Car Jaguar vs Corvette vs Toyota 2000GT&SC actually ends up praising the 2000GT, calling the “the only car here that feels like a sports car.” Its precise handling, sumptuous interior and unshakeable quality also received high admiration. Of course, there’s still the uncomfortable traditional sprinkling of the words, “mimic,” “copy” and “‘borrow'” when describing the 2000GT, because European automakers each created their sports cars in hermetically sealed chambers with absolutely no influence from one another, right?

Nevertheless, the 2000GT comes out as the best car amongst the three. That’s something also reflected in the marketplace, where decent C3 Corvettes can be had for $60,000 and E-Types for $70,000, while 2000GT ownership requires another zero on the end of those figures. Sure, that’s also due to its rarity, but perhaps Toyotaku can smugly relish the knowledge that, in order to “iron out” some of the flaws of the 1963 E-Type driven in the article, the owner installed a Toyota transmission.

That the 2000GT is the better-built car is not really newsworthy. What is and has been argued for years is whether it has the ineffable x-factor that’s given Jaguars and Corvettes that aura of exceptionality. JNC readers have long known the answer is yes, but the real story here is that such a Brit-centric journal now agrees with you. The tides are turning, dear readers.

The June 2014 issue of Classic & Sports Car is available on newsstands now.


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22 Responses to Classic & Sports Car pits Toyota 2000GT against UK and US counterparts

  1. Kuroneko says:

    Ha! I picked up a copy in Sing last week, fully expecting the usual, but as you note was surprised too when a more moderate view was put forward instead. Neko.

  2. cesariojpn says:

    Wait, since when has a 60’s Corvette been considered as a GT car?

  3. kev says:

    In the article, they go onto say that the Vette is more of a muscle car, but actually handles pretty good.

    • dankan says:

      I am rather sick of the British press calling every American car with a V8 a muscle car. It’s a GT/sports car. Muscle cars are something quite specific, and the British press not getting it is rank snobbish ignorance.

      That being said, the Toyota is the best sports car of the three, and even in it’s day was the premium choice. With good reason.

    • Jim-Bob says:

      Yeah, I don’t really get the whole calling the Corvette a musclecar thing. Musclecars are, by definition ordinary mid size sedans (Chevelle, Belvedere, Fairlane, Rebel, etc.) with larger, more powerful engines fitted to them by the factory. They never were intended to handle or brake well. The Corvette C2 was one of the first cars ever designed to have a 50:50 weight distribution, had 4 wheel independent suspension, available 4 wheel discs and sat on a bespoke chassis (unlike the C2 that shared it’s underpinnings with a 1953 Chevy sedan). It was also a 2 seater, not a sedan. Americans who know cars never saw it as a musclecar. In fact, the Camaro and Mustang were never seen as musclecars either (they were ponycars).

  4. Steve says:

    Back when I was still a little lad, I thought the Jag was pretty cool looking. Then Datsun came out with the 240Z with its tighter lines. Then, the first word that came to mind every time I saw a Jag was “bulbous”. Then, I discovered the 2000GT was a real car. Up until the early 70s, I only kind of knew about the 2000GT since my parents had received one of those brass cigarette holder castings from a friend (which I still have) and of course, the Bond flick “You Only Live Twice”; I thought the 2000GT was just a prototype or Hollywood set vaporcar. Then I saw one. Now when I see a Jag, I think, “why does everyone think it looks good?”

    • Ben Hsu says:

      Steve, I wholeheartedly agree. “Bulbous” is the word that has always come to my mind as well. It looks old fashioned, while the Vette and 2000GT look sleek and modern.

      People love the E-Type mostly because of the badge, and for many Brits/Anglophiles national pride forbids them to say otherwise. For example, in the old Top Gear review below, Jeremy Clarkson says the FD RX-7 looks like an E-Type. To Brits, all the good-looking cars that are not E-Types look like E-Types!

      As a friend of mine who is in his early 20s and thus too young for this sort of baggage says, “I don’t see the beauty of the E type, especially with the skinny wheels/tires. The 2000GT is low and wide, the Jag looks tall and narrow.” I think that sums it up quite nicely.

      Top Gear Video:

      • Steve says:

        The ONLY style element I don’t like are those integrated fog lamps. Apparently, according to Shin Yoshikawa (I believe), Toyota placed those lamps there intentionally to prevent anyone from tampering with the front end bodywork.

        Speaking of Yoshikawa, I just googled his book and discovered that the book, just like the car, is selling at sky high prices, as well! I bought mine for $50 about 10 years ago and Amazon has them shown at $455 on up…


      • dankan says:

        Richard Hammond drove all the Bond cars for a feature just before the last Bond movie, and both he and Daniel Craig’s favourite was the 2000GT.

        ‘nuf said.

  5. GEN2TWINCAM says:

    I’ve subscribed to C&SC for over 25 years. I love the writing and photography!
    JNC’s do get decent coverage as well, and the writers appreciate their attributes. I’ve read articles on the Honda S800, Z600, a Skyline racer and Suzuki Cappuccino to mention a few. Plus, one of the writers owns a Suzuki Whizzkid (SC100) which is regularly reported-on in the “Our Classics” section.

    • browncar says:

      I’ve only been a subscriber for a fraction of that time, but I agree entirely. Where most magazines seem fairly one-eyed in their support of a particular marque/nation, these guys just seem to love cars.

      There was some misused nomenclature in the article and people can certainly pick holes in the validity of comparing these three cars; but the three are just about the best representations of sporting road cars I can think of from each country in that period. It was great to read contrast drawn between the three.

  6. Dave says:

    Really glad to see a balanced and enlightened view from the *classic* classic car crowd. The E-Type is by all means an important car, but as is the 2000GT! As for the C3 Sting Ray, I think of all the old Corvettes, it’s the best and closest to a great sports car.

    This makes me feel the urgency to pick up a car as soon as I can, before the trickling down drives the price unreasonable…

  7. pstar says:

    A comparison like this is a little like picking a Ford GT and comparing it to a ZZW30 MR2 and a 1st gen Porsche Boxter. And then gloating about the superiority of American engineering afterwards. Ignoring the whole order-of-magnitude-more-expensive thing, and the whole 100x as many of the MR2s and Boxters compared to the GTs…

    Speaking of which, why DIDN’T they compared a Ford GT40 and Ferrari Daytona to the 2000GT? THOSE are cars that basically all cost the same at about 1M.

    • pstar says:

      I’d also like to note that picking the car that’s “most sportscar-like” in a “gt showdown” is just stupid. Hey lets compare best luxury coupes of the 1990s! We’ll have an SC400, a Mazda Cosmo, and an S14 Silvia K’s. Silvia is the lightest and most responsive, Silvia wins! Herp Derp

    • Ricky Silverio says:

      The article and the cars chosen were based on comparable cars in period, when all these cars were available in the same time frame. It is just interesting to note the prices of the cars today, but it was not the impetus for this comparo. These are all “GT” cars and would have all been classified in the same class if they raced all together. The 2000GT although a GT car in classification was praised as being very Sportscar Like goes above and beyond it’s intended purpose. However thats what the Japanese always strive for in many things.

      Actually the 2000gt is ahead in development and lead time as both the C2 Vette & E-Type Were being drawn out in the late 50’s…

      The comparison would be akin to an 80’s Comparo test of C4 Vette, Supra & Jag XJ-S, which would also be equals in period.

      • pstar says:

        You do know that GT40s and Ferrari Daytonas are from exactly the same period as well, don’t you? And that their price, then and now, is more comparable to a 2000GT than it was to an Etype or a Corvette? And are also “GT” cars? How about the fact that there were FOUR times as many Ferrari Daytonas made as 2000GTs, maybe Daytonas aren’t exotic enough… maybe 2000GT should be compared against a Lamborghini Miura, how to you think it’ll do, Mr. Japanese Superiority? Oh wait, even twice as many Miuras were made as 2000GTs?

        Do you have any idea how stupid and biased it is to compare EXTREMELY limited production rare halo cars to mass-produced cars, and then brag when somebody picks the exotic rarity as the winner?

        You claim a 2000GT is going above and beyond its intended purpose, because Japanese racial superiority or whatever. Except that the 2000GT doesn’t even match the Etype and Corvette and the intended purpose of being a GT car. Seeing as how it is competing with 50% of the power, it simply isn’t as capable of a high speed cruiser as the Corvette and Etype. You know, the POINT of a “GT” car.

        It might be the better sportscar, but then why not compare it to a Lotus Elan or Porsche 911?

        I’m seeing nothing but a bunch of automotive weeaboos getting their biases confirmed. Hell your guys’ whole argument is built on a strawman where the big meany Jaguar fans ignorantly insult Japanese cars (except they didn’t), so you guys all act like a bunch of youtubers and insult the non-Japanese cars.

        Kind of surreal, a bunch of guys who spent so long complaining that Japanese “classics” were supposedly laughed at and underappreciated, go on to laugh at and underappreciate seminal cars like Jaguar E types and C2 Vettes.

        Again, this is like somebody picking an LFA as a winner over a Corvette and a Porsche Boxter. Yay! What a victory for the underdog!

      • Ben Hsu says:

        Well, you seem to be missing the point. The cars in the article were chosen because they were similarly priced when new. It wasn’t based on what they’re worth now. A Daytona or Miura cost more than double each of those cars back then.

        Also, I happen to like Corvettes.

  8. Mark says:

    Do we really want the rest of the world to start acknowledging how great JNC’s really are though? I like the fact that JNC’s are less popular than British and American historic cars (to most people in Britain and America). If too many people start appreciating JNC’s, the cost to purchase these beautiful and rare JNC’s from the auctions (or private sale) are going to sky-rocket!

    I also don’t want every man nor woman rolling around the streets on a Sunday afternoon in their JNC’s. In other words, I like the fact that you dont see many JNC’s on the streets as opposed to American and British historic cars.

    Imagine if say everyone had Corollas cruising the streets with Watanabes, bolt on flares and fender mirrors! That sh*t aint cool. It would be like every man with his 69 Mustang (I still love Mustangs lol).

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