NEWS: Tree-damaged Toyota 2000GT arrives at repair shop

Toyota 2000GT crushed

We were all saddened by the recent loss of a Toyota 2000GT in Japan, crushed when it passed under a tree at the exact instant the aged beech decided to fall. The good news is, the owner has decided to rebuild it. We have the technology. 

Toyota 2000GT tree crushed

A friend of a friend in Japan snapped this photo of the ill-fated flagship being dropped off at a well known repair shop. The 2000GT could be the last project for the shop’s old “meister,” who is nearing retirement, if he decides to take on the project.

Theoretically, as long as the number plate still exists, the rest of the car can be rebuilt around it, as long as there’s the will to do it. It’s been done with rare European race cars before, and with just 337 original production units of the 2000GT built to being with, having this work of automotive art back on the road is practically a duty of humanity. Luckily, there appears to be enough support on this “Revive Toyota 2000GT” Japanese Facebook group, created specifically for the crushed example, that no matter who does the work it will live to drive another day.

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31 Responses to NEWS: Tree-damaged Toyota 2000GT arrives at repair shop

  1. gypsy says:

    Looks like they used the “jaws of life” to cut the driver out.

    I’m surprised he didn’t just collect the insurance and be greatful he survived. I admire their determination but is it really worth it, that car is trash no matter how you look at it. I know 2 or 3 people in Melbourne that could rebuild it custom making panels etc, but the entire car would practically need to be picked apart.

    Is this a case of more money than sense ?

    • Mike says:

      gypsy, you obviously have no idea what a 2000gt is.

      • gypsy says:

        I have a fair idea what it is…. At the end of the day it’s a rare car just like lots of other rare cars. Obviously the owner is loaded, it’ll take years to fix, find and manufacture unobtainable parts for a car like that. The thing looks like its been hit by a train, yes anything can be fixed but seriously…… Good luck to them.

        • Mike says:

          Sorry, no disrespect gypsy but you really have no idea judging from your comments. A rare car is just that, it’s not like other cars. If it was like other cars, then it wouldn’t be rare. 2000GT’s are changing hands for over US$1m. And as others have said, it’s a project of passion so if even if the repair bill is a little over $1m, in my opinion it would still be worth it. Any car enthusiast would understand that.

          • CG says:

            Mike stop being a JDM fan boi.
            G’s right That thing it totaled and even if it repaired its essentially going to end up being a NEW non-original car.

            I think what will happen is they’ll get half way through with the rebuild then ditch it.

    • Jim-Bob says:

      No, not at all. The car is worth far more than the cost of repair, even if it is being done by the old master we all believe will do it. By the time it is done, it is likely that market forces will have pushed it’s value north of $2 million. This is one of those cars that have joined the ranks of the Mercedes 300SL gullwing, vintage Ferraris and others that make more money sitting in a garage for a month than a normal person makes in a year. Even if it costs half a million dollars to restore, that’s still cheap compared to replacing it with another. Likely it is also easier than just buying another too as these don’t come on the market very often. This isn’t a 1980’s Supra.

      • Matt says:

        I’m not convinced this has anythiing to do with money. Lets face it. this particular example will NEVER regain it’s full value. Would you pay the same price for completely destroyed and then rebuilt 2000gt when you could wait for a perfect never been crashed example to come up? Plaqin and simple this is a rare car that the owner is willing to pay whatever it costs to have back. It wont be worth bugger all but to the owner it’s everything. Good on him and also good luck to him. I think he has a long road ahead even just organising someone else to build it. On this note, does anyone know whats happened to the original 2000gt moulds?

  2. Lachlan says:

    To me it looks like a project of passion rather than thinking about the financial sense. I can respect that. Sometimes a man bonds with machine and you would do anything to keep it going. In this case though it’s a particularly rare car so at least it would be worth something substantial even if the repair bill exceeds its market value.

  3. Bill says:

    In this case it’s not about the money. Jay Leno says all the time that he is the president of the more-money-than-brains club, but it takes a lot of money to keep these rolling masterpieces alive and thriving for the generations to come. These collectors of fine historic automobiles are basically curators of historically significant pieces of art. These cars tell stories of human achievement, passion, and skill unlike any other art form. These are sculptures we can interact with. They stir up emotion and opinion visually, sure, but to drive something of this importance and keep it going for posterity is not something you can put a price on. The value of these historic vehicles, and what they say about the people who built them and care for them, far exceeds what someone can insure it for or win it for at auction.

  4. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!! Glad it’s being restored.

  5. Randy says:

    Having reread the article, I have questions:

    First, would love to know more about any 28-year-old who can afford a million-dollar sports car – mostly just to find out where the hell I went wrong…

    Did “they” cut down the rest of the tree, or are “they” waiting for it to happen again?

    Are “they” checking the other trees around there?

    Too bad Toyota didn’t make a bunch of these, so somebody like Dynacorn could provide a new shell, without having to custom fabricate piece-by-piece, or at least to get body panels individually.

    Maybe the owner had it insured for the million-ish they seem to be worth. That would certainly help to ease the hit.

    • Ryan says:

      Simple! Take out a hefty loan as a 23 year old, a year or two after working 60 hour weeks in your nice new job in law, straight out of University – thanks to your crazy Japanese work ethic.

      • Randy says:

        Are they still doing that? I remember reading an article like, 10 years ago that men were literally dropping dead at their desks. If that’s what it takes, I’ll drive the Kia, and have a wife and kids who recognize me when I roll through the front door.

    • Jim-Bob says:

      I wonder if it wouldn’t make sense for Dynacorn to make one? I mean, reproduce the shell and glass, but then also offer a set of mounts and control arms allowing someone to fit a newer Toyota’s mechanical parts to the repop 2000gt shell. The rest of it though, is too scary to contemplate. 3D printing anyone?

    • cesariojpn says:

      “First, would love to know more about any 28-year-old who can afford a million-dollar sports car – mostly just to find out where the hell I went wrong…”

      Probably in the sex industry, in an “outcall” agency.

  6. Darryl says:

    When a car is ‘worth/valued’ at a million dollars, it does not get ‘totalled’. If you can spend $500,000 to rebuild one worth $1 Million, you do. Vintage Ferrari (and other notable marque) racecars that get smashed at the historic race events go through this fairly regularly. The only question here is who’s footing the bill. Insurance policy in place to cover this? Owner rich enough to cover it himself? Either way, its an economic decision. Nice to have the opinion that they are rebuilt for the ’emotional reactions’ they cause, though. As long as it gets fixed, I’m good with either.

    • Dave says:

      That is a very interesting point. I’m not used to cars of this value, nor will I ever be =P Looking at the top (gut-wrenching) photo, it looks about as *totaled* as anything gets, so much so that I’m having trouble imagining the tree that did this. (Whomping Willow? One of those Lord of the Rings Ents?) As someone mentioned, also looks like rescuers cut the roof off to rescue the driver. It doesn’t look like there’re any substantial parts of the body that escaped undamaged. Now, this car has a backbone chassis on which the body sits, and that may be alright or at least repairable within reason. Point is, after spending half a million $ repairing this car, how much will it be *worth*? Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that it’ll be repaired, kinda like Porco Rosso’s totaled seaplane. (I just dropped 3 geek bombs.) But how do accidents like this impact these high-value cars? Also seems like Toyota should step in on the rebuild effort, would be good PR.

  7. Dom says:

    With the sheer amount of damage done to the car, it would seem that you’d be better off trying to get original blueprints from toyota and recreating a “new” 2000GT from scratch and using that as a parts car, salvaging what’s not damaged. The car just seems too damaged to properly repair.

    this is all wild ideas though. I wonder if Toyota would release the engineering material behind old cars (if the records even exist)

    • Eli says:

      Exactly. People jumping straight on the “repair it” bandwagon have probably never sneezed at the restoration process let alone undertaken it. They go on about worth this, valued at that, cost this, but it’s missing the definition and point. Very little of the original parts or metal will be present, so really, what’s the difference between blueprint building one from scratch and “restoring” this one? Odds are the parts used from this one would be the engine, maaaaybe the chassis rails, diff and a panel here or there once heavily worked. Virtually anything used from this would be damaged beyond recognition, so once bent back to the right shape it would lose a lot of its strength. To regain that strength you have to heat treat it. Ergo, doing the same things you do to make a brand new panel – bend metal, shape it, and heat treat it. So what’s the difference between “restoring this one” and making a brand new one? Perhaps some of the scrap metal used to belong to this car. But that scrap metal probably used to belong to a tin can or a washing machine before it became a 2000GT to begin with. All up, if you got a couple of bits from a car and built it around new parts it’s no different than using a donor car at a wrecking yard. You’re not rebuilding that car, you’re using a few parts off of it.

      My two cents is people have completely lost perspective. Good on them for making another 2000GT, but the ID tags and the source of the scrap metal will be the only things separating the end result from a very carefully crafted kit car or extra “brand new” item.

  8. gypsy says:

    Hmmm not sure about going the one off Dynacorn route !

    I doubt cars used at race events are covered by any sort of insurance. Cars like this are normally insured through some sort of specialist broker. I doubt any insurance company would want the headache of arguing with the repairer and project managing the repair of a car like this. I wouldn’t be surprised if they just pay out, give the owner the wreck to do as they please as specialist insurers do in Australia.

    Although 2000GTs do nothing for me as do many other other expensive rare exotics, as a classic car lover I do feel sorry for the owner (just incase you thought I was heartless!)

    I had the privilege of training with 3 metal working freaks over a 3 year period after work who can make anything out of a sheet of steel. I’ve seen XA Falcon (Australian) coupe rear quarters (huge) tapped out in front of my own eyes. I was invited to one of the instructors homes to watch him tap out running boards and guards on some 2mil exotic that I had never heard of.

    What is more interesting to myself regarding this insane rebuild is how much of the original shell will be retained 30%, 40%… 50% ? If they aren’t keeping much of the old shell, is a reshell a better option seeing you’re discarding most of what matters (body shell) ?

    I look at the how the rescuers cut through the inner frame at the A and C pillars and think. Will this be repaired by welding the reworked off cuts to their original location OR will they be unpicking the exterior A pillar, sill panels, rear quarter panels and tapping out a new inner frame to erase any evidence of damage? The floor also appears to have a slight V bent into it. There are repairs and then there are repairs.

    If they are serious about fixing it like some of these old metal freaks can do, I hope they put up detailed photos. I look all over the net for these regardless of marque. The one thing that seems consistent is these metal freaks always seem to do it as a hobby in some unimpressive shed. The last one someone kindly passed on was a roof fabrication repair to an old Chev wagon…..

    • Randy says:

      Well, I didn’t really mean Dynacorn, per se, just to be clear, but somebody like them, so it wouldn’t be such a total nightmare to repair… These were racers, so they were going to get abused.

      Can you imagine if there was a company that made repair parts for them?

      What I was thinking, was that if Toyota had made the full-on race version, and a lot of street models, there’d be a better aftermarket, so something like a taillight bezel wouldn’t have to be custom fabricated.

      I get that it wouldn’t be as valuable, but that’s a market decision.

      Recently, a ’71 Hemi ‘cuda sold for $3.5M – it’s a 1-of-1, but it was a restored car – correct but not original -, and it could be restored with a few clicks and a black card, which is really more of my point; most are NOT 1-of-1, or something found in the garages of Jay Leno, Tim Allen, or God. Most are not worth $1M, but they’re fixable.

      Can you imagine as Jim-Bob said, being able to get the body and “upfitting” newer mechanicals, to make a “kit” car? Most of us are lucky to SEE a million-dollar car, but at least some could sort of build their own. Could save a lot of the classics that get trashed in drifting… Could be its own market…

  9. steve wade says:

    Is it worth it?
    I can’t say, not my cup of tea
    But it like the previous post
    Built, not bought

  10. Wow this is great news!
    1) The japanese people love their cars even more than i love my cars. Real otaku’s so it’s no special think in my opinion.
    2) I guess all the bodypanels and parts are still available by Toyota Japan so only the shell probably needs a full reconstruction.And they still can re-use the rear left wheel 🙂
    3) I think if a car is worh 1,2Million USD and a repair probably costs half the price and probably even the insurrance pays something too then it’s worth saving one of these rare cars. Especially if you’re 28 years old, and have an even more expensive car with a cool history 30 years later which will be even more expensive in that future!! think about it 😉
    4) The old master of sheet-metal will have a nice pay-check once the car is done for his retirement and he probably deserves it.

  11. Barney says:

    What do you mean “as long as the number plate still exists, the rest of the car can be rebuilt around it”?!?! Can’t a person just build a car without a number plate?!?!

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