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Ten facts about James Bond’s Toyota 2000GT

Bond is back! The 25th James Bond film, No Time To Die, is in the cinemas now and has revived interest in the debonair British spy. What better time to remind you of James Bond’s Toyota 2000GT, which featured in the movie You Only Live Twice, the fifth in the Bond series, way back in…

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Bond is back! The 25th James Bond film, No Time To Die, is in the cinemas now and has revived interest in the debonair British spy. What better time to remind you of James Bond’s Toyota 2000GT, which featured in the movie You Only Live Twice, the fifth in the Bond series, way back in 1967.

Appearing in the midst of the Swinging Sixties, James Bond’s Toyota 2000GT, predominantly driven by main female star Akiko ‘Aki’ Wakabayashi in the film, was no ordinary 2000GT (if indeed there is such a thing!). Even Daniel Craig, who plays Bond in No Time To Die, has hailed the 2000GT as his personal favourite Bond car.

Thanks to the experts at CommanderBond.net and 2000GT.net, we can share ten interesting facts about the first Toyota supercar and its place in the 007 canon.

  • The Toyota 2000GT was unveiled at the Tokyo motor show in October 1965. It would become the star of show and was later seen in car magazines around the world, where it likely caught the eye of Bond producer, Albert R. ‘Cubby’ Broccoli.
  • Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of  “Zero-Zero” (as 007 is often referred to in Japan), Toyota was happy to assist with the supply of cars for the You Only Live Twice movie.
  • The first two 2000GTs to be used in the film were coupes (similar to that pictured above) but it soon became apparent that Sean Connery was too tall to comfortably fit in the car and filming of the interior shots proved tricky.
  • As a result, Toyota created two 2000GT roadsters to ensure the film crew could capture all the shots they needed. These were the only open-top 2000GT ever officially produced.

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonrb/4487075411/

  • The film’s main female star, Akiko ‘Aki’ Wakabayashi, was unable to drive, so two Toyota test drivers operated the pedals and gears for her.
  • Toyota (and ‘Q’, of course) installed a range of Sony gadgets to James Bond’s Toyota 2000GT. These included CCTV, a VCR, cameras behind the front number plate, two-way radios, voice-controlled tape recorder and an audio system.
  • The original coupes were sold on and remained in private ownership in the UK until 1995. Both models are now back in Japan.
  • The fate of the cars used in the film is less clear. Back in the 1970s one of them was reported to be wrecked, although the company who were tasked to dispose of were rumoured to have sold it to a private buyer.
  • The other 2000GT roadster was discovered in Hawaii in 1977 and eventually brought back to Japan and restored, where it now takes pride of place in the Toyota Museum. It is regarded as one of the most valued car in the collection.
  • In total, 351 2000GTs were produced (including for racing and movies) and 150 were shipped outside of Japan. It’s unknown how many are still in circulation but any put on auction can expect to sell for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

For more information about James Bond’s Toyota 2000GT, visit CommanderBond.net.

Details in this article were correct at the time of publication.

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Orchard business blossoms with Hilux help

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It’s late Sunday afternoon on one of the warmest spring days of the year. The ground looks dry and is already beginning to crack. Songbirds and bees compete for attention as the low sun gently warms thousands of blossoming apple trees on a south-facing hillside in the heart of Kent.

But with unseasonably low temperatures in the overnight weather forecast, the race is on to protect a 75-acre orchard from frost damage. One way to do this is to make sure the grass between each row of trees is kept short. This helps to increase airflow and reduces the chance of cold air settling. 

Claire Seymour, 43, gently edges her Toyota Hilux between a row of trees at Tubslake Farm, near Hawkhurst in Kent. Her pick-up’s white paintwork and red signwriting match the flowering pink and white Braeburn apple blossom. Her husband, Steve Bowles, also 43, then sets about unloading a large green Fendt 209V tractor from an enormous six-wheeled flat-bed trailer behind the Toyota. He starts up the brand new tractor and then begins to set up and test the Fisher variable-width mower before handing it over to its new owner for an evening of urgent grass cutting.

Claire is managing director of NP Seymour Ltd, an engineering and agricultural machinery dealer set up by her family in 1974. Based in nearby Cranbrook, the company supplies and makes equipment for orchards, vineyards and fruit growers across the UK. 

“We’ve had other pick-ups in the past but I was impressed with the comfort of the Hilux. We bought it from Beadles Toyota, Medway, in the spring of 2019.

“It’s the Invincible model and is fitted with off-road tyres and a Truckman top on the back. We use it all the time for customer deliveries all over the UK, visiting growers and going to shows. The 3.5-tonne towing capacity is really important to us as lots of our kit is very heavy,” explained Claire.

Surrounded by apple blossom, NP Seymour’s Toyota Hilux delivers a tractor to an orchard at Tubslake Farm, Hawkhurst, Kent.

“We’ve been really busy since we’ve owned it. Covid didn’t really slow us down at all. We just had a few difficulties with staff numbers. But the demand for our machinery hasn’t stopped.

“The Hilux has already done 50,000 miles, and absolutely nothing has gone wrong with it. We’ll definitely buy another Toyota when it’s time to replace this one,” she said, just before hurrying off, leaving the orchard in a cloud of dust to go and enjoy the rest of her Sunday evening with Steve.

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