Toyota South Africa has released fresh details on its ongoing 2000 GT restoration. This time round, it's all about colour...
Toyota unveiled its 2000 GT sports car to the world at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show, the first car of its kind from a Japanese automotive manufacturer. The public wanted more but they would have to wait another two years before the car made it into the showroom. Those who were lucky enough to acquire the 2000 GT had the choice of six different colours to choose from. These included Atlantis Green, Bellatrix Yellow, Pegasus White, Twilight Turquoise, Solar Red and Thunder Silver. The latter being of importance to this story…
Trying to restore a rare classic car is a daunting task on its own but trying to do that same restoration during a global pandemic does bring a host of challenges. Thankfully, all those involved in this project have shown passion and dedication and despite the obstacles, the project is well underway. We last saw the 2000 GT when it was split, body from chassis. Both were prepped and sent to Dino’s Auto Body for a complete refurbishment which saw dents being fixed, panels re-aligned and finally, a new layer of paint applied.
Dino’s Auto Body was founded in 2006, its founders have decades of combined industry experience. While the company specialises in a variety of repair work on many modern vehicles, it also has a classic vehicle and restorations department. Dino's Classic Restorations has refurbished a host of classic vehicles over the years, a walk around the workshop floor reaffirms their reputation. Ironically amongst the plethora of classic vehicles being restored is a Jaguar E-Type - which at the time was the 2000 GT’s main competitor on and off the track.
Despite Dino’s experience on classic vehicles, like many involved in this project, they have never seen, let alone worked on a Toyota 2000 GT before. The years had taken their toll on this particular example. The paint was clearly in need of work as many scratches, touch-ups and dents littered the body. The sump cover panel and lower valance had been somewhat deformed over the years of bumping into pavements or speed humps. Before any paint could be applied, the complete removal of all surface material was needed to establish what work needed to be done.
Once the paint had been stripped from the aluminium body it was discovered that some repair work was needed in certain areas. Lead needs to be heated and applied to the affected area where it can be smoothed out after it has cooled and hardened. This specialist (and ‘old school’) procedure was carried out by the team in various places on the 2000 GT.
Once the paint stripping and repair work had been completed, the vehicle was ready for paint. However, another challenge awaited the restoration project and it was the colour. According to records, this specific 2000 GT, chassis number MF10-10207 left the factory in Thunder Silver. Its transition to Solar Red remains a mystery however, even those who worked on the vehicle seem to agree that it was originally red. This belief stems from the fact that red paint can be found behind the dashboard, under the carpets and under the headliner.