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You may have clicked this article bemused. Thinking Lamborghini and Toyota may indeed produce iconic and brilliant driving cars, but the two can never have a fair comparison between them. The Miura, like all Lamborghinis, racked up an abundance of famous owners including Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Eddie Van Halen, and Rod Stewart. It also stars alongside Micheal Caine as the car from the opening scene of The Italian Job. In other words, the Miura is cool. The Toyota 2000GT acted as the Japanese manufacturer’s response to the likes of the E-type and the first Datsun Z-cars. Stylish yet on a completely different level.
However, with both these vehicles arrived at the garage of British classic car specialist Iain Tyrrell who, according to himself, acts as “The voice of classic cars.” Tyrrell’s mechanical knowledge goes near unmatched. The go-to mechanic in the island nation for the likes of Harry Metcalfe, former owner of Evo magazine, for cars such as his Countach. Tyrrell has spent his entire life around cars. Starting as a trainee mechanic for Rolls-Royce, founding his company Tyrrell Engineering and then Cheshire Classic Cars. As a result of this, he then received a license to work on Rolls-Royce again but not as an official dealer. With all of this, there is no one with more breadth of experience to turn to when understanding these two classic cars.
These two classic cars gave birth to the most influential lineages of sports cars ever.
Why Are The Miura And 2000GT Similar?
British Automotive YouTube channel Number 27, otherwise known as Jack, draws attention to both of these cars. According to the YouTuber, these are “the most significant sports cars of their era.” Jack cites that the Miura, introduced in 1966, was the first mid-engined supercar and the 2000GT, launching in 1967, acted as the first car to show just what Japan could produce.
The Miura, with its tractor-derived engine, gave birth to the lineage of V12 Lamborghinis that gearheads lust over. Without the Miura there is no Countach, Diablo, Murcielago or Aventador. Without this run of vehicles, Ferrari would not have introduced the mid-engine road-going cars. Instead, the company’s road cars would have kept the front-engined rear-wheel-drive layout of the company’s grand tourers. The first mid-engined road Ferrari, the Berlinetta Boxer, came in 1973.
The 2000GT has a similar effect on the Japanese domestic market. A highly desirable car, according to Classic.com, an aggregator of classic car prices, the 2000GT on average sells for $1.2 million. Over the past five years, as of this writing, Classic.com found only eight sales of the vehicle. Prior to this model, the marque produced the Sport 800, a Targa topped Kei car. In the 2000GT’s legacy comes the Celica, Supra, and MR2 lines. The vehicles the 2000GT led to result in Toyota’s legendary status in the JDM scene.
What Does Iain Tyrrell Think Of The 2000GT?
Tyrrell claims that the 2000GT makes the “MG B GT look like a minibus.” Just like the Sport 800 before it, the 2000GT is incredibly small, in keeping with the design language of Japanese vehicles of the time. The mechanic refers to both of these vehicles as “children of the ’60s,” and with that comes certain limitations that both cars strive to push. Tyrrell draws the comparison between the 2000GT and contemporary Lotus models with steel construction and small suspension arms, lightness is Toyota’s objective. Weighing in at just less than 2,500 lbs this certainly is the case.
In 2019 Tyrrell had two of these cars in for work. As one of Britain’s foremost classic car experts, he fabricated broken parts and reconditioned components like the suspension. Just like all classics, the 2000GT undergoes wear and tear. Even though they carry might price tags and rarely set tires to the road these cars still need the usual maintenance.
What Does Tyrrell Think Of The Miura?
According to Tyrell, the Miura is “brutish” calling it a “fighting bull”. The first car to leave the Lamborghini factory the Miura acts as the brand’s statement of intent. With Ferruccio Lamborghini setting his sights firmly on Ferrari the Miura succeeded and established the raging bull as a key player in the world of supercars. Over the years Tyrrell has spent plenty of time with classic Lamborghini. Recently taking on Harry Metcalfe’s Lamborghini Countach.
Back in 2019, Tyrrell’s blog featured a P400 Miura that he restored. Finished in a light blue, Tyrrell writes, “We have worked closely with the client to arrive at the final color scheme for this car, using our database of color mixes and formulas used by Bertone in period”. In a 2018 post titled, Lamborghini- crossing the Rubicon, Tyrrell proves himself as a master of the Miura and its V12 motor. Tyrrell proclaims the V12 unit an engineering marvel. However, its sole drawback is the regularity it needs rebuilds. “A life of as little as 20,000-25,000 miles between rebuilds is consequently not uncommon”, the Miura, just like all classics ,quickly ends up a money pit.
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