No matter how carefully I spell my letters to Santa (I even used a ball-point pen this year!), the fat jolly bastard never ever gets me the one thing that always sits at the top of my wish list: a 1967 Toyota 2000GT.
Still, I can hardly blame the guy. Aside from being out of production for over 38 years, only 351 2000GT?s were ever made and most of those that remain are locked away in private collections. Oh yes, they also cost around $300,000 these days.
But there?s another avenue to 2000GT ownership that doesn?t involve hanging out at rare car auctions and the like: get master metalsmith Shin Yoshikawa to build you one.
Yoshikawa-san is a California-based fabricator, and one of his most recent projects was the hand-crafting of an entire aluminium body for a 2000GT hardtop.
Now, this ain?t your average resto. For starters, the donor car?s shell apparently had a rather bad case of rust, so Shin decided to take the bold move of fabricating a complete replica shell, floorpan and all. Furthermore, the original 2000GT chassis was made out of steel. Shin?s replica is made entirely out of aluminium. Brave man.
Amazingly, Shin?s insane fabrication skills were able to turn a pile of raw aluminium sheets and tubing into a faultless reproduction of a 2000GT body, and one that should also be considerably lighter than standard. It?s an amazing display of automotive craftsmanship, and although it?s still unfinished I urge all of you to take the time and check out Yoshikawa-san?s website for more pics and even more ambitious restorations.
Where Santa fails, Shin Yoshikawa can provide. Yoshikawa-san, we salute you.