This beautiful car came about thanks to the producers of James Bonds 5th outing "You Only Live Twice" wanting a convertible Japanese sports car for use in the movie. The superb looking Toyota 2000GT was the ideal Japanese "Bond" car but it was only made as a coupe. Toyota were quick to see the benefit of having their car on the silver screen in the latest James Bond movie (which was likely to be one of the biggest movies released in 1967), so they happily made two custom built convertible versions of the 2000GT. Of the two cars built for use in the movie, one I believe resides in the Toyota museum in Japan, while the whereabouts of the second car is not known. It is rumoured to be in a private collection in Japan, but it is just as likely it no longer exists.
A third convertible 2000GT was built up from a derelict 2000GT coupe by the "Cars the Star" museum in the UK. This museum has several "Bond" cars including a number of Aston Martins and Lotuses (or "Loti"???) and wanted to add one of the "You Only Live Twice" 2000GTs. Unfortunately for them there was no way Toyota was going to sell their example and the second car was no where to be found, so the only thing to do was convert a coupe into a replica of the Bond version. This was not as easy as it sounded either as only 337 2000GTs were built and they are highly sought after by classic car collectors. So to cut the roof off a good Coupe would be sacrilege. Hence a derelict almost beyond restoration coupe was found and this was used as the basis for the Bond car replica. Interestingly, even though the replica convertible was never anywhere near a film set, it has the original "Bond" gadgets from the movie in it. In fact the only gadget seen in the car was a closed circuit TV camera system on which Bond watches the badguys being dumped into Tokyo Bay, which was located behind the seats.
The Toyota museum car which was used as the guide for this model lacks this feature, hence so does this model. The Bond prop was removed from the film car before it was given back to Toyota and went into storage in the UK. The builders of the replica car managed to find it and added this "original" part to the replica car!
Another interesting fact about this car is that it is the only "Bond" car that the man himself never drove. Sean Connery's Bond is chauffeured around Tokyo in the convertible by Aki, who works for Japans secret service. The actress who played her couldn't drive! So for the scene where she picks up Bond outside Osato Enterprises from which he is fleeing, just out of camera shot are stage hands who had to push the car into the scene with her at the wheel! Most of the driving scenes are shot from a distance with a double driving or are against a blue screen with a back projected street scene behind the car.
AUTOart did a good job on this particular model, with it's nicely detailed 2 litre straight six engine and a fully carpeted interior including a steering wheel that has photoetched metal spokes. The wire wheels look good considering they are made of plastic (the last word in wire wheels has to be those by CMC and Exoto which are genuinely made from wire) and behind them are AUTOarts fantastic looking disc brakes. I think the movie car might have had a black dashboard instead of the wooden one on this model, but it does look good! AUTOart have since released a coupe version of the 2000GT which has added a number of features such as lights that pop up and opening panels on the front wings (which are non-functional on this model) which objectively make it a better model, but personally I prefer the Bond version as I love anything got to do with 007!