In the late 1960s Toyota wanted to highlight thdeir 2000GT model for the North American market. With a successful run of domestic sporting successes behind them, they approached American racing legend Carroll Shelby to manage two of their cars in the production class of the SCCA (Sport Car Club of America) Series. A third car was retained as a spare and used for development work.
Track preparation focused on tyres, suspension and a new cylinder head with the car eventually pushing out around 200bhp from its in-line straight-six. Drivers for the series were Scooter Patrick and Dave Jordan who faced stiff opposition from the dominant Porsche 911s.
A Porsche eventually took the overall title but Patrick and Jordan, with a number of wins to their credit, finished the series in second and third places respectively.
To pay tribute to the success of the 2000GT, Toyota has recreated a GT86 in the image of the American racers of nearly 50 years ago. The Shelby tribute car is finished in the colours and graphics of the 2000GT and like the original sits on lowered suspension and raw finish alloy wheels.
The car is seen here at the Donnelly and Taggart Toyota showroom near Eglinton in Co Derry with customer service girls Melanie and Victoria.