Shown in final production form at the 14th Tokyo Motor Show in 1967, the iconic Toyota 2000GT was first painted gold in order to stand out while posing next to British supermodel Twiggy.
After the show, the Japanese automaker gave the 1967 show car (frame #10130, engine #10181) to Twiggy as a token of gratitude for her help on stage. She actually took delivery of the car in February 1968.
However, seen as how Twiggy was only 18-years old and didn’t have a driver’s license, driving duties were handed to her boyfriend and manager Justin de Villeneuve and soon after, ownership of the car was relinquished and the 2000GT ended up on the set of a new US TV production called ‘The Ugliest Girl in Town’.
Unfortunately for purists, the car had to be modified with psychedelic, painted graphics, though its presence on screen was limited seen as how the TV series ended up being a commercial disaster. Following its cameo in the cancelled ABC sitcom, the gold 2000GT was resprayed bright red and shipped to the US, where it was eventually purchased by Toyota USA in 1981 and sent to a classic car specialist in California for a full restoration.
Ironically, the gold color wasn’t discovered until a couple of decades later when an engine fire led to another restoration by Shin Yoshikawa of Studio Time Capsule, a master fabricator. After looking at the car, Yoshikawa realized that it had been covered in an inappropriate red shade from the Ferrari palette, as a tiny arc of gold paint was still visible around the door latch.
Once the color was cross-referenced against the frame and engine codes, the car was instantly elevated to an iconic status, as it was one of only two in existence. Those same codes also connected it back to its early life as Toyota’s 1960s show star.
In order to get it looking mint (like in the pictures below), Twiggy’s 2000GT went through a full restoration with a bare metal respray. In the end, a total of seven coats of gold paint were applied, topped with three coats of lacquer.