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Toyota Sells for $1.1M - I MIssed the Boat Again!

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Back in 1970 I went to work as a mechanic for a Chrysler/Toyota dealer in Mabbetsville, NY. I was less than a year out of high school but I was eager to own my first "new" car.

The dealer wouldn't let me (the kid) work on the big expensive Chryslers and I was relegated to working on the Toyotas - the cheap cars. Back then you could buy three Corollas for less than $5K. I felt deeply humiliated.

Within six months I was looking at purchasing my first car and started ogling the late '69 Pontiac Firebirds 'cuz my hero Jerry Titus was racing one of the prototype bodies on the TransAm circuit. One of the guys in the shop said, "There is a customer wants to sell his 2000GT why don't you buy it? I hear this is the last year they're importing them."

I looked at the price of the 2000GT - a little over $6K and compared it to what Pontiac wanted for a balls-to-the-wall fully loaded TransAm - less than $5K and said, "No way I'm buying a six cylinder when I can drive American V8 power for less." I bought the Pontiac and within two years was paying so much for insurance I had to sell it.

A decade later when I was stationed at Ft. Devens, MA I became curious about whatever happened to that 2000GT and I tracked it down. It was in a collector car dealer's showroom just over the state line in New Hampshire. I drove up there one weekend with my new wife, Yung, to look at it. It was a thing of beauty, a canary yellow coupe; one of only a very rare few with left-hand drive. I asked the guy what he wanted for it. "$52K," he answered. Deflated, I drove back to Ft. Devens. No way I could afford to pay as much as a house for a car when on my military paycheck I could barely make ends meet.

Haven't thought about that car much since but I have watched the prices for those cars soar over the years and thought more than once, "Why didn't I just go halves with one of my brothers and buy the danged thing.

A couple of summers ago, I finally attained one lifelong dream. I managed to purchase a '58 Packard Hawk - one of only 588 ever made and I'm in the process of restoring that. I'd wanted one since I was a kid, so it truly was a dream come true.

Tonight I got a newsletter email from an automotive auction house telling me about a record-breaking Toyota sale. I clicked on the link and my stomach turned over - there was that canary yellow 2000 GT coupe - just sold by RM Auctions for $1.15M.

Whew, shoulda, coulda, woulda - who'da thunk it?



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