The Details Matter

The Details Matter - Blog

The Details Matter

Toyota/Shelby 2000GT Serial #1 and 2000GT Convertible


The thunderous wave that vibrated through my body and the deafening sound of the straight pipe monster was well worth the price for taking rolling shots of the Shelby 2000GT this past week. Though not street legal, we were able to find a block to ride down, complete with me hanging out the window while Evan Yesmentes timed his pace and acceleration perfectly with the striking car that I wanted to capture in action.I met this vehicle at The Boston Cup last September. As it entered the Boston Commons, everyone stopped to look as it drove across the grounds. What a beaut! The sound reverberated through the park and everyone felt the wave of energy it produced. I was part of this crowd looking with amazement, but was speechless and in awe since this was the first 2000GT I had seen in person. Not only that, it wasn’t just a 2000GT but the Toyota/Shelby 2000GT, Serial Number 1.  Number 1. Magnificent! This car has been on my Cars to Shoot List for a while and getting this opportunity allowed me to capture the personality and character of a rare car. Bob Tkackic, co-owner, was prepping the car before I approached him. We talked about setting a shoot soon in the future to get some exquisite shots.Two of my friends, Evan Yesmentes and Dave Gallagher, assisted me in the shoot. Evan has been my driver for most of my rolling shots.  We have a system that works very well...communication and trust.  Everything is planned out before we get in the cars.  We are always concerned primarily with making a dangerous situation as safe as possible.  For this shoot one block of road is all we had to work with for the rolling shot.When we arrived at Bob’s place, I didn't know what we were walking into. Inside, a torn apart 1965 Elva MKII sat aloof near an area that had evidence that a jam band had been there recently.  I saw the 2000GT on the lift and I scanned over it meticulously. Bob must have seen that I was highly interested and he proceeded to open a garage on the far wall, which housed some very rare automobiles.  There were hidden gems behind an old door! I decided then that I was going to use this room as it was much larger. Plus, the adornment of other nice cars surrounding the Shelby would accentuate the picture.  The lighting was indirect and perfectly displayed.Bob shared a story of how Toyota wanted the Serial Number 1 car that I was photographing and that Bob and Peter owned. Looking for a deal, Bob and Peter offered the trade in return for the original prized James Bond convertible.  When Toyota turned down the offer, Bob and Peter took one of their other 2000GT's and cut the roof off to create their own convertible, a James Bond replica. One may argue that there are now two of these iconic cars. Seeing as Toyota didn’t create the original off the assembly line, both original and replica are similar structurally. Toyota’s was a hard top initially, however, when Sean Connery, playing Bond, could not fit inside without hitting his head on the roof, the top was chopped off, so they were still able to use the car in the movie “You Only Live Twice”. The only noticeable difference between the two is the driving side: the original is right, while their replica is left. They did a superlative job recreating theirs and have even more fun driving it.This Toyota/Shelby 2000GT is the most historically significant car to ever come out of Japan to the US, and is one of three cars campaigned by Carroll Shelby. Japan was interested in marketing this vehicle to the public and did so in a nontraditional way. They believed if they could “wow” the fans from the side of the racetrack they could get them interested in purchasing the vehicle from Toyota's showrooms. They raced the cars before making them available. Once they had a following and a market for the vehicle, they made models of the car to sell.  This car specifically was driven by Dave Jordan, who was one of two drivers to race Japan's first sports car in America.Being near the car, I could feel the history this car radiated. I could hear the motor roar its story of the roads it has traveled, the drivers it has had and the places it will one day go. That was the feeling I wanted the pictures to convey.Just keepin’ it to the details.