Tree falls on million-dollar Toyota

1967 Toyota 2000 GT (file)

1967 Toyota 2000 GT (file)  (Toyota)

It’s not exactly a case of “Man Bites Dog,” but a tree in Japan has hit a million-dollar sports car, destroying the extremely rare coupe.

The Toyota 2000 GT, one of only 351 built between 1967 and 1970, was being driven down a road in the country’s Toyoama prefecture on the west coast when a 100-foot tall tree fell on top of it.

According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, the tree was rotten on the inside, but was a protected species and couldn’t be chopped down. Amazingly, while the car was absolutely flattened, the driver only suffered minor injuries.

The 2000 GT is considered Japan’s first supercar. Inspired by the Jaguar E-Type, it was a joint effort between Toyota and Yamaha, which designed its 150 hp, 2.0-liter inline-6-cylinder engine.

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The car became famous around the world when Sean Connery’s James Bond character took a ride in a custom convertible version of the 2000 GT in the film “You Only Live Twice.”

Toyota never put the drop-top model into production.

Prices for the remaining cars have skyrocketed in recent years, topping $1.15 million at an auction in Fort Worth, Tex., in 2013, making it the most expensive Asian car ever sold.