Car Inspiration: The Toyota That Lived Twice
We recently interviewed car collector Jane Weitzmann. Here she is interviewed by Toyota about her extremely rare 2000GT model. It became world-famous as the star car in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice.
"We did discover during the restoration there had been a bullet hole."
A Car With A Secret Repair
The UK restoration team discovered that a bullet had been fired through the driver’s door. According to Jayne, “We don’t have a lot of history on the car, but we did discover during the restoration there had been a bullet hole. It would have hit the driver somewhere in the upper thigh, so that could account for the (crash) damage that had obviously been done to the front end at some point.” So where did the whole car thing come from?
“It was my father and brother, Dad in particular was always into Jaguars. Then with my late husband we started collecting together.
In The Beginning
“My first car was a Triumph Spitfire, I inherited some money, about £500 and I spent it all on a car, which has pretty much been the story of my life ever since. At one point I did have forty-five and that was probably a few too many and a little out of hand. I had to cut it back to a more manageable level."
Surely dealing with such a large group of cars can’t be easy? “The real secret of looking after just one car or a dozen, is to use them. If you just like looking at one you’d be better off buying a picture. They must have exercise, when you park them in a garage, the seals dry out and all sorts of other issues arise. Even if you do things properly by putting them on axle stands there is always a high recommission cost when you want to use them again. That’s why all of my cars are on a six to eight week rotation and constantly trickle charged, so they always start.
"For many of these cars it is impossible to write them off because of their value."
”Then it is a case of driving them? “Absolutely, there is no point in being precious. I take sensible precautions, I am never reckless and for many of these cars it is impossible to write them off because of their value.”
How refreshing then to meet a collector who is not hung up about mileage. Someone who actually enjoys driving. However, choosing which ones to collect in the first place must be difficult?
“No it couldn’t be simpler. I must like the car and driving it because this is my passion, Quite honestly, I have never bought a car to make money, although the fact they often become investments is certainly helpful. That effectively makes this a free pastime, although there are always running costs to consider. I believe it is important to point out that I regard myself as not just a collector, but more as a curator. I look after these classics for a certain time, then it will be someone else’s turn.”
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