Engine Swapping A Toyota 2000GT. Just Why?

The Skyline 2000 GT-R, or Hakosuka as most refer to it, has become a somewhat unobtainable Japanese classic over the last decade or so. The Kenmeri that came after it even more so as fewer were made by Nissan, not to mention the Z432 version of the Fairlady which is as rare and pricey as it gets for a vintage Nissan. But none of those cars can compete with the Toyota 2000GT when it comes to collectability.

Not only were just 351 examples produced, the gorgeous-looking Toyota is the only true Japanese million dollar classic.

With that in mind, why would anyone even think about, let alone carry through with swapping out the stock 3M engine for a later-gen and bigger capacity 7M? It’s precisely what I was wondering when I saw this race replica 2000GT sitting in the Fuji Speedway pits the other week.

Here’s a couple of reasons though. For starters, the 3.0L straight-six fits perfectly in the engine bay as it’s marginally longer than the 2000GT’s 2.0L straight-six, yet quite a lot narrower. With a larger capacity it obviously has the ability to produce more power and torque, and judging by the Webers I’m pretty sure this one is far from stock. It’s not a bad plan really: run a fast and fun, yet easy to replace engine in your 2000GT race replica, rather than risk hurting the valuable 3M.


Check out that interior, typically ’60s and typically Toyota with a quality fit and finish that’s really stood the test of time.


The trademark center exit exhausts remain.


This car is one of quite a few 2000GT from the M’s Vantec collection. Remember the guy that drives his Rothmans Porsche 962C on the street? Yep, it’s the same guy. The last time he let me have a wander through his cars, I counted six 2000GTs. All I have to do now is get permission to shoot the collection, something that borders on the impossible!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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I almost had a heart attack but an old dude swapping in a sacrificial 7m to save the 3m makes sense and I'm sure the original motor will be bagged and saved for later. I was worried it was going to get a 2jz and a set of over fenders.


At least 2JZ is still Toyota.


i was hoping for a 2jz and overfenders, just to see the internet implode.


Airrex and Forgiato, anyone?


That 911 a week or two ago almost killed me.

Matthew Dockery

This is different than the 911 in my opinion. Modifying a car that is unobtainable to most enthusiasts doesn't bother me as much as changing cars that could be kept stock and enjoyed by most enthusiast.

That, and RWB just isn't all that unique anymore -- at least not in my eyes.


RWB never was unique, it just caught the eye of the car enthusiast media. People have been modifying 911s to look closer to the Le Mans GT cars for decades


Simple answers to the question.

1. The owner has a copious amount of expendable capital (neutral fact)

2. Boredom (hypothesis based on experience)

Hey, it's lonely at the top.


Mikuni/Solex not Webers

not to be a know it all or anything...

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yes you are right, Mikunis.


There's much better engine choices than a 7MGE but hey, you're beyond rich, fuck it LOL! Hope he keeps a few quarts of oil on hand as the 7M burns through and is known for issues. Kudos for actually racing it!

P.S. Is that a Mac F1?



come on guys, any Toyota lover worth his salt knows that the 'a 7M is crap reliable' theory is way over blown. Yes Toyota made a mistake at the factory regarding the torque on the head bolts, but they corrected it later in the series. The oil issue is also easily fixable with a small bit of mechanical knowledge. I have had many 7M powered cars and once you fix those two issues, the 7M is just as reliable and bullet proof as it's earlier sibling the 5M. The main problem that the M series has and for that matter, most of Toyota's engines, is the aluminum head and the iron block. It doesn't help that the 7M was followed by the JZ series, which is the pinnacle for Toyota straight six development.


Id say the 7M is one of the best, if not the best, choices for several reasons:
*Having an engine from the same engine family is more respectful to the cars herritage
*7M is also the last of the M-serie engines and using it in that car is some of a honor for that engine serie
*7M can be a problem child. Making it awsome isnt just more rare but also more of a feat but not nessesery more expensive
*Quite modern with 24v but still keeping it "classic" and indeed unusual with carbs


My jaw was on the floor up until 'replica'. That is NOT to say it is any less cool, just that I see absolutely no problem with engine swapping a non-original car. By my estimation, this is no different in scope than any of the Cobra kit cars with a Coyote engine, for comparative example.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Replica of a race car yes, but it's still a real 2000GT. Unlike the Skyline there were no base models that people used to make replicas of the real deal. There was just the real deal, and a handful or race cars.


Aha I misread, my mistake. Very cool that the owner is not afraid to drive his cars, regardless of their value. While I was consulting at a restoration shop, it was sometimes difficult for some clients to grasp the concept of tested and proven cars being more valuable than garage queens. Provenance and pedigree add enormous value in the collector car world. I suppose as long as this swap is easily reversible, I would take the same precautions in preserving the original mill.


Race replica, real car. As long as you can swap the original engine back in its cool. Better to have it driven than not because you worry about your unobtainium 2.0


I was expecting something completely unorthodox, like an RB.

Matthew Dockery

Normally aspirated and ITB fed 2JZ was where I hoped this was going...

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Well at first I thought it was a 1J lol


Swap in an OS giken wonder motor and drive that machine as it was meant to.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Which one? OS only did Nissan motors




Needs more LS.

*ducks for cover*

Matthew Dockery

I think he'd like his frame to stay untwisted for as long as possible ;)


I'd do it.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Well so would I. Why risk ruining the 3M, which is quite gutless like the S20 in the GT-Rs were. I get why he went this route


I'd do this if I owned a 2000GT, regardless of its value. But I wouldn't modify anything irreversibly.


I was fully expecting to see an LS under the hood.


Dino Dalle Carbonare

Don't say stuff like that lol


What a damn beautiful piece of work!

Matthew Everingham

To many collectable cars are locked away collecting dust. I'm glad he's tinkering and enjoying the car.
I'd imagine the original motor is being stored securely somewhere in a factory and none of the modifications made are irreversible. I'm all for it.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Along with his other 6 2000GTs lol He's a man that knows how to enjoy his cars that's for sure. Still need to go over and shoot his AMG Hammer


When you have that many of the same car, you'll probably get kinda bored and might wanna tinker around... Now all I need are 6 ferrari 250s and I'll start my own work!


Finally, someone who actually wants to use a 7M.


First thing that ran through my head too.

Dino Dalle Carbonare



It's real sad A70 owner hours, fam. Smash that like button


One day, I shall have a MKIV Supra and a 69 Camaro. The Supra will have a LS9. The Camaro will have a 2JZ with no turbos. All because someone asked "why?".


swap in an SR20 to the supra for the extra "why" factor, or heck, a generic non-sports motor ;)


maybe even fwd convert it haha!


Well, Toyota already did the four-banger for the JGTC, though the idea of doing a triplet of Warp-9 motors and going full electric does sound intriguing.


since we talking swapped 2000gt, have you featured the rocky auto one or any plans to do so?


Is it a genuine 2000GT?


Yes, it's a replica of a race car. Hence 2000GT replica race car

Milos LIcko Bash Randjelovic

Give your car that "car-show" look with great products from:


Boo. Though spam issue was fixed




Stay tuned, rumor is there is an upcoming feature of a Ferrari 250 GTO with a six rotor Wankel swapped into it.

All BS aside, Im glad the owner is actually driving his museum piece. The 3m is probably encased in a magnetic, temp controlled custom case along with the owner's moon rocks.