"As far as he was concerned it was the discovery of the millennium, and he was prepared to do whatever it took/takes to find investment."
Any knowledgeable takes on the matter?
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In the most cases you use "whatever it took" because it is about the past, however, it can be "whatever it takes" in the special/particular context when the present tense is used to describe the law, laws of nature, the universal rule, the phenomenon which occurs constantly when the universe exists. So, the context also determines the meaning, and the grammar just helps to express it.