I wasn’t looking for this to be honest. What I was really hoping to find was a fully stock Toyota MR2 Mk2. It’s a shape that fits me perfectly and gets better and better with age. The 80s angularity of the Mk1 didn’t offer the same charm until now. But that’s the funny thing about car curiosity: You’re drawn to something that previously couldn’t get the dopamine dispenser buzzing, and 30 minutes later, there you are, still flattering.
In this case, that great attention has brought out two interesting facts. Firstly, in France and Belgium it was known as MR, because MR2, or M-ER-Deux as it would be, sounds a bit like … well … Merde. I didn’t even know Roger Becker had a hand in developing the frame. And that’s a nice pair for making their mark on any car. Joining Lotus as an assembly line worker, Roger’s talent came to the attention of Colin Chapman who put him to work on vehicle development, a vocation he didn’t give up until retirement after Evora.
Back to MR2. It is always a pleasure to see a complete series of photos and these are just like that. They show the perfect color combination of red with black and, to my eye – admittedly inexperienced – a very original looking example. I never bought Max power because, well, car modding wasn’t and isn’t my thing. I like originality, except in exceptional circumstances which is why this floats my boat.
I can’t fault the exterior, the rear window reflector, which transmits “Toyota” to the rear screen (I always thought it was a clever design piece) is clear, as are all the plastic lenses. On the inside, the leather, including the side pads, looks like it has never been worn and, just as importantly, it still looks supple. If so, that’s pretty good after more than three decades. The dashboard is so Japanese. Conventional, but unconventional at the same time. Everything is where you expect it to be, but made to look different as we are doing it just for the sake of it the Japanese way. I love it.
This is a later AW11 car and has the 1.6 liter DOHC 16v with variable intake manifolds. Pre-cat, that meant 128 hp, which is a tidy sum in a car weighing less than 1,000 pounds. And 50,000 miles is madness for any Toyota, even one that pretends to be a supercar with the engine in the middle. Also, if you think seven-owner count is a black mark compared to an example of one or two owners, I learned something early in my sales career to challenge that notion. One owner’s cars can be great discoveries, of course, but seven owners (or more) mean seven new flashes of enthusiasm that bring love and kindness to a car. Every new owner (and dealer, if one has passed) will most likely have made those little bits here and there that, let’s be honest, when we have a car for a while, let’s just say we’ll go around but never.
What should you do to do this by looking through the pictures, like I did. And if you are really in love, then do better and take it for yourself. I can’t think of many other mid-engined sports cars that are nearly guaranteed not to give you classic car pain or to look this fresh without a restoration – I also know MR2 suffer from rust, but this one doesn’t look like it was. eaten by the tin worm. The ad describes it as having requested a re-commissioning, including a full service and timing belt. Let’s hope he gets used to it and brings joy to someone soon.
SPECIFICATIONS | TOYOTA MR2
Motor: 1587cc, 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated
Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 128 @ 5,750 rpm
Torque (lb ft): 105 @ 5,000 rpm
0-60mph: 7.7 seconds
Full speed: 119mph
CO2: N / A
Year of registration: 1989
New price: N / A
Your for: £ 12,495