Japanese Classics – 1989 Toyota MR2

For car nuts, there’s a lot to dislike about Toyota – they’ve done a lot to promote a kind of mainstream banality in cars you won’t see here, and even when they talk about building something interesting, it turns out boring. However, there are odd occasions when you can tell the board/committee/entity was not paying attention, and things like the Scion FR-S, Corolla XR-S, or MR2 sneak through the approval process. Perhaps it’s that one old guy who was on the 2000GT team, and his memory occasionally makes Toyota do something crazy. Like, for example, this 1989 Toyota MR2, now for sale for $2950 in San Diego, CA.

1989 Toyota MR2 right front

Hmm, project Honda N600 or this? The appreciation potential in the Honda is definitely more immediate, but give this car another 10-15 years and you’ll see them attracting attention in the market the way the 240Z, early Celica, or Fairlady roadster is now. With the wonderful Yamaha designed 4-cylinder and a sharp-handling mid-engine platform, this is what the Fiat X1/9 deserved to be in the 1980s. Even with 190,000 miles, this car looks excellent with nearly fade-free red paint, and has had much recent work.

1989 Toyota MR2 left rear

That work includes new cam belts, seals, idler pully, valves adjusted, new water pump, and a battery one year ago, along with adjustable Koni shocks, alignment with corner weights, and Dunlop Direzza tires. All those things point to a well-kept car, so it should have a fair bit of life left in it. The chromed wheels are not everyone’s taste, but probably that way from new, and the teardrop style is one of the most attractive to come with this car. The owner seems to have moved on to another car with a great Toyota engine, the Elise seen in the background. Try this one out and in 10-15 years you can say you were there before it was cool.

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One Response to “Japanese Classics – 1989 Toyota MR2”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    I had one of these for a short while long ago; it was hoot to drive.

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