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27K Original Miles: 1986 Toyota MR2

Among 1980s pocket rockets, few cars represent the sport compact car scene better than the Toyota MR2. Mid-engine design, racy styling, lithe handling, and rubber-band reflexes are all calling cards of Toyota’s game-changing mid-ship sport coupe, and the first generation model is often seen as the purest expression of the model line. This car apparently went into storage in the early 90s with just over 20,000 miles on the clock and only came back to the light of day in 2005. That owner proceeded to refresh the car and begin using it on weekends, racking up the 27K it now has. Find the MR2 here on eBay with bids to $12,000 and no reserve.

The early MR2 is a wonderful reminder of the brand Toyota used to be. Like so many other companies at the time from overseas and trying to stand out in a crowded market, Toyota made the MR2 young, happy, and fun. I can remember looking at magazine ads for the MR2 and feeling like my life would improve greatly if I owned this car, but I would need to find a set of roller blades and join an aerobics class before buying one. The MR2 was a very real performance car despite its humble proportions and performance specs, making up for its meager output with fine-tuned mid-engine handling right out of the box. I can’t quite tell here, but it looks like the rear bumper has an abrasion.

The low mileage is a real selling point here, along with the bone-stock condition. Many MR2s of this vintage have been modified, and cars that went north were not immune from the ravages of rust. To date, the MR2 remains one of the few truly iconic cars from the 80s that is still largely affordable. While this one will bring very real money owing to its low-mileage status, anything under $20,000 for this car still seems like a bargain. When you compare it against other 80s performance cars with revered status among enthusiast demographics, the MR2 is one of the few that can be had for a fair price. And that includes the rare supercharged model.

The seller reports that the owner prior to him is the one who “brought it back to life” and likely performed any of the must-do deferred maintenance associated with reviving a car in long-term storage. We don’t get any details of what this work included, but presumably, it included a new fuel pump, belts, hoses, and fluids. The battery and tires have also been replaced, and the seller claims this is originally a California car (now living in Denver) so it should be pretty tidy underneath, and the body reveals no rust holes. The current bid price still seems too good to be true, so expect to see this one go higher in the next 24 hours.


  1. alphasud Member

    These have all but vanished. Nice to see a low mileage well preserved one. My service advisor had a second gen MR2 turbo. He modified his with a large turbo and all the go fast fixings. Took me for a drive and he had that thing so juiced up it could easily run with a 993TT. Ridiculously fast. It’s no wonder he couldn’t keep the transaxle together. It took me a while to wipe the grin off of my face.

    Like 8
  2. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Nice car for sure. Not the most common color and also with the lesser seen non-rear wing. Like my own 86 pictured here, long ago.

    Like 11
  3. drew

    My dad had one of these while I was in high school. It handled well and I never lost control of it even though I was a dumb kid driving like an idiot. Interesting this car was recently on BaT also and only bid to $9100?

    Like 4
  4. Brad460 Member

    As a big fiero fan I’m partial to mid engine cars and would some day like an mr2. Very fun to drive. I remember test driving one back in the day and being amazed how corners just seemed to disappear. Didnt generate high skidpad numbers but was so nimble you could forget you were taking a corner.

    My Fieros have also been good handlers but the fiero steering is so heavy, relative to the mr2, that I’d give the fun factor vote to the Toyota

    Like 3
  5. chrlsful

    “the op is nota flipper, I’m the one.” he sez, eh?

    Just sold one my self. Did what the other guy did (breaks, clutch, ele gremlins) the engine is not particularly the best, thinkin to turbo it (a ’92) I saw the furture (mod after mod) and how I fit into it (+ not great on MPGs) and said “No”. Made 15 hundred on it. Sad to let go. This, X 1/9, 914 (the 6), europa all fun at the SCCAs events.

    Like 1
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      “I saw the furture”

      Like 2
  6. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $12,000.


    Wonder what kind of shape the “HFH” is in?

    Like 1

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