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Already A Classic? 1987 Toyota MR2

For the second consecutive year, Hagerty published its Bull Market List of cars that appear to be rapidly increasing in value, the next crop of potential collectibles, if you will.  Included on the list is the first generation (1984-1989) Toyota MR2.  Let me just say I despise this list.  It makes me cringe.  It makes me uncomfortable and most of all it makes me angry.  Angry with myself for always being late to the future-collector-car-party.  But wait a minute, maybe it’s not too late after all?  Check out this silver metallic ’87 MR2, available here on Craigslist in Buffalo, New York, offered for a very reasonable $5,500!


Full disclosure: a friend of mine bought a beautiful red MR2 about five years ago.  He paid in the neighborhood of $3K for his car and has been happily driving it ever since.  That’s why I’m so irked, not to mention another friend who constantly reminds me he’s been floating on the bubble of a 1988 Porsche 911 he practically stole a few years back.  And then there’s my neighbor that’s somehow amassed an obnoxious collection of increasingly valuable Bronco II’s.  Yup.  In the race to invest in a future classic, I’m bringing up the rear.  Hey, does anyone out there have a Scout II or a Wagoneer they want to sell?  If not no problem, I’ll head over to BAT and plop down an insanely high bid for one and then pay through the nose to have it shipped!

Stored inside, this MR2 has never been subjected to the harsh Buffalo winters over the past 32 years, although the original paint does show some blemishes, according to the seller  As for the interior, the seller describes its condition as flawless.  The blue velour seats show no signs of wear and there are no cracks in the dash cover.  Amenities include cruise control, power windows, doors, mirrors, and a retrofitted R-134a AC unit.  If you’re wondering about safety features, the seller is quick to point out this MR2 comes with a pair of seat belts.  Unfortunately, as you can see, it’s driven by the optional 4-speed automatic transmission.  That low $5,500 asking price makes more sense now.

The mid-engine, rear wheel drive MR2 is powered by a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder motor capable of producing around 112 hp.  Having to lean across the rear mini-trunk, it must be a bit of a pain to work on the motor.  Somewhat surprisingly, MR2’s were outfitted with manual steering, but handling is reported to be adept nonetheless.  The seller claims mileage is a true 60K (not rolled over) and the car is stock, with the exception of a MagnaFlow catalytic converter and a Torxe performance exhaust system.  Oil has been changed at 3K mile intervals and maintenance includes new plugs, wires, distributor cap, fuel/air filters, and rotors at 50K miles.  A new alternator was installed last year and the car comes with a fresh NYS inspection, Carfax report, recent receipts, and the original window sticker.  This looks like a great car but I think I’ll stay in the back of the pack for now and instead, wait for the opportunity to buy a 5-speed stick shift…more than likely at a much higher price!


  1. NotSure

    Buddy of mine bought one new and was constantly rubbing on it with some witches brew of cleaner or wax or magic potion. We thought he was going to propose marriage!
    Sadly he’s gone and I have no idea what happened to the teal color MR2. He got a lot of pleasure from that car! I enjoyed driving it exactly one time for 2 blocks and never exceeded 28 mph. Right after I traded places back with him the car had to go back to the garage for a massage….

    Like 5
  2. h5mind

    A friend’s Dad bought one of the first MR2’s shipped to New Hampshire. One by one, he gave us rides it in, doing smoky donuts across both lanes of a back road. I knew I wanted one. About five years later I had two, and they were great cars. But even then, their major problem was rust, particularly behind that rubber body cladding just ahead of the rear wheels. The metal is too thin to repair properly, so your best bet is to buy the best you can find. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the supercharged version become a $20K car before long.

    Like 1
  3. sparkster

    I bought a 1988 supercharged MR2 for $1500 with a five speed and T-Tops. What a blast I had for two weeks before I sold it.

    Like 3
  4. Ace

    My 1989 Toyota mr2 super edition.

    Like 5
  5. TBAU Member

    Already a classic.

    Like 1
  6. Stilbo

    I’ve always liked the MR2.
    That said, every time I saw one I had to quote out loud:
    (With my best rural Georgia accent.)
    “M R baby ducks.”
    “M R not.”
    “M R 2”.

    Like 0
  7. davec

    My very first new car: red MR2 with a five speed. Super slick to shift. I had a ton of fun in that car. But as stated above, the tin worm got to it. I miss that car.

    Like 1
  8. DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

    Could be a fun car, I guess. But as soon as I saw the shift lever on the console, I was out. Autocrossed one that belonged to a friend when they were new, indeed a blast to drive. Drove one of the SC versions at a test session for a magazine, and a bit more power certainly increased the grins factor.

    Ace, that is a great looking car!

    Like 0
  9. Louis Q. Chen

    I bought one when I first moved to Cali. It was silver with automatic and it was chick car especially around Huntington Beach pier! I referred as my Mister Two. This car is my son’s graduation gift for this coming June. It still run great and has 200K miles on it! I hope he keeps it for a while and keep it up.

    Like 0

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