Copart Regrets: $950 1987 Toyota MR2

It’s not hard to spot Copart cars on eBay and other sites, as those stickers in the top corner of the windshield are dead giveaways. That’s an interesting choice of words – dead giveaways – as it could describe a fair amount of vehicles found on Copart, less the giveaway part. This 1987 Toyota MR2 is pretty close, though, as this Copart-sold example here on eBay looks like a steal at just $950.

The seller notes they bought it at an auto auction and have made no attempt to start or run the MR2. I find that odd, as why wouldn’t you at least fire the midship-mounted motor up to drive it onto a trailer for delivery? So let’s say they’ve never heard it start: did they check for compression? See if the engine will turn over? These are fairly basic steps to take to see if the Copart gamble was worth it. From here, we can see the paint is quite chalky.

But I will say, the seller seems correct that not much seems out of place. The original steering wheel and shift knob are still present, and that might even be the original headunit stashed in the dash. The dash plastics themselves look good, and despite the faded exterior, the cabin looks mostly intact. What could have sidelined this vehicle from daily use? It appears these motors are non-interference units, so even a bad timing belt is an easy fix.

There’s the tell-tale sign of the Mister 2’s Copart origins: the white-on-black sticker wearing the mysterious combination of letters and numbers. I’m not sure what to think about this seemingly stock and mostly rust-free MR2: it looks clean enough to justify taking a chance on, and at just $950 with the option to submit a best offer, you could walk away with a car easily worth that much in parts.


  1. steve

    I would love one of these, I dated a stripper in 1990ish who had a black one. Fun car

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Who cares about the car, more about the girl!

      Like 1
    • Superdessucke

      I clearly remember a Playboy centerfold around 1987 putting down hers as one of her “Likes” LOL! My guess is that this was a very popular car in that demographic.

      • John Vreeland

        There was an option, not often checked, for a “telescoping pole, reaches 8 feet”

  2. Oingo

    The 87 is not the most desirable of the mister twos and this one has some miles. The other side is that it looks good and even the paint is single stage and red fades so it might clean up well. If the engine and trans seem ok I like it.

    • Buk Kow

      How you gonna say the ’87 is the most desirable???? The mk2 is the body that everyone wants and even more so the ’94-’95. Sure some opt for the aw11 and make it an mk1.5(3sgte swap) but for anyone in their right mind… We go for the timeless classic, the sw20.

  3. Vegaman_Dan

    No interest in it, but I’m always tempted by such cars to pick up, get running, and enjoy before sending them on. I just don’t have the space for all the toys like this.

  4. Dolphin Member

    I drove a Mr 2 that looked just like this one, less the sun-baked paint. The best part was that little engine. It would rev like crazy and pretty much make up for the relatively low torque output.

    Not so good was the very short wheelbase, which made the car pitch a lot on anything but the smoothest roads. I suspect the shocks were worn, which made it worse.

    I think a car this short would benefit in terms of handling and stability by changing to a set of high quality, reasonably stiff shocks. It will ride stiff over bad roads but that’s better than the alternative, and it will make the car safer at higher speeds.

  5. SAM61

    Great car worth the gamble. Maybe do some weekend racing after Dolphin’s suspension mods.

  6. Joe Nose

    Is that greenery growing out of the engine compartment, or accumulating on top of it?

  7. Rube Goldberg Member

    Patina. It was at Copart for a reason,,,

  8. grant

    With the debris on the engine cover and with recent events I’d be careful of flood damage. Still, might be be a good deal.

  9. Rabbit

    If that is a single-stage finish, a buffer & some compound just may bring it back. Neat little cars, tho I agree the later models were even neater. I wonder what the story is with the big zippy tie around the column…..

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      I think that’s so they don’t lose the ignition key.

  10. Mitch ross Member

    According to the lot #, that car was sold by the Copart facility in Altoona, PA in 2014, had 214,000 miles and was a donation car

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