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No Reserve: One-Owner 1987 Toyota MR2

The first-generation Toyota MR2 continues to be a bit of a sleeper on the collector car market. There’s always a handful of them for sale, but truly good, honest cars are fetching very fair money. This example is said to be fresh out of long-term storage, and while it does run and drive, it will need the usual assortment of tune-up and refreshing that a car parked for several years typically requires. There is some mild rust to sort out, but the interior is in excellent condition, especially for having 130,211 miles on the clock. Find the MR2 here on eBay with bidding at $3,650 and no reserve.

The MR2 features the naturally aspirated engine, which is the flavor most MR2s of this generation come in. The later supercharged model was a short-lived offering and difficult to track down today, and is one of those cars I’d have a hard time passing up should it fall into my lap. This example sports many of its original details, from the wheels to the paint-matched mudflaps, and all signs point to it never being modified. While sports cars like this tend to get altered with aftermarket enhancements, the MR2 has fared better than other cars of a similar persuasion, like CRXs and Nissan 240SXs, which makes it easier to find a good one than some of those other models glorified in the Fast and the Furious films.

The interior really is in surprisingly nice condition for a car that’s been stored and one that’s racked up an odometer reading that will never be confused as being a time capsule. This usually indicates the previous owner(s) have made car care a priority, and certainly, the storage arrangement also seems to have helped preserve the MR2 given the lack of sun damage or signs of rodent infestation. The MR2 was available with an automatic transmission, but this is one of those models that really does suffer from the slushbox. The 5-speed manual is the way to go, and the seats and steering wheel were among my favorite pieces of standard equipment in a mainstream vehicle from this timeframe.

The mid-engined location can make servicing a challenge but also makes handling quite sporting. I believe the MR2’s of this generation have an interference engine, which makes timing belt changes extremely important to do on a proactive basis. Given the MR2 has been sitting several years, changing the belt regardless of mileage since the last time it was done would be a priority for me. The seller does note the presence of some rust visible in the fender, quarter panel lower edges, and rocker outer edges, primarily where the side skirts attach, and it all looks pretty straightforward in terms of repair. These MR2s will likely never be hugely expensive to buy, but I do anticipate their prices will continue to go up when found in stock condition like this one.


  1. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    I had one identical to this except mine had major hail damage. Great car, not hard to change the oil. Very dependable.
    This one looks like it was owned long term by someone older and caring.

    Like 3
  2. Alan Carr

    I had a ’85, very much like this one. Except I went down the rabbit hole of modifications, some better than others. Suspension, performance rebuild of the 4AGE with high-comp pistons…..never could get it to stop detonating on pump gas.

    Like 1
  3. Stan Marks

    Clean on top & inside. Would still like to see the undercarriage.

  4. JolietJake Member

    Stan, many photos including undersides of vehicle on ebay!

    • Stan Marks

      Hey Jake,
      I went on eBay & only saw 4 pics. It didn’t even have a pic of under the hood, or interior.

      BTW… Say hi to Elwood for me.

      Like 1
  5. Bobror

    The first generation MR two engine is a non-interference engine. Knowing this and seeing what a pain it would be to change I let mine go until it failed at 85,000 miles. They recommend changing it at 60,000.Clearance issues made the change a bit of a pain but it was doable.

    Like 2
  6. Rod Plapp

    Bought mine new in the Aqua Blue For $11,000 in 85 and loved it but as an only car I tired of the limited space and traded for a Forerunner.Definitely held its value.

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