Turbocharged Survivor: 1991 Toyota MR2 Turbo

This 1991 Toyota MR2 is the desirable turbocharged model with the rare fixed hardtop roof. Many of these second generation MR2s sported T-top roofs, making the combination of having the turbocharged engine and fixed roof a sought-after form of the classic mid-engined design. The listing describes the MR2 as being a stock survivor with service documentation from Toyota, an important criteria given how many MR2s – especially the Turbos – have been modified over the course of their lives. Find the MR2 here on eBay with bids to just over $10K and the reserve unmet.

The second generation MR2 was a departure from the beloved first iteration of the model, mostly in the sense that it was a little less of the bare bones sports car it arrived as. In most cases, the second generation of anything is slightly heavier, or overstuffed, and the MR2 was no different. The turbocharged versions offered very strong performance right out of the box, however, which should have helped erase some of the pangs of nostalgia buyers felt for the old guard, but Toyota also had to stare down Mazda’s new sports car offering starting in the early 90s – a little number called the Miata, as you may recall.

So, combine a slightly lower take rate than the first generation model with the popularity of T-top roofs and automatic transmissions and you start to see why a hardtop turbo model with the 5-speed checks a lot of boxes fro most enthusiasts. This one has the additional benefit of simply being a nicely preserved model, with a clean blue cloth interior with nicely sculpted bucket seats that show very little wear and tear. Interestingly, this MR2 was optioned with the power package featuring power windows, locks, and cruise control, but it was also ordered without power steering.

When you look at the MR2 from the lens of being spec’d just the way an enthusiast would want – from the hardtop roof right down to power steering delete – it’s pretty clear this example was enthusiast-owned from the start. These cars are especially hard to come by in unmolested condition, and this one even comes with the must-do timing belt job completed. Aside from the A/C needing to be charged and/or fixed and the factory floormats missing, there’s not much to fault here. A hard to find car that’s not likely to repeat itself anytime soon.

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  1. nlpnt

    I always seem to want the less “desirable” body style. If that were my car I’d regret not getting the T-top every time I drove it.

    Like 4
  2. DRV

    $14k now. It had 89k miles.

    Like 3
  3. 370zpp

    My 92 5-speed non-turbo t-top model was a great car and well made. Period.

    Like 2
    • Kim

      My 93 turbo T-top has just 22k miles on it. The leather interior still smells new as the day it was purchased. I run a tank full of gas through it a year. Black w tab interior. I only wear light colored cotton clothes when driving so the tan seats don’t take on a color hew.

      Like 1
      • Eric B

        OMG, that’s unreal. Can you please call me if you ever decide to sell! I have a suspicion that that day will never come though :) Kudos to you for taking such good care of a great car. They’re only becoming more and more appreciated lately.

  4. David Miraglia

    No Toyota is desirable in my book. Nissan, Mazda , Subaru are more desirable.

    • Bear

      Toyota sells more cars (esp here in the US) than the other “more desirable” brands that you have mentioned here. Their resale values are also higher.
      Nothing wrong with Nissan, Mazda, or Subaru (they all make a fine vehicle), but the numbers don’t lie. Toyota has been #1 for many years now.

  5. Douglas Threlfall Member

    I don’t know how one would “order” a Toyota. The dealership just “gets” whatever Toyota sends them. I tried to order a car from Toyota, the dealer said they could “do a locate” which was fruitless. Most foreign vehicles with option packages now, you can’t special order, can’t pick & choose what you want anymore. Customization is gone.

    Like 1
    • Bear

      Depends largely on whether or not your dealer is willing to go thru the extra effort of doing a special order, and then waiting for the delivery & the deferred completion of the sale.
      Most dealers just want to get the sale completed as quickly as possible, & with as little effort as possible, so that usually means that they either want to sell you a car from their own inventory or from the inventory of a nearby dealer via an inventory search.

      Many Toyota models are now made here in the US, so the process of doing a special order is now easier and has less of a delivery-delay involved.

  6. Bear

    The winning bid was $15370 at the auction’s end.
    BUT, for some reason the car was relisted……
    (…the winning bidder only had a 21 feedback score, so perhaps he/she was an inexperienced bidder who failed to complete the purchase?)
    There were 3 other bidders at $14K & above, so I was thinking that perhaps they would get a 2nd chance??

    BUT the relisted item SOLD quickly for $16750 (I assume via a Buy It Now purchase), so perhaps it all worked out well for the Seller in the end. :-)

    Like 1

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