5k: 1993 Toyota MR2 Turbo

When the second generation Toyota MR2 was launched in 1989 – it offered Ferrari looks with Fiat pricing.  Mid-engine Runabout 2seater was thankfully shortened to MR2 to reduce the cost of badges on the car and the ‘mister 2’ is known as ‘2’ to his friends.  This 1993 MR2 is one of the sought after turbocharged models and is located in La Mirada, CA (via craigslist) – at an asking price of $5500.

The MR2 wasn’t just about Ferrari looks – it also had a mid-engine rear-wheel drive configuration that lead to Ferrari handling – strange from the manufacturer of sensible economy sedans and whose only other mid-engine offering was a supercharged all-wheel-drive mini van. 

Pop the hood…err…trunk…eh…middle decklid…and you will find a transverse mounted 3S-GTE 2.0 liter turbocharged and intercooled inline 4 mated to a 5 speed manual transmission.  The seller of this car indicates that this car is bone stock (should be 201 horsepower and 142 ft-lbs of torque) and that is a good thing because many of these rockets have had their rice “fried” and can be made to produce twice the OEM horsepower figures – a recipe for speed tickets and blown trannys.

Inside the car shows typical wear and tear for a car with 170k miles on it – and a suspicious looking boost gauge (wise man says: only cars with extra boost need boost gauges). 

The photos show some signs of wear/fading on the paint – typical for a mid 90s Japanese car clear coat that hasn’t been waxed or covered for its entire life.  Original wheels and the factory limited slip differential add to this car’s appeal.

Does this mister have the mustard?

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