Collecting Cars

1987 TOYOTA MR2

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This 1987 Toyota MR2 is a nimble, mid-engined Japanese sports car, presented in excellent restored condition and with very low mileage from new.

It is powered by the mid-mounted naturally aspirated 4A-GE 1.6-litre dual overhead cam inline-four, which is coupled to a close ratio five-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels. Producing 128bhp but weighing only 977kg, the Mk1 MR2 can sprint from 0to 60mph in under eight seconds. This example’s odometer shows just 53,500 miles from new.

First launched in 1984, the Toyota MR2 (Mid-ship Run-about 2-seater) was created as a fun and affordable sports car, which could also offer greater fuel economy than its contemporaries in response to the ongoing fuel crisis. This example was first registered on 1 August 1987 and was restored to original condition in 2009. It is now being offered for sale by its current owner, who has enjoyed it for the past three years, adding 1,000 miles to the clock in that time.

Presented in excellent condition and believed to never have been accident damaged, the period-perfect wedge-shaped bodywork was stripped back during the car’s restoration, with fresh metal being welded in to replace previously corroded areas, including the rear wheel arches and sills.

A full respray was also carried out in the car’s original silver hue. The paintwork is still very smart today, with only a few age-related marks, including small scratches on the front valance, two small scuffs on the rear bumper and some small, faint bubbles under the paint on the offside rear wheel arch. All of this MR2’s decals and badges have been replaced and remain in great shape, as does the original tinted plastic sunshade above the rear window.

As a T-bar model, it also features two removable glass roof panels, which can be stored in the boot, providing an open-top driving experience on warm summer days. The car rides on its original 14-inch ‘teardrop’ design wheels, which are finished in silver and present very well; although, there is some slight scratching to the edge of the rear driver’s side item.

Looking to the interior, the seller describes all of the trim as being in excellent condition. The black vinyl-covered dashboard is free of cracks or excessive fading, and the leather-covered gear knob is very smart. Upholstered in black perforated leather, the seats present extremely well, with very few signs of wear; however, it is noted that they have been recovered. The original black leather-rimmed steering wheel is still present and in good condition; however, there are some scratches to its surface, commensurate with the car’s age.

All of the cabin’s buttons, switches and electrical items are said to work without fault, and the original Toyota-branded cassette player is still fitted, demonstrating this MR2’s originality.

Its last scheduled maintenance was on 28 May 2020 at 53,480 miles by Wellbrook Motor Services. Having failed its MOT test the week before due to braking issues, a number of repairs were performed and the front and rear brake pads were replaced, plus a general service was carried out, including replacement of the engine oil and oil filter. On the same day these repairs were made, the car then went in for another MOT test, where it received a pass, with only one advisory note issued for corrosion to the nearside front brake hose ferrules.

While the details of the two most recent services prior to this are not known, the seller notes that the car has only covered 1,000 miles since 2011. Its wheels are shod with 185/60 R14 Pirelli P6000 tyres, which are in good condition having covered just 2,000 miles since they were fitted in 2009. They are now 11 years old, so they may benefit from being replaced.

Accompanying the car is its full Toyota Owner’s Pack, including the owner’s manual, warranty book, dealer network brochure and stamped service book containing eight stamps. The seller is also including a number of invoices for past work and a brace of 35 photographs showing the car’s restoration. A full-sized spare wheel and manufacturer’s jack are also present in the front storage compartment.

This Toyota MR2 is a stylish and nimble lightweight 1980s sports car, packed with period character and with a relatively low mileage. Extensively restored to its original condition, this unmodified example of Japan’s first mid-engined production car is in great shape, and its combination of retro charm, reliability and sharp handling will make it a welcome addition to any garage.

All cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

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