1991 Toyota MR2 With V6 Swap
I love the MR2. Part of what makes the cut for cars I write about is if there isn't anything quite like it on the market today. This is especially true of the MR2. Toyota had just three generations before they canceled the program. Today's handful of mid engine cars such as the Porsche Boxster start at, what $50k-$70k? But in the glory days of Japanese automating, Toyota delivered a car that looked good, handled great, was good on gas, reliable and affordably priced.
There's a lot of debate as to which generation MR2 is the best. Most agree the third is the least desirable, as it was only available as a convertible and naturally aspirated. That leaves the first two generations, one symbolic of the 80s and the other of the 90s. It all comes down to taste. I tend to prefer the early first generation models for their quirky new wave looks, lower weight and simplicity.
This is a second generation. It's heavier, but in this example the weight is offset by more power. The seller says they have removed the 4-cylinder engine and put in a V6. There are a lot of V6 engines out there, and not all great. My guess is this was a non-turbo car and they owner was a mechanic who felt they could do the job well and had a good enough V6 to put in to make it worthwhile. Performance should be pretty sweet as a result.
The seller says there are about 118k miles on the body and 110k miles on the engine, neither spectacularly low but average for this year. Unfortunately there's a problem that prevents the car from driving. The seller says they don't have the time to fix it.
Fortunately, the say the body has no rust.
If you're a mechanic and you love the MR2, this could be a really cool find and a blast to drive one set up. Black is a good color and the the gold alloys don't even bother me much. I'd want a complete rundown on the history of the engine and the car first though.
Available here on craigslist for $3,500.