1993 Toyota MR2 T-Top
Stock Number: 4839
Toyota was dropping some real hits back in the '90s with the Celica, Supra, and MR2 being atop the list. No drivetrain configuration was out of the question and everything got boosted. I mean, what more could you ask for? Our latest '93 was the top of the line trim level-wise with all of the bells and whistles with a mere 90K verified miles. The GT was considered as the luxury specification in the SW20 line-up and had Alcantara/leather door and seat trim. While commonplace here stateside we don't see near as many fitted with the T-tops as the Japanese aren't very big on convertibles. The bodywork has been kept all stock, however, not exactly how it left the factory. Originally Black Onyx (202) it underwent a full-on color swap to a more fitting Super Red II (3E5). Red is the most affiliated color with sports cars, so it makes sense as to why they made the change. The color change was rather well done, the only place you'd ever be able to tell is underneath the front bonnet and the engine bay itself. While all the trim was off they went ahead and wrapped it all in a carbon fiber vinyl which adds a little flair to the profile. The body is in great shape with only your typical little door ding or two to report. 16" Anthracite multi-spoke wheels wrapped in fresh rubber keep with the sporty tone and fit perfectly under the wheel arches.
Included with this trim level are half leather and half Alcantara seats which are in decent condition by our standards. There are some seam splits on both the driver and passenger seat bolsters which you can spot in the photos. Overall the seats are in clean shape though which would be a bigger issue if they were stained or sun-faded. An upholstery shop could probably correct the seats if you wanted to down the road. The leg support and bolstering is premium, and the car does well on long cruises in terms of comfort. The switchgear is all at hand, and the ergonomics are not bad for such a small sports car. The door panels are also trimmed with matching Alcantara inserts, also standard on the GT trim level for Japanese models. The door panels are in great condition showing virtually no signs of wear. Door cards, dash, headliner, and carpeting are free of any stains or markings. The dash does have some cracks, similar to what we'd expect from your standard Nissan but luckily fall largely out of your line of sight. The steering wheel has been upgraded to a Momo Sport tri-spoke which is far sleeker than the stock one and feels pretty great paired up with the TRD shift knob. The A-pillar houses two Blitz gauges, however, only the temp gauge is actually hooked up. Luckily since the housing is there you could easily swap out for something else like a boost gauge or EGT. Also included for convenience are power windows and locks to make day to day life more enjoyable. The automatic climate control is a nice touch and the heat is pumping as it should for these remaining few weeks of winter. Mounted atop the steering column is a period-correct HKS turbo timer which was all the rage back in the day that way you can feel properly nostalgic in your Japanese Classic.
It's always an experience hearing an engine spark to life when it's located behind you, opposed to in front. Fitted with a new 12V battery, the car is happy to do so even on the coldest of mornings. Settling into a constant idle, Toyota's tied and true 3S-GTE 4 banger. Even used in the WRC cars, this 1998cc mill is robust enough to handle some serious power but could be left untouched as it sits. Ours has had a few minor tweaks that frankly any car could stand to receive. With an open filter intake and upgraded Blow Off Valve, you get all the right noise both on and off throttle. Meanwhile, the HKS Super Drager exhaust really makes you question if this is a 4 cylinder. The deep tone sounds fantastic, and having the same two tips popping out of the back keeps a vaguely OEM look to the back end. Revving freely, with that deeper HKS growl the 2.0L feels rather smooth for a 4 cylinder. Acceleration is brisk, especially under full throttle, and the five-speed manual is direct and notchy. Shifts are all hitch-free, and the transmission's tight ratios make this a blast to throw around a backroad. APEX'i coilovers get the ride height dropped down to a more acceptable height but do have a more stiff ride than what you'd get from the factory. It wouldn't hurt to either have them rebuilt or replaced at some point with something newer since the front right strut does have some play in it that you can notice over bumps. The stock brakes are plenty capable for daily driving while having your back for some weekend backroad blasts. Mechanically it did need a few basics like new tie rods and a new left rear wheel bearing. With one third the mileage of US examples, this MR2 will undoubtedly be a great value and an instant Japanese Classic. With a domestically sold version of the car, parts and service are a snap, and the 2nd generation of Toyota's mid-engine couple are known for their low cost of ownership. For the enthusiast who values proper handling, acceleration, and braking but doesn't want to deal with the problems associated with Italian or German Marques, this Toyota would make for a seamless ownership experience.
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB complaint first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.