When everyone knows you’re a gearhead you get a lot of requests for help ranging from, ‘can you show me how to replace a serpentine belt’ to ‘would you help me sell my car’. I don’t ever mind helping out family and friends, but now and then it really pays to be the go to car guy. That is precisely how this 2002 Toyota MR2 Spyder came into my life.
The Spyder belongs to Jo, a good friend of my mother-in-law. It was her late husband Fred’s empty nest sports car, which he put almost 13,000 country road miles on before he died prematurely and unexpectedly. When Jo decided it was time to part with Fred’s red roadster, she asked me to give her a hand.
Truth be told, I’ve never really been a huge Toyota fan. Sure, they’re reliable and fuel efficient, but I’ve always seen them as boring. This MR2 Spyder has changed my perception. I’ve never owned a convertible, and had previously never driven a mid-engine car, but every time I drive this car I find myself trying to rationalize ways a two seat convertible with limited storage could be an acceptable family car. Unfortunately for me, right now, it’s just not in the cards.
While the MR2 Spyder is no powerhouse, it’s so lightweight and well balanced, that it doesn’t really matter. The little 138 horsepower four banger, also found in the Corolla and Celica, is plenty of motivation pushing the MR2’s 2100 pounds. The five speed manual transmission is connected to a smooth short shifter, it stops on a dime, and handles like a go-kart on rails. I admit my driving impression may be somewhat colored by the fact that my daily driver is a 1968 Mustang with manual everything, but the MR2 really does go, stop, and turn – well above the speed limit, effortlessly. It’s a joy to drive.
The MR2 is currently parked in my driveway awaiting a new buyer to take it home. I’m happily driving it to work a few days a week, top down, wind in my hair to meet potential buyers on my lunch break. For
$10,500 $8,500 – or best reasonable offer, that buyer could be you. It’s sexy. It’s red. It’s topless. And it’s got a mere 36,000 miles on the clock. UPDATE: SOLD!