Cars You Should Know – Bulk Buy Mister Two

Last night with nothing better to do, my wife and I decided to take an evening trip to Costco (I got like 4 pounds of trail mix in a bag the size of my torso, Big Hero 6 on DVD, and we shared a lovely hot dog and pepsi value meal). On the way out of our little shopping/wasting time excursion, I spotted this lovely little bronze beast. It’s just SOOO 80s! I set down my bags, my wife briefly rolled her eyes mockingly, and I took a few photos. I still can’t get over how clean 1980s Japanese cars can be in this neck of the woods. Aside from the interior being beat, and the front spoiler showing some wear, this thing was immaculate. I wanted to leave a note offering the person cash, but the fact that I’ve already got 5 cars and only one garage space helped me walk away. I don’t know what this car’s owner thought they’d fit from Costco, though. I’ve driven a few of these things, and they don’t offer much in the way of storage.

First, the bad news. Those wheels are a horrendous eyesore. Whoever designed them at American Racing really should know better. The interior was outfitted by someone with similar taste to explain the wheels. The cheap knockoff-leather APC-esque bright red ‘racing’ seat covers do not belong on a riotously fun mid-engine model like this. The car also sits way too high. She is an aging beauty, please allow her to do it gracefully. The good news is, with a set of vintage mesh-headrest black Recaros and a set of vintage Watanabe wheels (plus maybe repair and paint the front spoiler) lowered on some sport springs. These won’t stay cheap forever, so if you see one at a good price, buy it and fix it up, because you could be sitting on a gold mine in about a decade. In the case of this car, maybe a “bronze mine”.
All photos ©2015 Hooniverse/Bradley C. Brownell, All Rights Reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

  1. Vavon Avatar

    The no-name car?

  2. Andrew Avatar

    This is practically the definition of an enthusiast’s car. Nobody owns it for convenience, fuel mileage, or anything other than being fun to drive. So, then, how does a person who chooses to own an MR2 also choose to outfit it with those wheels? Shouldn’t they know better?

    1. Bradley Brownell Avatar
      Bradley Brownell

      Not true. Someone could own one because it was 1. cheap 2. available 3. looks vaguely like his neighbor’s Camero.

      1. dead_elvis Avatar

        +1 for appropriate spelling of Camero.

      2. Andrew Avatar

        Close enough
        You’re right. It’s just – the only guy I knew who owned one, sold it because it couldn’t carry his hockey gear well enough. It’s hard to imagine anyone who isn’t an avid driver not doing the same thing.

  3. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    i’m from the Midwest, and having recently moved down to Texas i am absolutely flabbergasted by how many of these that i see on craigslist with no rust.
    i have literally never seen one without rust up north. i’ve never seen an AW11 MR2 fender that wasn’t perforated. in my life.

    1. crank_case Avatar

      I’ve attempted to buy a non-rusty AW11 several times, it’s nearly impossible to find one that doesn’t have serious tin worm. One day I will learn to weld and fab sheet metal and have the space to do so, then I will BUY ALL THE AW11s!

  4. Andrew_theS2kBore Avatar

    As previously chronicled here, I owned one of these… “bulk buy” is appropriate, as you’re going to need a second one for spares. Fun chassis, but VERY poorly engineered, and if the rust doesn’t kill it, the slow crumbing of every plastic or rubber piece up to and including wire insulation will.

  5. discontinuuity Avatar

    I recently bought an ’86 myself, and I couldn’t be more please with it. A large part of that has to do with it having the proper wheels.

  6. DClan Avatar

    I once owned a beautiful racing green over argent silver 1987 MR2. Equipped with adjustable struts and braces, performance springs, upgraded clutch, Ansa performance exhaust, fresh air snorkel, and upgraded tires on TRD wheels, this car handled like it was on rails. It was truly fun to drive, and fun to drive fast.