Project Car SOTU: Toyota MR2 "Someday" Race Car

It’s a situation that us car lovers fantasize over: a car somehow falls into your lap and you feel not only morally obligated, but genuinely excited, to accept it as your own. You welcome it with open arms, tell your friends of the new addition to your fleet, spend hours on the internet researching the model, and, for weeks on end, fail to think of much else aside from that new-to-you car that’s waiting for attention. But, alas, that’s not necessarily the way the cookie crumbles, so to speak.
A few years back my friend Dan and I were fortunate enough to take on joint ownership of a beaten-and-battered but still too free to pass up 1991 MR2 and we had big, broad plans for the racing series (yes, serieS in the plural) that we were going to enter with it. Texts and Facebook messages were exchanged at a record pace upon bringing the car home. Our hopes were high.
That initial Intro post was one of my first here at Hooniverse, and it went live well over a year ago. We drove the little sports car home from Jersey over two years ago. I’d love to report that a lot has been done on the MR2 front since then, so read on to find out (though the above image may serve as a hint).

So what’s been done to the “Someday Race Car” MR2?

Not a goddamn thing.

The poor thing hasn’t moved an inch.

This is a sad story of how a Toyota MR2 that once provided hopes and dreams has gone entirely neglected for over two years. Actually, it’s not much of a story at all, but rather the result of something called life. Priorities change, work overwhelms, schedules conflict; it’s what happens when there’s never enough time. And it’s the path that leads to not just one MR2, but two, sitting unmoved, un-started, and un-loved for two-plus years.

The Stormtrooper 4Runner keeping its non-running Toyota sibling company

Sidelined by a bad back and crippled by our never-aligning schedules, MR2.1, the free Jersey car with a good chassis but shot motor, continues to to collect dust, pollen, and sharp glances from me every time I lay eyes on it. Meanwhile, MR2.2, the extraordinarily cheap Craigslist find with a horribly rotted chassis but a strong engine, lives with Dan and, like the car it will someday mate with to build one single running Toyota sports car, continues to live a life like that of MR2.1; i.e., not much of a life at all.
It’s easy to say this, and it’s been said before, but we’re hopeful that at least some progress can be made in the upcoming months or at least year. The prospect of how fun these cars are is tormenting our feeble little minds, but much legwork stands in the way. I’d say stay tuned, but I said that last year. Someday though, these suckers will run as one.

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8 responses to “Project Car SOTU: Toyota MR2 "Someday" Race Car”

  1. nanoop Avatar

    Once, this was somebody’s dream, materializing after signing a contract that was slightly ouch, but the joy was worth it. Don’t watch the ashes, pass on the torch.

    1. Ross Ballot Avatar
      Ross Ballot

      There’s still hope.

  2. outback_ute Avatar

    Can relate so very much… Not only my own project cars, but at my sisters’ apartment building this Audi has been parked for about 2 years now. This photo was taken about 8 months ago, there is a lot more dust now (can’t tell it is black on the horizontal surfaces), and a lot more writing.

  3. cap'n fast Avatar
    cap’n fast

    so, is it priced out of Lemons qualifications? a used engine and your good to go??

    1. Ross Ballot Avatar
      Ross Ballot

      I mean, it was free…so it should qualify. Needs an engine and gearbox, both of which we have in the 2nd MR2. Just a matter of combining them.

  4. kogashiwa Avatar

    My old MR2 is the only car I’ve owned that I really, really want back.
    Let this one live!

    1. Ross Ballot Avatar
      Ross Ballot

      We’re trying!

      1. Vairship Avatar

        Let Freedom riiiiing,
        Let that engine siiiing,

        (Clearly you’ll have to be done by the 4th of July) 😉