Toyota MR2

Project “Conclusion”: 1991 Toyota MR2 “Someday Race Car”

Not all projects get the end they deserve. Not all get the end you want them to. Not all even turn out to be projects.

My ill-fated MR2 was all of the above.

Toyota MR2

My friend Dan and I picked up the little second-gen Toyota MR2 a few years back. We had big plans for the car. A Roadkill-esque build complete with cardboard to-do list. Sights set on a 24 Hours of LeMons race. Future weekends spent running rallycross and ChumpCar. But we never got there.

Life… uh, gets in the way

Life simply got in the way. We’ve all been there. You acquire a project, talk up and down about your plans for it, and just never get to it. Work, relationships, and other projects consume the time once psychologically dedicated to the one on the perpetual back-burner.

Toyota MR2...and a pallet of parts

The furthest we got was moving a second engine to keep the MR2 company. In all fairness Dan did a ton of work pulling the engine from a donor MR2. The result was a pallet of parts destined to a similar fate. The plan to swap a manual gearbox and functional motor died a sad death.

Toyota MR2

After some good, hard thought, Dan and I honed in on our realities. I was losing the storage space at which we kept the MR2. The end goal was much further than either of us had expected. And, crucially, the time we would need to dedicate to getting it running just wasn’t there. So after a few long conversations we decided to sell it.

Time to go

The first prospective buyer showed up after seeing it on Grassroots Motorsports. Amidst shared skepticism between Dan and myself, the potential buyer arrived…in the cleanest slick-top MR2 Turbo I had ever seen. He proceeded to talk MR2s and cars with us for the better part of an hour. And of course looked over the car with the finest of tooth combs. The next day he informed us he didn’t want the car.

Toyota MR2

Our buyer rolled around a few days later. He saw the ad on Facebook Marketplace and we shared a few messages. Later that week he came to see it. He wanted to buy it and the extra hood as well. To my surprise he pulled the appropriate amount of cash out of his pocket and handed it to me right then and there. Less than 24 hours later he came to pick up his new purchase. Purging the ancient fuel residing in its tank and lines, the MR2 stalled a few times as the buyer pulled away. Then he blasted off into the distance. Once and for all.


It turns out that Facebook Marketplace is a great place to sell a vehicle. This marked my 2nd sold/ended project of the last 2 months, the other being the Stormtrooper 4Runner. A turning point in the used-car-selling-place tide? Now with Craigslist’s $5 listing fee things might be changing. But that’s beside the point.

Toyota MR2

And so, the little MR2 left its post to live out the rest of its life in the hands of its new enthusiastic owner. As badly as I wanted it to be our entry into budget motorsports it simply wasn’t to be. Sometimes the timing just isn’t meant to be. For our departed MR2 that sadly was the case.

Good riddance, Mr. Someday Race Car. Here’s to future projects.

Toyota MR2

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10 responses to “Project “Conclusion”: 1991 Toyota MR2 “Someday Race Car””

  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    A shame to see this one go, but I guess there is some freedom in removing such a project, too.

    Over here, an ad for a car on the Norwegian equivalent of Craigslist is >50$. My Honda has been sitting for two months with hardly any interest for it. As a expected for a quite used up rare vehicle with only a sliver of enthusiast credentials.

    1. Ross Ballot Avatar
      Ross Ballot

      Very much freedom. Between selling the Stormtrooper and the MR2 I’m feeling very relieved.

  2. outback_ute Avatar

    This one wasn’t one of the project cars, but I’ve been down that path recently. (it was most of a shell, less what had been ‘donated’ already or rusted away)

    1. SeattleCurmudgeon Avatar

      That used to be mine- I put that dent in behind the wheel when I hit the cart corral at the Safeway in Kenmore. Did you fix the intermittent miss in cyl #3?

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        I don’t think you meant to reply to my comment – the car pictured didn’t have a dent behind the wheel, only on the roof (half the roof dented down), and hadn’t had an engine in it for probably 40 years!

        1. SeattleCurmudgeon Avatar

          Yes- it was a joke.

          1. outback_ute Avatar

            Ok, no. 3 was still missing along with 1, 2 & 4

  3. roguetoaster Avatar

    Since CL introduced the $5 fee I’ve seen average prices increase in my area, beaters disappear from the local pages, and a general lack of selection. Still searching for the next best place to buy/sell cars, besides FB, which I just can’t see using at this point. Even autotempest isn’t turning up a decent selection non-locally, and it looks like cargraph is showing a recent uptick in average prices. Ugh, it’s a bad time to enjoy cheap used cars.

  4. salguod Avatar

    Wait, Craigslist is $5 to list now? Sigh. Craigslist had its flaws, but it’s well organized and widely used.

    Facebook is a decent site for staying connected with friends and family (or at least it was), it’s not good for other things. Car forums are better than Facebook groups and I like Craigslist better than Facebook marketplace.

    What Facebook once did well is now mediocre and now it’s branching out into other mediocre implementations of other things. And it’s popularity will likely kill the better options.

    I sound like a crotchety old man. I guess I am. Get off my lawn. 😀

  5. ali ababneh Avatar
    ali ababneh

    Buy and sell used cars for sale buy owner at Volgo Point, Buying used cars as a means to save money is a wise choice these days.
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