Don's MR2 Passion

Mid-life Rejuvenation II

Ever get tired of driving the van? I did, so I went out and got something "old" and "fun". It's the original Mid-Engine Japanese 2-seater sports car - the Toyota MR2. These are classics-in-waiting, and definitely a great mid-life crisis car.






BCMR2 2004 Show and Shine

Father and Daughter with Twin 87 MR2 NA's



BCMR2 2007 Show and Shine

1987 Toyota MR2 NA



#2 Stock Mk1 MR2 @ BC2007 12-Aug 2007








After many years of talking about it, on my birthday I received a vanity plate for our project MR2.



BCMR2 2005 Show and Shine

Stock MK1's Winners - #2, #3 (mine), #1 (89 JDM)

(Left to Right)



#3 Stock Mk1 MR2 @ BC2005 13-Aug 2005


As you see from the pictures, I've found this car to be SO much fun, that I have a couple of them! The project MR2 we call "MR 2wassen" or "Mr. T" for the town I live in which is Tsawwassen. It is the fully restored one of the two blue 87's. The second, in rougher shape, we call it Rusty, and while he was destined to be a donor-car, there is a good chance over the next few years he will get a bit more work done on him too.

The blue MR2's are nearly identical, but the project car (think shiny) shows a lot better than the second car. No matter how they show, all the MR2's drive exceptionally well in the city and on the open highway (yes, and that means going pretty fast too).

Restoring the MR2 Mk1

The Project MR2 is going through a rejuvenation of it's own. Starting in 2000, we starting bringing this car back from 13 years of regular use to near-new condition is the Restoration Project now underway. This project includes everything I've done since buying the car in February 2000 through March 2009 (when I found some rust creeping back). Over that period, I have driven it just 15,000 km. AND, to top it off, at the 2007 Show and Shine it placed 2nd against some very tough competition in the Stock Mk1 category. We weren't able to compete in 2008 but MR 2WASSEN was ready -- it's just we weren't in town.

 A history of the exterior restoration is basically shown on a couple more pages starting with:

Pre-Restoration: More MR2 Pictures

Mid-Restoration: Yet More MR2 Pictures

FINAL Restoration MR2 Restoration Completion Pictures

Interior and power train restorations are also recorded under details about the restoration project, but this has over time become quite long and detailed. A shorter picture version is available for the interior and power train:

Restoration Project

MR2 Interior & Power Train Restoration.

A restoration of this scope tends to cost a lot of money, but in comparison to buying a BMW or Porsche it is a mere fraction of their cost. It takes roughly the cost of a the MR2's original cost to bring it back to a top-notch used car condition, so this kind of thing isn't for those who are hesitant to drop money into such a project.

One big step I took was to start stockpiling parts for the future. This includes a full second MR2 (same year, colour, power train, etc.) to be an organ donor. The second MR2 is a high mileage car (>340k km) and is in daily use. As can be expected for a car with such high mileage, it has its own challenges. One of those is that has become a second project, but one that I'm not afraid to work on myself (particularly the bodywork restoration).

While these cars are nearly identically appointed now, this only happened in summer-2004. In order to illustrate the significant differences between the basic and more richly appointed 1987 Mk1 NA, the following link provides a pictorial comparison. Some of the big differences (aka rust) between a restored and unrestored Mk1 are part of this. As well, there is an identified repair history for the Second Mk1 (>340,000 km) which is showing its age.

MR2 Mid-range Project vs. Basic Donor/Project (Mid-tier Model vs. Stripper Model)

MR2 Donor (2nd Project) Maintenance


Best Sites Supporting the MR2

The MR2 club of which I am a member is:

BC MR2 Owners Group ( - )

A couple of the best MR2 sites that has helped me a lot are:

The International MR2 Owners Club ( IMOC - )

When doing restorations, you are always looking for parts or cars, there is a very good support sites for the MR2:

Schematics: AW11 Parts Catalog

MR2 Owners: MR2 Message Board

Having a 1987 MR2 Mk1 means my interest are pretty focussed on that model. Why, you may ask, would anyone want to be concerned about parts for their MR2? I've got a few juicy tidbits as to why right here:

MR2 Mk1 Production Figures

MR2 Market Evaluations 1996

More about Don, and some of my other interests can be view by visiting my ...

Last Updated: 2011 January 7

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