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1985 Toyota MR2 12172 Miles Red 4 Cylinder Engine 1.6L/97 5-speed manual

Make: Toyota
Model: MR2
Type: --
Trim: --
Year: 1985
Mileage: 12172
VIN: JT2AW15C2F0030503
Color: Red
Engine: 4 Cylinder Engine 1.6L/97
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: Manual
Drive type: 2dr Coupe 5-Spd
Interior color: Black
Vehicle Title: N/A
Item location: Local pick-up only

1985 Toyota MR2 -- Additional Info:

There was a brief time in the ‘80s when automakers were taking chances and putting great cars in the hands of the general public. I’m not talking about 700 horsepower monsters like we have today (where, exactly, are you going to use 700 horsepower on your commute to work, anyway?) but rather wonderful machines like the original Toyota MR2. Instead of being over-powered, it was nimble and light, the absolute embodiment of less being more. It’s a car you could... drive flat-out without endangering the countryside and you’d be grinning so hard that it would hurt to stop. We’ve gotten to the point today where everything is fast, comfortable, and competent, yet we’ve totally lost touch with actually DRIVING a car, feeling the machine doing its work and dancing on the envelope’s edge. Less weight means everything works better—suspension, brakes, tires—without needing to be big and expensive. If you like to simply go fast, well, there are lots of cars to do that and all you have to do is stomp and steer. But if you like to DRIVE, this awesome MR2 will reward you in ways you haven’t experienced in years. This bright red car is the early MR2 to own. It has just one owner and only 12,172 original miles and that’s not a misprint. It’s so original it’s still sitting on its factory-installed Dunlop tires. This was the first year the MR2 was available in the US, but the second year for production, and if Toyota had any bugs to work out they were cured by the time the car landed on our shores. Of course, Toyota’s quality was the same then as it is now, so this one runs and drives almost like a new car and still feels right. Bright red was by far the most popular choice—this is a mid-engined sports car, after all—and it remains instantly recognizable with its flying wedge profile. The styling has aged rather well and doesn’t look as dated as many of its contemporaries (I’m looking at you, Pontiac Fiero), and there’s an appealing “form follows function” vibe to the thing that I find insanely appealing. Check out the air intake on the right rear quarter panel, the vents on top of the engine cover, and the lack of a rear spoiler (although one was optional that year). The paint is in excellent shape for being on the verge of its 35th birthday, and we see no evidence of accident damage, rust, or other issues. Of course there’s some minor shelf wear and polishing marks, but for a survivor, this one is shockingly well preserved. Even the black trim pieces remain dark and smooth, not faded and chalky, which reinforces the fact that it lived its entire life indoors. The two-tone black and red interior is far more serious about driving than you’d expect. Deeply bolstered cloth buckets hold you in place and adjust in a myriad of ways to make it easy for anyone to get comfortable. There’s plenty of room, so don’t worry if you’re tall—Toyota engineers already thought about you behind the wheel. The angular dashboard and scattered controls are very much 1980s, as is the funky 2-spoke steering wheel, but it all works properly and after a few minutes it starts to make a lot of sense. The gauges are big, round, and easy to read and the leather-wrapped 5-speed shifter is just a delight to row through the gears—it’s more like a toggle switch than a shifter. Options include cold A/C, a sunroof, a decent AM/FM/cassette stereo, and a rear defroster which all make it a bit more fun to be behind the wheel. Storage cubbies abound and you’ll be delighted with the cleverness of the packaging—it’s bigger inside than it has any right to be. Obviously the upholstery is in excellent condition with no splits or tears, the carpets are excellent with matching mats, and all the controls work with a satisfying precision that is a Toyota hallmark. Storage is decent, albeit split between the front and rear trunks, with the front being full of spare tire (which has never been down) and the rear being nicely upholstered. You’ll note some areas that look rusty in the front trunk area—don’t worry, that’s not rust, that’s a kind of Cosmoline-like sealer Toyota used to protect the cars during ocean shipping and was supposed to be wiped off by the dealer before delivery. This car was never dealer prepped, which helps explain why it’s so beautifully preserved. On paper, the MR2’s 4A-GE 1.6 liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine doesn’t seem all that amazing: 115 horsepower and 100 pounds of torque. But that doesn’t tell even part of the story. It zings to its lofty 7500 RPM redline without hesitation and thanks to the MR2’s flyweight construction, performance is downright entertaining. Better still, it’s the kind of car that you can drive at 9/10s all the time without attracting undue attention from the local constabulary—try that with your new mid-engined Corvette! It’s packed way down in the center-mounted engine bay right behind the cabin, but it’s well-insulated and the engine makes such delightful sounds that you’ll relish every run to redline. It’s also incredibly smooth, which was a real achievement in the days before balance shafts were so common. And remember, it’s a Toyota, so you’re not going to break it and if you do, parts are cheap and easy to source. Fuel injection ensures that it fires instantly and idles perfectly every time and aside from some surface scale on the bare metal parts, the engine is quite tidy with all its original decals and markings still in place. Later MR2s would get more power in the form of a supercharger, but they lost the razor-sharp handling that makes this car so amazing to drive. The horsepower was mostly for Americans used to big torque, but if you drive this one like a traditional sports car it is extraordinarily rewarding on your favorite twisting road. Dan Gurney reportedly had a hand in tuning the suspension of the first MR2, which would certainly explain its competence. The 5-speed manual has ratios that are exactly right and the clutch action is light, so run it hard without worries. 4-wheel disc brakes are plenty powerful for the car’s weight and the exhaust makes an awesome growl thanks to a fresh muffler on the original exhaust. It’s a little grungy underneath, but you can see that’s mostly the original undercoating, and there’s zero rust anywhere-not in the rockers, not in the wheel wells, nothing. Everything is factory original including the shocks, so it drives right and like most low-mileage cars it’s tight, quiet, and very polished. Original wheels are unmarked save for some minor corrosion around the center cap which is a function of age as much as anything else. And as I mentioned, it’s sitting on its original 185/60/14 Dunlop radials, which should probably be replaced before you bend it into a curve with any enthusiasm. Nobody will ever make a car like this ever again. Electronics, safety aids, and all that nonsense have made cars big and bloated and heavy. Even cars like Porsche 911s are well over 3000 pounds. The unencumbered MR2 provides a direct connection to your cerebellum, with steering that communicates with your fingers so well that you could run over a dime and know whether it’s heads or tails. The featherweight mid-engine design means that handling is benign no matter how you throw it around, and it’s Toyota reliable so you can enjoy it forever without worries. Maintenance is cheap and it pulls down 30 MPG if you take it easy, making it a great hobby car if you can have just one. It’s time to fall in love with the MR2 all over again, and this is a great one. Call today!