This Toyota Is MR2 Legit, MR2 Legit 2 Quit

Welcome to Found Around The District, where we highlight fascinating cars we find around a city where people are too busy fighting through traffic and hunting for parking to drive anything interesting: Washington, D.C.

Oh, hey there, first generation Toyota MR2! It's always a delight when you randomly see one of your favorite cars on the street. These may not be extremely rare, but they're not exactly common as Corollas either.

This Toyota Is MR2 Legit, MR2 Legit 2 Quit

I noticed this dark blue MR2 in a neighborhood not far from where I live in southeast D.C. The funny thing about the first MR2 is that pictures don't do its size justice at all — it's remarkably small in person, and I'm always reminded of that when I see one. It makes for a ridiculously fun driving experience, and it's probably easy to parallel park, which is a good thing in this town.

This first-gen MR2 is the one that ran from 1984 to 1989. Powered by Toyota's famed 4A-GE engine, the car may not have had astronomical horsepower numbers, but it was a blast to drive, especially in the rare barnstorming supercharged trim.

This Toyota Is MR2 Legit, MR2 Legit 2 Quit

The MR2 line had kind of interesting evolution. After this it became a larger, vaguely Ferrari-looking, much more powerful turbocharged coupe, and in the late 90s it morphed again into a convertible-only Miata fighter that offered excellent handling but never really took off with enthusiasts like its predecessors did.

In terms of performance, I'd take a second-gen turbo MR2. But I love the looks and character of the original. It's a tiny, unapologetically small and impractical sports car, and it's 1980s as all hell. Look at those angles! Look at those pop-up headlamps! The whole package is so sharp you could shave with it.

This Toyota Is MR2 Legit, MR2 Legit 2 Quit

The one I found seemed to be in respectable shape considering its age. I assume the seats are kind of torn up, hence the sheets covering them up. Other than that, besides a few dings and scratches outside, it looked okay overall. Hopefully it still runs well too.

I love that there was a time when Toyota was willing to produce a small, affordable mid-engine sports car. That's a genre you really don't see all that much anymore, which is kind of a shame. The masses deserve mid-engine performance too! It shouldn't just be for millionaires who can afford exotics. The Boxster fills that niche in a way, but it's not exactly cheap either.

As always, Super Jalopnik Bonus Points for whoever can guess which year this one is. I looked on the window sticker and I think it said '86 or '87, but I don't remember offhand.

Does anyone have any MR2 stories to share? And would you like to see this make a comeback?

This Toyota Is MR2 Legit, MR2 Legit 2 Quit

This Toyota Is MR2 Legit, MR2 Legit 2 Quit

This Toyota Is MR2 Legit, MR2 Legit 2 Quit

This Toyota Is MR2 Legit, MR2 Legit 2 Quit

This Toyota Is MR2 Legit, MR2 Legit 2 Quit

This Toyota Is MR2 Legit, MR2 Legit 2 Quit

This Toyota Is MR2 Legit, MR2 Legit 2 Quit

This Toyota Is MR2 Legit, MR2 Legit 2 Quit