The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe MR2 describes the model as the “poor man’s Ferrari.” Let’s see just how accurate that might be, and if it comes with a price that makes it a title that’s richly deserved.
It’s always important to have a backup plan. You know what I mean; an exit strategy, an extra pair of undies, or an alibi should you get caught coming in at 3 a.m., lit up like a Christmas tree.
The seller of last Friday’s 1987 Yugo GV had a plan should the notoriously unreliable car’s engine crap out—that being having another one in reserve. In fact, the car could be run on either or both 500 CID Caddy V8s that had been crammed in the little Yugo, turning it into a car that makes batshit look sane. Unfortunately, one man’s insanity is another’s poor value and at $25,500, that custom Yugo just didn’t have what it takes to reach a broader audience. What resulted was a hefty 83 percent Crack Pipe loss, no two-ways about it.
Have you ever heard someone claim something to be equatable to a reference point in some other category? No doubt you have. hey even made a running joke out of this practice in the movie Get Shorty, calling the Oldsmobile Silhouette the “Cadillac of minivans.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but I find such comparisons specious and denigrating to the object itself. I mean, why couldn’t Cadillac be the Olds Silhouette of ponderous luxury barges?
Today’s 1995 Toyota MR2 Turbo is described in its ad as being the “poor man’s Ferrari” obviously drawing comparisons between the Japanese sports car and those of the storied Italian marque. Now, aside from having two-seats, a mid-mounted motor, and… well, I guess pop-up headlights, I don’t really think the comparison holds much weight. That’s too bad because the MR2, especially in its burst-of-power, two-litre turbo form, is a pretty cool ride in its own right.
Let’s get the specs out of the way first. The second-generation MR2 turbo offered up 200 horsepower out of its two-litres of displacement. That seems pretty weaksauce-ish by today’s standards, but back then it was all that and a bag of senbei. Paired with the four-pot is a standard five-speed manual, and all the Turbo cars received bigger brakes and wider wheels than their lesser brethren to make the added power more manageable.
This one comes in black over black and being a ’95 features standard T-tops over its cloth upholstered cabin. The car looks appreciably stock aside from the aftermarket wheels. Very honestly those look like something you’d see on an AMG Benz but seem to fit the aesthetic here as well.
The exterior is described by the seller as 9/10 owing to some chips on the nose (but no salsa) and a front fender “blemish.” The 9.5/10 interior seems reasonably tidy too, with just a couple of aftermarket gauges and the stereo taking you out of the moment of the factory look.
Other mods here include a CT20 turbo upgrade, Spearco intercooler, and an aftermarket ECU flash. Bilstein shocks, paired with TRD suspension updates are also along for the ride. The aforementioned wheels complete the package.
There are 118,000 miles on the clock and the car comes with a clean title and a history that includes four prior owners including the present one. The seller says that the car has been babied during its present tenure and maintained with care.
It’s surprising then that the current owner wouldn’t want to present the car in its best—i.e. most current—light. You see, all the photos in the ad, save for the grainy night shot above, are from the last owner’s sale, back in 2011. That’s right, we’re looking at pictures that are almost a decade old.
Is that a big deal? I don’t know, that’s what you’re here to decide. Back in that previous ad, the car rocked 107K and asked $14,500. The present owner is asking $16,900 for the car and aside from it being older, there doesn’t seem to be much to differentiate it from that earlier sale.
Of course, at $16,900 it’s not really a poor person’s anything. That’s a lot of cash, although to be fair to the seller, these are engaging, fun cars to drive and as is pointed out in the ad, they are appreciably rare.
The question for you is whether this one, as presented, offers enough bang for that $16,900 in bucks.
What do you think, is this MR2 Turbo a car that could command that much cash? Or, is this “poor man’s Ferrari” really no more than just a rich person’s Toyota?
H/T to Bill H. for the hookup!
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