Nicole Suddard
Nicole Suddard Marketing Coordinator
5/24/21 9:42 a.m.

woman standing next to a white 1985 MR2 AW11 with palm trees in the background

We bought this car from JG Pasterjak back in 2015 because I, admittedly not knowing much about cars at the time, thought it looked cool and would be a fun project. We replaced the blown head gasket and got it mostly sorted in other ways, but then it got brushed to the side in favor of more urgent projects.

Well, this past weekend we found ourself in need of a cool car to drive to Amelia Island, and found that the MR2 was the most intact classic we had on hand. I was forced to confront the reality of my mostly-abandoned project car and trauma-bond with it on the highway in infamous Jacksonville rush hour traffic. The windshield broke. I got dangerously close to heat exhaustion. A lot of time was spent on the shoulder of the road.

I entered it in the Concours d'Lemons for fun and got to be modestly proud of it for a few hours (etiquette side note - if you see a woman standing next to a car at a show, PLEASE consider the possibility that she is the owner and try not to be rude). I met a lot of other MR2 fans, felt my love for the car's aesthetics validated, and let go of most of the hard feelings that had developed during the perilous commute.

At the end of the weekend, I drove my little AW11 home with a newfound appreciation for it and plenty of motivation to restart my restoration efforts. My end goal is to get the car looking and feeling more or less like new, with all the correct trim and decals on the outside. It also needs a new dash — this one has a pretty significant crack that has resisted my best vinyl repair efforts — and some driving comfort improvements such as a working stereo and softer suspension. This car will probably never be concours-quality, but I'd like to make it into something that would fit in and be comfortable to take on a road tour.

If anybody has any tips on where to find MR2 parts and how to go about restoring a car from this era, I would appreciate advice! I'm already aware of Twos R Us and will probably be ordering some things from them in the near future. smiley

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
5/24/21 9:45 a.m.

I still love you even though you want to take those sweet Kosei K1s off your car. cheeky

Nicole Suddard
Nicole Suddard Marketing Coordinator
5/24/21 10:03 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I might make an exception for wheels. I'll admit the originals don't thrill me. The Kosei K1s look nice but are peeling in spots. There's also those basket weaves...

oldeskewltoy UberDork
5/25/21 10:04 a.m.

faceebook MR2 sites have folks from all over the world... and many are now 3D printing oddball parts....   They also will help a great deal.   You can also join the MR2 forums - believe it or not there is a LOT of good info in these forums.


And if you want something under the engine lid with a bit more umph, I'll be happy to build you a head, and offer advice/recommendations.

Nicole Suddard
Nicole Suddard Marketing Coordinator
5/25/21 11:02 a.m.

In reply to oldeskewltoy :

Thanks! I just requested to join a bunch of local MR2 FB groups and will probably register for the forum on MR2OC later today.

DarkMonohue Reader
5/25/21 3:01 p.m.

Alright. Any official AW11 content is a good thing.

Longtime AW11 owner here. Coming up on 17 years in mine. Every so often i think I'm ready for a change, but I'm not. This is my car and I am its person. Mine is also an '85. It's the best year, in my entirely impartial opinion. 

You missed the golden age ofMR2 forums by about ten years. MR2OC got sold to a corporate owner who turned it into a banner farm and priced sponsorship out of reach of many small vendors, including myself, who supported the community, and the forums sort of fell apart.  There's still some activity, and a ton of good archived information, but it's not what it used to be.

Facebook groups captured the kids with short attention spans, and the signal to noise ratio is pretty poor sometimes. I go occasionally to see what vendors are offering but tend not to participate.

Twos R Us is the default source for many things. There are others but David has been around a very long time, and buying from him is part and parcel of MR2 ownership.

There's also still a surprising amount of OEM stuff (mostly hard parts) available from Toyota dealership parts departments, provided you have a relationship with someone there who a) is willing to look up parts for older cars, b) has enough experience to use the catalog correctly, c) knows at least a little bit about MR2s, and d) doesn't mind checking availability on part numbers when necessary.

Oldeskewltoy knows his way around the 4A-GE. More power is not as easy as bolting on a single keystone part and unlocking fifty secret horsepower. You have several obstacles to address in making power out of a 4A-GE, and these cars aren't as light as they could be. But even at stock power they're a lot of fun.

Burp the coolant!


CrustyRedXpress Reader
5/25/21 7:21 p.m.

I can't remember the guy's forum handle, but one of the frequent 2k challenge competitors seemed to have multiple aw11's and a good bit of knowledge. Pretty sure he bought the 2018 parking lot build and was 1/2 of a miata team that won the challenge.

Trauma bond is a great phrase-good luck!

Nicole Suddard
Nicole Suddard Marketing Coordinator
6/7/21 6:24 p.m.

Been too busy to make a whole ton of progress on this lately, but I did finally get a local auto glass guy to give me a quote on a new windshield after being repeatedly ghosted by Safelite, so I'm halfway to getting that fixed.

Mostly wanted to jump on here and plug a small business that I learned about recently: (OHOAT! for short). I bought some nice prismatic stickers from them and was very excited to receive the USPS alert that they'd been delivered today. So basically, today's update is that I removed some of the old window stickers that JG had applied and put my own personal touch on the car. 

In reply to Nicole Suddard :

Those are AWESOME!!! I love that they're prismatic too, so retro. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/7/21 8:57 p.m.
CrustyRedXpress said:

I can't remember the guy's forum handle, but one of the frequent 2k challenge competitors seemed to have multiple aw11's and a good bit of knowledge. Pretty sure he bought the 2018 parking lot build and was 1/2 of a miata team that won the challenge.

Trauma bond is a great phrase-good luck!

Mrjoshua if I'm not mistaken.

I probably shouldn't have sold it either.


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