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Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
4/26/21 9:43 a.m.

There's one in the Toledo area, with high miles, not original but looks like a lot of work done to it and asking $20k.  That's with generic wheels and tires, if he adds either of 2 sets of better wheels that's another $2k.  Different tail lights?  Another $1k.  A knowledgeable MR2 friend said "he's trying to turn lead into gold"...

eBay shows a '93 at a dealership in IL asking $34K or something. Ooof.

One in NC my friend shared is only asking $9k with a GEN4 swap, but he didn't return my message.

An NA '93 in KY on eBay for $12k didn't sound terrible but will I be disappointed in no turbo?

What do you see in your area?

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/26/21 9:53 a.m.

In reply to Jerry :

There's this one for $6500 w/a 3rd gen 3sge. Or this one that looks surprisingly similar for $9k.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
4/26/21 10:15 a.m.

They don't exist anymore.

obsolete
obsolete Reader
4/26/21 11:39 a.m.
Appleseed said:

They don't exist anymore.

Same. None for sale around here.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/26/21 12:17 p.m.

Duncan has a few JDM examples for sale. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
4/26/21 12:23 p.m.

I don't know if it is COVID pricing or what, but all the beater NA ones I had seen a year and a half ago with $1000-1500 asking prices now seem to have $3500-5000 asking prices.  I don't know what's going on on the top end of the market.

Edit - I think you'll not be impressed with an NA model coming from the Abarth, unless you find one with a properly done V6 swap.  Heck, power to weight vs your modified Abarth is probably not too far off the turbo model.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/26/21 12:32 p.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

I'm sad that I missed out on $1000-1500 MR2s.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
4/26/21 12:49 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to eastsideTim :

I'm sad that I missed out on $1000-1500 MR2s.

So am I.  Even if it meant having to weld in new rocker panels.

Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
4/26/21 1:36 p.m.
eastsideTim said:

I don't know if it is COVID pricing or what, but all the beater NA ones I had seen a year and a half ago with $1000-1500 asking prices now seem to have $3500-5000 asking prices.  I don't know what's going on on the top end of the market.

Edit - I think you'll not be impressed with an NA model coming from the Abarth, unless you find one with a properly done V6 swap.  Heck, power to weight vs your modified Abarth is probably not too far off the turbo model.

Yeah I'm afraid to spend the $$ and be disappointed.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
4/26/21 2:43 p.m.
Jerry said:

Yeah I'm afraid to spend the $$ and be disappointed.

Definitely one you'd want to get an extended test drive in before making a decision.  I'm sure they'd be a fine good weather daily, and would probably garner as much attention at a cars and coffee as an Elise, but I bet a stock-ish turbo model wouldn't be much better on a trackday than your Abarth was, and might be worse.  Since the most of the top tier 90's Japanese sport cars have appreciated out of the price range of a lot of mere mortals, second tier cars like the MR2 Turbo are getting more attention, and prices are following.

I know you don't want RHD, but it seems like if you want something like that, JDM models have become a better deal.  As for the guy asking 34k for one, at that price, I'd just overpay for a decent R32 Skyline GTR.

 

EDIT:  I think my comments above sounded too negative.  If an MR2 is what you want, there's nothing wrong with going for it.  Just best to recognize any shortcomings ahead of time.  As far as I am concerned, they are one of the best looking cars of the 90's.  I'd love to have a hardtop turbo model, myself. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/26/21 3:02 p.m.

Jerry previously had a MR2 SC (and so did I.)

I've never had a MR2 turbo. For those that have had both, how do they compare. 

racerdave600
racerdave600 UltraDork
4/26/21 5:07 p.m.

I had a Turbo MR2 I used as a daily driver and sometimes as an autocross and track car when my X1/9 and '85 MR2 were in need of "time off".  I loved that car and it was my longest daily to date, but even then, it did require a few expensive services.  Most of the ones today that I see are total rats, with a few that are exceptional.  Driver quality cars seem few and far between.  I think you are seeing prices reflect that, and if you want one, now I think is the time to buy. 

As always, people like me that had one new and would like another, are willing to pay for a good one, but it is also driving the needy ones up with it.  Even compared to a year ago pricing seems quite a bit higher.  The bargain in MR2s right now is the spider, and it is arguably the best of the bunch in my opinion.  

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/26/21 5:15 p.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

R32s are in the $45-50k range now, sadly.

 

MR2 Turbos are weird, in that they were impacted hard by the strengthening Yen in the mid-late 90s.  IIRC a '97 retailed for something crazy like $70k, and amazingly enough, very few people bought one when the same money could practically get you a new Corvette, and a second one as a spare.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/26/21 5:16 p.m.
John Welsh said:

Jerry previously had a MR2 SC (and so did I.)

I've never had a MR2 turbo. For those that have had both, how do they compare. 

I've never driven an MK1, but had an MK2t and driven an MK2 NA. It's night an day power-wise. I think Jerry would be disappointed with the 5S-FE. 

I also had a '92 Celica GT-S with the 5S and it was slow. Even after some mods. 

On MK2s you have 90-92, then 93 and then 94-95. Prices will go up as you move through those ranges and 94-95 used to carry a huge premium over the others. 

I said it on the other thread, if you want to find an MR2T for $10k, you are going to be looking at the worst examples. I think you should double the budget to find a decent one. 

84FSP
84FSP UltraDork
4/26/21 6:20 p.m.

Ironic was just having this discussion at cars and coffee in Cincy as there were four nice gen2 turbos, 1 gen 3, ans 2 gen 1.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/27/21 3:44 a.m.

Here’s a $7k turbo. It's not perfect, but doesn't seem like junk either.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/27/21 7:01 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Wow, you guys' standards are lower than I though. 

That car is a money pit.
- Not a factory Turbo
- Needs paint 
- Two different set of wheels. 
- Missing interior trim. Good luck finding this nowadays. 
- Whats up with the rear window?
- Whats going on with suspension/steering rack. 
- Missing spoiler

I would not pay $2k for a car like that from that guy ... let alone $7k

That's a project. 

fatallightning
fatallightning Reader
4/27/21 7:04 a.m.

Market has gone up. E153 trans with LSD is 2k alone now.

fatallightning
fatallightning Reader
4/27/21 7:13 a.m.
Jerry said:
eastsideTim said:

I don't know if it is COVID pricing or what, but all the beater NA ones I had seen a year and a half ago with $1000-1500 asking prices now seem to have $3500-5000 asking prices.  I don't know what's going on on the top end of the market.

Edit - I think you'll not be impressed with an NA model coming from the Abarth, unless you find one with a properly done V6 swap.  Heck, power to weight vs your modified Abarth is probably not too far off the turbo model.

Yeah I'm afraid to spend the $$ and be disappointed.

I think you'd be disappointed. Mk2 MR2s aren't quite light enough to make 130hp interesting like the way, say, a Miata or Mk3 MR2 does. 

ZOO (Forum Supporter)
ZOO (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/27/21 7:14 a.m.

Pivot:  my funniest HPDE instructor story involves a JDM MR2 Turbo.  The driver insisted I drive it around the track for a few laps so he could get a sense of what "track driving" was like.  A golden rule of mine is to NEVER drive a student's car at an event, but he was so earnest and so insistent that I caved.  But, I knew I wasn't going to "push" at all -- especially since it was RHD, and I hadn't driven from the "wrong" seat before.  But the track was familiar to me, with lots of run-off, no elevation, and no blind corners.  I knew the risk was minimal.

We left the pit.  I accelerated briskly, but not aggressively.   I changed gears.  The blow-off valve dumped (or whatever they do), and it was surprisingly loud (likely right behind us).  The owner visibly startled, and asked WTF that noise was . . .

I guess he hadn't ever really driven the car.

The good news is we did a few laps at 5/10ths.  And then he drove, and had a great day with no issues. 

I've never driven a student's car again.  It's hard, especially when offered something "choice" (thanks, Ferris).

Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
4/27/21 8:51 a.m.

I don't think I'd be disappointed in a 2nd gen MR2 itself, but possible an NA.  My low power MK1's were still fun, with less weight of course.

The one in NC with the GEN4 swap got back to me yesterday, we talked a bit.  Seemed nice, the car itself was built by Bill Strong of Racing Strong, totally trust him.  My local friend Mike Helm knows much about MR2s and I've been bugging the E36 M3 out of him with various samples.  I owe him a dinner when this is all over...

The only downside to the car is no AC.  Also it's 10hrs away in NC, but SWMBO already said hey we could roadtrip and I'll drive the Crosstrek back.  So there's that.  Have to decide how important air conditioning is to me.

 

Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
4/27/21 12:50 p.m.

Side note, just read the GRM article about Nelson Ledges and saw Bill Strong is also spokesman for ChampCar.

Tyler H (Forum Supporter)
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/27/21 12:57 p.m.
fatallightning said:
Jerry said:
eastsideTim said:

I don't know if it is COVID pricing or what, but all the beater NA ones I had seen a year and a half ago with $1000-1500 asking prices now seem to have $3500-5000 asking prices.  I don't know what's going on on the top end of the market.

Edit - I think you'll not be impressed with an NA model coming from the Abarth, unless you find one with a properly done V6 swap.  Heck, power to weight vs your modified Abarth is probably not too far off the turbo model.

Yeah I'm afraid to spend the $$ and be disappointed.

I think you'd be disappointed. Mk2 MR2s aren't quite light enough to make 130hp interesting like the way, say, a Miata or Mk3 MR2 does. 

They've got a lot of torque, though.  They're fun in a point-and-squirt way around town, they just rev like a tractor.  

This is where I lament selling a really nice 95 Turbo for $10k, right?

I would take a nice NA with ABS and power steering over a ragged USDM turbo car.  It's pretty easy to swap in a V6 or Gen4 3SGTE without hacking up the car.  The USDM Turbo is pretty underwhelming by today's standards, which leaves you with swaps or mods to deal with anyway.  

 

Now, if Turbos were still only $2k more than an NA, I would say go that route.  They're so old that I say find the nicest example you can.

fatallightning
fatallightning Reader
4/27/21 1:04 p.m.

In reply to Tyler H (Forum Supporter) :

Oh yeah. That's regret. 

I've actually never driven MKII with PS. I have a 91 NA with a 93 JDM swap, no PS, no ABS etc. It was my first car, owned it since 2001. Sadly been parked for the last...11 years? I'll get around to it some day. It was built on a shoe string college kid ramen budget, so there's definitely a number of things I'd redo with some grownup money. When I did my swap at PA warehouse, my halfcut was missing some brake pieces so I ended up reusing the 91 crossmember, snap oversteer and all. When I eventually get it going again, that Wilhelm kit is near the top of the list so I don't end myself driving in the mountains. 

Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
4/28/21 12:12 p.m.

I have a feeling a turbo MR2 is not in the cards for me.  I can't see $20-30K in my budget for that anytime soon.

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