1989 Toyota MR2 Mk1b - "Aiko"
Owner Monkeymax
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Vehicle 1989 Toyota MR2 Mk1b
Engine Type 4 Cylinder Naturally Aspirated
Vehicle Class
Color Super Red II
Updated 1st May 2011 12:56 PM
Mileage 105,000 Miles
Price
Purchase Date 30th June 2006
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Description
As a kid, I used to see a red sports car with pop-up headlights when I visited my grandparents. Naturally, I loved it, even if I didn't know what it was...

As I grew up, I forgot about cars (though always kept a soft-spot for red sports cars and pop-up headlights!). I got my license when I was 21, and bought my first car almost blind; an old Peugeot 309. It wasn't great, but I didn't care, it was a car that got me from A to B.

Time passed, I got ripped off on servicing, and so learnt to service it myself, and thus started learning more about cars. I then left Uni and got a good job and decided it was time to 'upgrade'. Initially looking at MX-5s, a friend suggested I also try the MR2. I loved the look of the Mk1 when I looked at them again, and loved the drive even more! I turned all my attention to the MR2 Mk1.

After viewing a dozen Mk1s, (most of which weren't as described; annoying given some of the distances travelled to view!) I went one day with my Dad to Birmingham to look at a Mk1 there. I took it out for a test drive and it was pretty good, though there were a couple of niggles on the car that weren't what I wanted - I could afford better. Still, my Dad went on his test drive (he still knew significantly more about cars than me!) and I looked through the paperwork anyway. And got a shock; this car 'lived' on the road parallel to my grandparents when I was a kid! Screw the niggles, I had to have it! Money changed hands and the following day I was having my first solo drive home in _my_ MR2. Except it was an hour and a half of driving through heavy rain and pitch black night on (what I would later learn to be) rubbish quality tyres... I learnt a lot about driving that night!

Fast forward two years from buying the car, and my sister bought her own red T-Bar Mk1. It was 'better' than mine. I didn't mind although the handling made mine feel like a boat... Hmmmm...

By this point I'd learnt more about self-maintenance and decided to give it a go myself. I ended up completely rebuilding the suspension and brakes, using Koni shocks, Lesjofors Springs, TRD bushes, TRD top-mounts, initially custom designed tie-bars (subsequently replaced with Twos'R'Us (US) tie-bars), Twos'R'Us (US) droplinks, all new bolts and nuts, stainless steel braided brake hoses, rebuilt calipers, Redstuff rear pads, Ferrodo front pads... And a custom geo set up based on my personal driving preferences. It took a while to get all this done as I'd gone back to Uni, but the difference is mega!

Next on the list of to-dos is to fit the ITBs I've had stored for the last couple of years, but I've told myself to finish Uni first!

The car still puts a massive smile on my face, and I love looking at it outside.