R&D: Budget Classic Toyota

Plans and ideas are boiling inside my head about buying a budget classic (noticed the contradiction?) sports car, from the ”pop-up headlight” era.

The major concern is finding ways to minimize the risks or gamble involved with venturing into such a project. You just wish if it can all be accurately foreseen prior taking the action. For a first timer, it seems to be frustrating especially when a tight budget is involved.

The Mk.1 MR2 is one of the options considered besides the AE86 or Mk.2 MR2.

Finding one in good running condition is a slim chance. While picking up a model that has been parked for a long time, overhauling it & putting everything back together.

Buying a 25-30 year old car in running shape could mean having to endure any of the following:

  • Major drive-train leaks due to expiring hoses, seals, rings, boots, washers, gaskets, etc.
  • Worn off plastic, rubber & fabric components, which can potentially cost a fortune to replace or refurbish.
  • Potentially worn out suspension system, steering system, sub-frame, air conditioning and various drive train components.
  • Electrical systems; ECUs, harnesses, power windows, power locks, etc.
  • Rust and worn paint.
  • Lack of vehicle history.
  • Time for finding, sourcing and refurbishing parts for a reasonable price.

Unless the previous owner, at least sorted half of these defects it still will be a challenging and unpredictable project. The car will definitely be a money drain and there will always be stuff to fix. Not everybody wants to take the risk of spending more time fixing their rides instead of driving them.

Some people speak of classic cars as an investment which is something hard to digest or predict at least for the average joe who is used to living with new or mid-aged vehicle.

Overall it will be a nice adventure, challenge and a lesson to learn. Though just like any other adventures, there will be risks involved. I chose to wait for another day.

Below is a list of links you can go through when considering a classic MR2. I thought of sharing my little research:











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