1985 mr2 but with rust

Alright guys I got another one for ya. Called the guy and it was a George voicemail, but its Sunday so i left him alone.
1.I’ll ask him about the mechanical issues tomorrow and take it to a mechanic if i was trying to buy it
2. There is rust. It doesn’t show passenger side or the interior, we will see. On this car and in general what would make you not buy a car. Any and everything underneath?
3.Says has been sitting for years but it runs. If I can drive it around, does that mean I won’t have to address any issues that come up from cars sitting for years?

Very interesting car! Get it inspected.

Rust in any structural area… rockers, rails, torque boxes is a big NO. With a car that old, if the plastic bits in the interior are roached from heat, another big NO since parts are not available. Mechanicals usually are not a huge deal but it needs to be reflected in the price.

If it runs and you can drive it, great. It will help identify any issues but it is no guarantee of problem free motoring. It is still a 35 year old car that has been sitting a lot.



70’s-90’s Japanese cars are a no-buy when any rust exists. It’ll spread like wildfire. Looking at the pics, if I had to guess someone took good care of this car until fairly recently when they started doing dumb stuff like driving it in the winter (not really what an MR2 is designed for).

My MR2 is 8 years newer and it still costs me a lot of money. These are old cars. If you’re not ready to sink money into them to keep them on the road, they’re not for you.

Specific to the MR2, everything is harder when it comes to working on them. Access is more difficult because of where the engine is. This is going to be reflected in what you get charged by mechanics to do work on them.


If it’s just some surface rust, then fine. But anything else…it’s a deal breaker. Japanese vehicles had major premature rust issues from the 70’s through the mid 80’s. Wife owned a 80 Datsun 510 and it was rust bucket in 5 years. Her 87 Accord was rust free for at least 10+ years. And we live in NH which gets more snow-fall then average.

Eh. I had an '88 CRX that had a tiny little pencil eraser-sized rust spot on the rear wheel well when I bought it. Within 2 years if you opened the hatch, the trunk light would shine through the giant rust hole onto the ground.

They made improvements in preventing rust from starting after the mid-80’s but it wasn’t until the, maybe mid to late 90’s that they made improvements on rust spreading once you got a little bit.

If that MR2’s rust isn’t addressed immediately, and then unless the car is never driven anywhere that sees salt (no winter, nowhere near an ocean), the rust will be a problem going forward.

I would have a couple concerns with this car and I don’t object to older cars, in general.

First, whenever a car has been sitting for a long time, no registration/license plate(s), I wonder what exactly caused it to be taken off the road and put away. I’d look the seller right in the eye when he/she explained the situation and if they aren’t clear or don’t know I’d walk away.

The other more important issue, for me, is the degree of rust I see in photo 3/3. That’s not surface rust. There is metal missing! Ordinarily, rust visible on the outside of the body is similar to the tip of an ice berg. The rust that is hidden below is the nasty stuff that will get you and make this car an endless source of frustration and an expensive paper weight.

What are your plans for a car like this? Do you like this particular model? Do you need a daily driver? Are you looking to buy a “project”? Do you want a car to resell?
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:


"1985 Toyota MR 2 - $2000 (Royal Oak)"

"Oklahoma car it has been sitting in a pole barn up north for the last 10 years."

Oh, I missed this! That looks a whole lot like a Detroit car that has been sitting up north, in Detroit. I grew up north of Detroit in the suburbs, north of Royal Oak. Trust me, that area dissolves cars by the millions.

Perhaps this car was born and lived in OK, but I’d be afraid it grew up in Detroit.

Proceed with caution.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

All thoughts on this are meaningless until a shop actually looks at this for you . It has a lot of money to be spent before it is really road worthy plus the hassle of registration . If your area has Emission Inspection then that is another problem . Just my guessing is after the 2000.00 purchase price , tires , all new fluids and rust repair you will have 5 or 6 thousand in a vehicle you might sell for 3500.00 .

I’d pass, unless this for a hobby car and the OP knows a lot about working on cars. The rust potential is a major problem, but another issue is that these are a pain to work on. The engine is hard to get to, and at least one version has a (correction) oil hose that requires engine removal to replace, I believe. Not a beginner’s car, to me.

That’s called the Hose-From-Hell in MR2 circles. It’s the oil cooler line, and it’s under the exhaust manifold, behind the turbo, but it’s on the 2nd generation cars, not the 1st gens like this one. You can replace it without dropping the engine, but it still takes a lot of surgery, and you have to know where to find the procedure, because the “easy” (relatively speaking) method is not in the factory service manual.

The normal radiator coolant lines aren’t bad to replace, except there’s twice as many of them (because the radiator’s in front, and there are metal travel pipes that go under the car back to the engine) and thanks to those long travel pipes it feels like you’ve put about 40 gallons in there by the time you’re done filling it. Bleeding is entertaining too since there are 2 high spots and you’ve gotta get 'em both.


Kind of ridiculous . . .

The seller is bragging about the car, but only posts 3 pictures . . . and not any useful ones, at that

Ye I couldn’t get a hold of the guy

Love old cars too but completely agree with the comments on plastic degradation, engine access and rust, especially rust! Based on absolutely no objective evidence, it seems like the beautiful Japanese & Italian sports cars of that era started rusting from the moment they were loaded on the ship, which is why you see so few 240Z’s, Alfa Spyder’s and Fiats on the road today.

If this is your first restoration and/or lack extensive welding skills, my suggestion is that you start with something easier and one that has more parts availability like a Miata or MGB

A number of northern rust buckets end up here in OK. Anything other than light surface rust means pass on it s repair costs will be way high. Mechanical issues can be chipped away at but severe rust means a ground up restoration to make it presentable and safe.

I see enough rust around that quarter panel to cause me to back away from it.

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Jalopnik had a MR2 Spyder on nice price or crack pipe today. https://jalopnik.com/at-4-300-could-you-be-lured-into-this-2001-toyota-mr2-1843518710

It was $4300 and it got a solid nice price . . . I’d go for that one over the 1985 piece of junk

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I wonder what “pole barn up north” means.Isn’t International Falls about as far north as it gets in MN.
It may have began its life as an OK car but I think that life ended many decades ago when iron oxide took over…

Up north can mean lots of things. My extended family lives just out of New Orleans. They’ve been known to call people from northern Louisiana “yankees.”

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Yeah, “up north” could mean as a close as northern Oklahoma.

Yep a Cajun I know say’s any thing north of Baton Rouge is yankee country’

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