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Forgive the stupid question, but I'm completely ignorant when it comes to Toyotas. I really like the MR-2 Spyder. I don't get how it got the reputation of being ugly. If I buy one, I'd like to do an engine swap to either the 2zz or 2AR, for just a little more power. But I would be willing to keep the original engine because I believe these older more analog low production roadsters may be collectible one day. As a collector am I destroying a car's collectible value with a 2zz swap? Also, after reading more about the 2AR swap it looks like it requires much less molestation of the original platform too.

What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance.
 

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I don't collect things for collecting sake but if I did I would place premium valve on perfection. I do buy and sell items and condition is always related to value. A very low mileage cream puff spyder will bring more than a high mileage engine swapped spyder. Matching numbers would be important to real collectors as well as complete documentation. I like driving my spyder to much to keep it in storage and wait for increased value, I might die before the spyder gains much monetary value. If putting a different engine it the spyder increased your pleasure driving then it is something to consider. Mine has a few small mods which increase driving pleasure. I use almost everything I own, if I don't use it I get rid of it. I do keep a very few sentimental family items.
 

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As far as the VIN on the engine block I believe this is a Federal requirement for all manufacturers...at least going back to the early 70s as a means of tracing stolen cars. Do the swap and keep the original engine in the back of the garage. If you have the original parts someone can always go back in the event these cars become collectible as I am sure they will. It seems almost any car eventually becomes collectible. As an example. Back in the day nobody thought old VW Microbuses would be collectible. As a result a lot of people trashed them or they simply rusted away. They are now collectible and if you have the original engine even more so.
 

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^ What myager says, I think the federal laws kicked in around 1968, and its not just the engines that carry the VIN, on Detroit iron it was stamped into the transmission, maybe the rear axle, and at least 2 places on the body. Muscle car 'restorers' would cut the section of sheet metal containing the VIN and weld into a donor car. For example my 440+6 'Cuda had its VIN stamped into the metal valence just below the rear window and in the radiator support. The body panel labels on the Spyder have the VINs as well, so once a Spyder has had a sheet metal change its value is impacted to the collector.
 

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Yes there has been a huge problem with forgeries in the muscle car and collector car market. The value of those cars make a forgery lucrative with many experts having a difficult time detecting it. There is a case right now where a 50s Porsche that Jerry Seinfeld sold was a fake. He did not know it as it was represented as being the real deal by an expert when he bought it.

Corvettes made before 1968 are particularly problematic as production records were conveniently destroyed. It can be challenging to determine what is authentic on those cars.
 
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