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2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder
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I'm dumb enough to have owned more than my share of "classic" cars. Fitting the mold, most cars seem to get the most attention from people who "remember when." Example: A Buick Skylark used to get a lot of "I learned to drive in that car." comments.

The Spyder breaks the mold. Most of the looks and comments come from guys younger than the car. They usually know its a Spyder (I've removed the badges).

By comparison, many people older than the car don't recognize it.

Anyone else notice this? It's often at the neighborhood shopping center where there's lots of high schoolers. Statistical bias!
 

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Mostly children younger than their teens. Older guys in big trucks. Older couples. Rarely, the odd auto enthusiast of any age group.
 
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I've noticed different reactions in 7 years of owning and as daily car :

After buying then driving my MR-S on the street (OZ 17inch wheels and KW V3 coilovers on exterior) :
People old and youg was looking the car. It was a special feelling, like being an ALIEN. The MR-S was "attractive", specially during normal Police arrest. They told me they just wanted to see the car closer. Some rare already knowed the MR-S and said that the car was very rare. They didn't see any MR-S before meet me.

During street drags races (150m) on fridays nights :
I should mention that the road used for racing got a little bit of sand. Having a huge powered car is useless. Wining chance is about power-tire-engine displacement ratio.
I remember how the car was intriguing. I could heard people say "what is that - Is it a Porsche - It's an MG Roadster - Is it a Lotus?" When I did my first race, people was saying how much power the car was making. I replied it was making 143hp. Then I raced against 200 and 300hp cars and finish ahead, people said "no way it only make 143hp, it's too quick". After that, not much people wante to race against my MR-S. Some Peugeot 205 Diesel swaped with 1.9 TDi engine wanted to race against the MR-S thinking they would beat my car. They friend said to me "the Peugeot will beat your car for sure". After the race, friends of the Peugeot ower's said to him "ahhh how he killed you whit his 143hp". Other "competitors" who did race against my MR-S said again "no way it make 143hp, it make at least 200hp". As I did race not often, I could see people reaction and heard them saying "that's the car I was talking about to you". I remember a night when a Mercedes A35 AMG owner come to me to do a race. I replied "ok after the nex race". Then after the race (my car won), the A35 owner's seen my MR-S and finally didn't wanted to race. During a time, people said to drivers to race against my MR-S (those new drivers didn't know the reputaion of my car). People was saing "you can race against him, he just have143hp, no worry". Then after the race, they replied to the driver "how he killed you". Other people said to me "we already knows his car hadn't any chance". Of course, I losted race too against old/new diesel car, some on RWD or AWD, powerfulls cars (320hp+), AWD car and an BMW M3 V8.

After adding some aestetics/sound mods :
After installing C-One Style side skirts, I've noticed a tinny bit more attention to the MR-S. After installing the TRD Style wing that peoples started to look at the MR-S more. After "yellowing" the headlights and the front splitter with yellow reflective lane and the Malian Race Exhaust, it really did make people into the MR-S. At this moment, the car started to get a lot of compliments and thump up. People stopped staying away of my MR-S and are now not afraid to come to me while saying "congratulation for the car. She is really beautifull. I love the sound of your car. I saw the same car as yours but it was stock, it's strange to look a tuned car, then a stock version, it's like something was missing". Thoses compliments come from very young childs (male and female), teenagers more especially and old peoples (yes you read right). Some come and say "I've seen you on the street xx. I've heard you at 5 hour evening on monday etc". On street, some people (yound and old) open they car window's to hear the sound of the Malian Race exhaust, youngest want me to give some revs.

The MR-S get a strong reputation in 7 years of ownering :
During those 3 last years, ~10 peoples from 20 to 68 years old want to buy my car (some work with me). When I made for sale my rear diffuser, one person sent to me a writing that he want to buy my MR-S. Now, there are ~10 Toyota MR-S in/around the city where I live. I know 3 of thems. Other are probably weekend cars. Some people compare me with "Han" of Fast & Furious Tokyo Drift. To take as a compliment.

Here the Toyota MR-S recently, far from stock :
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Automotive parking light
Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Automotive tire
 

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1. Little kids love this car. They point at it and wave. Even babies turn their heads to watch the car. It's innate. My Spyder is little, yellow, and different.

2. Some of the older crowd will recognize the car because they owned the 1st MR2 once upon a time. Soccer moms will remark nice car at the grocery store and then proceed to tell me about the convertible they gave up many years ago.

3. Honda boys give me the look of contempt as they whizz by me.

I've never had another man comment on my car.
Nice car bro. Done.
 

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2000 MR2 Spyder, Silver
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No one has said anything about mine out in the regular world so far, but I don't really take it places to have many opportunities for that. At autocross events it's typically guys in their late 20's and up. The younger guys, who wouldn't have had it in their video games or were born after it's production run, don't seem to know what it is to talk about it, or maybe just don't care about, I don't know. One guy in his young 20's actually asked if I had converted it to left-hand drive or bought it that way 😆 he said he thought they were JDM only and all right-hand drive.
 

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I've let kids hop in my cars to take pics inside or outside. Dads of the kids talk and ask about the cars with mine and the wife's sitting side by side. Have had that happen at Cars and Coffee events, just casually driving the car out for breakfast, or having the car out with the top down at the local July 4th fireworks show. I've probably had 12+ kids sit and take pictures in my car. I hope they remember and enjoy those memories... Cause I remember doing the same for a General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard.


Otherwise there's many that ask what it is and I explain "Back in the 80's Toyota made a car called the MR2, in the 90's they changed the design and again in the 2000's. This is the third gen."

A few 30+ people are able to make that connection then.

I enjoy these things as they are, but also get a nice kick out of how slept on they were when they were new and then pretty much forgotten till the last 2-3 years... Kind of like my Buell motorcycle. Small niche and dedicated community surrounding them but not so big that it gets unruly or attracts major bad culture.
 

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I don’t get out much so the only people I even encounter when I’m in my car are fast food drive-thru workers and coworkers in the parking lot at work.

In fact, just today a woman in the drive-thru at a fast food place I frequent asked where my car was since I driving my truck. The first time she saw it, she commented on how short it is saying “it’s shorter than me”, since she was standing next to it while outside taking orders on a tablet.

Mostly women comment on it with some version of “it’s so small” or “it’s cute”. I don’t know if you guys are willing to admit it or not, but it’s a chick car. Yes, it handles great, but it’s sporty, not an actual sports car. Granted, appearance and/or performance modifications upgrade it to seem more capably sporting rather than just looking sporty.

Guys at work notice it, but don’t say anything. I mostly attribute that to it being in need of a good compounding and polishing job. Regrettably, the paint has been neglected and needs to be refinished and touched up, so it presently looks like crap.

I’m not sure how much it’s noticed on the road. I’ll see other enthusiast type cars and it mostly seems disregarded, at least when I’m driving staidly. However, I’ve done highway pulls against two different 350Zs, which of course was just for fun because I knew I would lose.

Prior to buying my MR2 I owned an Integra, which sadly, and unsurprisingly, was stolen. Other enthusiasts always challenged me when I drove that, and I had one guy who I believe tried to carjack me at a stoplight, but I took off as soon as he got out of the car, which contained about four thuggish looking punks.

Oh, and I just remembered, I do get noticed by plenty of truck owners who attempt to deny my supremacy pulling away from a traffic light that just turned green.
 

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We occasionally get a thumbs up on the road mostly from other sports cars, and a few people even know it is a Toyota. The salesman at the local Toyota dealer had no clue what it was. He was very confused when I told him it was a Spyder!
 

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not an actual sports car.
Have you bumped your head? It's the actual definition of a sports car. Super lightweight, excellent power to weight ratio, well balanced and few frills. Seats, a steering wheel, basic controls and a motor with a manual transmission.

Your statement is like saying that skis are not sports equipment.
 
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