My silver MR2 is for sale, but it's a 2001 and in Fort Worth. I thought I'd mention a few things about both issues.
When I was originally looking for an MR2 I preferred the cleaner look of the 2000-2002 models, but I wanted a 2003 or newer primarily because of the pre-cat issue. It was suggested on SpyderChat that I consider the earlier models if I could find one in good condition with low miles and that had the pre-cats removed. Mine had the pre-cats removed at 11,000 miles and is in outstanding condition.
As far as distance goes, it is certainly better to find one close by. The truth is, however, that these cars are few and far between. For example, I just checked Autotrader for 2000-2005 silver 5-speeds with less than 45,000 miles and there are 9 of them in the entire US of A. (By the way, my asking price here is less than any of them.)
Twice now my wife and I have done “fly-n-drives” where I bought a car a long way away, flew out to buy it and drove it home.
First time was a couple years ago for my wife’s Corvette. Corvette’s are far more popular than MR2’s, but my wife wanted a very particular color/option combination. I found one in LA and with help from the Corvette forum members there had it completely checked out. We flew to LA and had an extremely pleasant purchase experience with a private seller. We took 3 days driving home via Route 66 and had a total blast.
Second time was last December when my wife and I flew to Denver, met fellow SpyderChat member high_colorado (Scott) and his girlfriend slash famous MR2 photo shoot model, and had a very nice time. The 3 day drive home was beautiful, including a dash up Pikes Peak. Even at 14,110 feet the MR2 drove perfectly. Again, we had a blast.
Some folks are understandably hesitant to do a fly-n-drive, not only because of the unknown condition of the car, but for the licensing hassles once you get it home. Both were non-issues for me, and with the proper preparation and homework, can be an extremely pleasant experience.
Just thought you should know. And I think this car considers Colorado it’s home.