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The Toyota MR2 Spyder is a car unlike most any car on sale now. Light, made by Toyota, mid-engined, not outrageously expensive. Most people have snapped up Miatas for their Japanese, low-power sporty coupe fix, leaving the MR2 Spyder relatively ignored by modifiers.

Yet, when they are modified, boy, the results can be good or… pretty horrific. Back in 2018, I took a picture of the worst modified MR2 Spyder I’ve ever seen in my life.

  • Car: Toyota MR2 Spyder
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio
  • Photog: Yours truly, Kevin Williams (twitter+IG = gaytona_usa)
  • Camera: iPhone XR

Look, I’m not the type of person to yuck someone’s yum; if you like it, I love it. There’s room for all sorts of tastes, things, and ideas in the automotive modification world. If we all liked the same thing, the world would be boring.

And yet… what the hell happened to this MR2 Spyder? Historically, the MR2 Spyder is a bit homely — its bug-eyed frog face and mid-engined proportions aren’t necessarily a strong, stylish start for any visual modification. It looks like the owner went pretty crazy with bondo and fiberglass, carving a fake Veilside-style widebody kit. The hood is vented to let that cargo area breathe, I guess. The owner must’ve forgotten that the engine is behind the front seats. I don’t know what they’ve done to the suspension, but the low-slung coupe now has the ride height that rivals any modern crossover. Most egregiously, the smart-looking five-spoke wheels have been swapped out with high-profile cheap-looking units fresh from Pep Boys. Woof.

I like the MR2 spyders a lot, so that’s why I wrote a whole Car Bible for them. I’ve never been much of a Miata guy, preferring the mid-engined weirdness that Toyota offered up in the mid aughties. The car in the photo is pretty trashed, but the flipper in me can’t help but wonder if it can be restored to its former glory. 

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