The best thing about working at a car dealership is that there’s always a chance some eccentric old owner will waltz in with a mint-ass car for trade. A few days ago at a showroom in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, that happened in quintuplicate when an owner traded in his entire five-car collection of Toyota MR2s at once.
Earlier this week at Coad Toyota, an owner traded in a stash of MR2s that he had been accumulating for 30 years. The cars ranged in age, mileage and originality. Sales Manager Ben Brotheron told JNC that the cars had been owned by a retired college professor whose goal had been to own one from each year of AW11 production.
The oldest was a custom-painted, manual-transmission yellow 1985. According to Ben, it has 207,000 miles, was originally silver, and is the only car with any mods.
Next was a red manual 1986 with approximately 140,000 miles. Ben told us that “this was the previous owner’s favorite. It was his first one and the one he most often took to shows and events.”
Filling in the 1987 slot is a white automatic with about 80,500 miles.
The sole supercharged example was a white, automatic-transmission 1988 with just under 78,500 miles.
Capping off the collection was the most mint one of them all, a manual-transmission, Ice Blue Pearl, naturally aspirated 1989 with just a tick over 28,000 miles on the odometer.
After posting on social media, Ben received a flurry of inquiries. “Today has been an absolute whirlwind trying to keep up with all these messages and posts,” he told us. [UPDATE: According to sales specialist Roger Niswonger, all but the yellow one have been sold.]
The owner clearly loved the first-generation of Toyota’s mid-engined sports cars. Why, then, would he get rid of them all? “He was widowed about two years ago, and just finally decided that five classics is too much to keep up with,” Ben explained.
The collection had been even bigger at one point. “In fact,” Ben says, “He traded a black MK1 to us as well. So at one time he had 6 MK1 MR2s.” Ben adds, “He also has a new Tacoma he bought last year. He traded in a ’89 MR2 and ’91 pickup on that one.”
We asked Ben what this MR2 obsessive bought after purging his collection anthology of AW11s. “A 2016 Miata with 10,000 miles.”
Images courtesy of Ben Brotherton.