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.
Owned by a retired college? Do you guys proof anything?
Fixed it, thanks.
Thanks Ben. Keep up the good work.
This might be up there with that guy who traded the Mustang for the A5 in terms of bad deals.
Makes you wonder how many Toyota dealers had as many as five AW11s in stock when they were a current model.
Thank you for updating your poor proofing and you’re welcome. In the future, you can always run it by competent and educated folks with attention to detail for feedback/editing. I’m here for you guys. Step up your game dudes. It’s embarrassing.
You must be fun at dinner parties.
You missed a comma between “game” and “dudes,” professor.
hey, they left a word out. you’re being a tad dramatic aren’t you?
if not, then i’ll be sure to check out the perfectly written website that you provide to the community free of charge, and look for your sponsor banner at some of the biggest japanese classic car events in the country.
until that day, your biggest contribution to the scene is needlessly pedantic attacks on the internet.
Any chance of getting what they were sold for?
What kind of mods are on the yellow MR2? All I see is some different rims and what looks to be cheap-knock-off Wet Okole Seat Covers.
Those are the stock seats
When I called to get a price on the yellow one, they said 3 of them had been secured to go to Canada and they had the yellow and another one (didn’t way which). The salesman said they’re asking the ‘no haggle’ price of $3500, which, after owning a handful of AW11’s myself, is too much. It’s got 207K+ miles, an aftermarket paintjob, weird decals and stickers, unknown mods and those wheels… and for a non-SC high-mileage car like that, I feel $2000 would be a better price (paid $2500 for an ’89 SC with T-tops). For once, I’m in a knowledge-and-experience position to haggle on a car and the salesman just flat refused.
I love Toyotas they seem to age well like a fine wine. Even with some of the styling woes (like that hideous grille on the Avalon) there is no other car make that you can depend on than a Toyota…I’ve been let down by Fords, and Chevys in the past but NEVER a Toyota. I’m sure these MR2s will all find good homes
“Mint-ass” is a worrisome term.