By on December 17, 2018

Last week, a retired college professor walked into Missouri’s Coad Toyota with an interesting proposal. He was willing to part with five first-generation Toyota MR2s as a trade-in for a gently used 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Considering the amount of maintenance five vintage MR2s must require, maybe he’s not the absolute madman we initially presumed. Since the deal went down in Missouri, he probably spent a ludicrous portion of his time on rust prevention alone. 

According to The Drive, the Mk1 models include one example from each of the first five years of production (1985-1989) — three of which have fewer than 85,000 miles on the odometer. However, that wasn’t even the entirety of his collection. Last year, the man sold another first-generation MR2 before purchasing a new Toyota Tacoma.

After posting about the trade-in on social media, prospective buyers reached out to the seller from across the nation in the hopes of purchasing one of the cars. If you’re interested in one, you’re out of luck. They’ve all been sold at this point.

Ben Brotherton, sales manager at Coad Toyota, said the man claimed he had fulfilled his dream of collecting every model year of the first-generation MR2 and no longer wanted to deal with the hassle of maintaining them. He felt the MX-5 would provide sufficient thrills in their absence. Here’s hoping he’s right; it’ll probably be a while before he comes cross half a dozen replacement MR2s.

[Image: COPI at Coad by Ben Brotherton]

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22 Comments on “Retiree Trades Quintet of Toyota MR2s for One Mazda MX-5...”


  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Bad choice. He should’ve gone for a 2019 Miata. That 2016 MX-5 transmission’s gonna explode.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Trade all of them for one brand new 2019 MX-5 hardtop model. That’s the only thing that appeals to me if were doing a MR2 for Mazda trade.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      We’re talking Missouri now, not SoCal where these MR2s would probably go for a lot more. I remember a guy in Rancho Santa Fe, CA who bid $20K for an original mint-condition 1982 BMW 320 (with the 4-banger) and bought it to add to his collection of BMWs.

      I wonder if Coad Toyota bundled them on a Transporter and hauled them off to where they were auctioned at premium prices, since they have all been sold at this point. I would have been surprised if they had not sold within 24 hours of clearing the take-in process.

      One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

  • avatar
    Lockstops

    And now for real estate news:
    Last week, a retired college professor walked into Missouri’s Coad Real Estate Agency with an interesting proposal. He was willing to part with five older slightly run-down small houses all situated in completely different parts of town, as a trade-in for a well maintained family home in a good neighbourhood.

    Next up a more light-hearted bit of news from Coal General hospital:
    Five college graduates have given birth to their babies on the same day! And get this coincidence on top of everything: the all used to take the same class in college! What are the odds of that? They said that all of their husbands were unfortunately out of town on business, on deployment, at a relative’s funeral, tied up in jury duty, and on a space mission.

    • 0 avatar
      Stanley Steamer

      They also added that each of their husbands drove either a white, silver, red, white, or yellow first generation MR2 (although having two white ones was a little overkill).

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I would have given him some magic beans, straight trade, for those MR2s.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    So did the thought of selling them privately first ever cross his mind? I guarantee you the real winner here was Coad Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      Private sales are a huge pain, a huger time sink, and a not-insignificant risk. The professor may have decided that a few grand wasn’t worth spending a month of his life fending off idiots trying to buy his MR2s for a bad check and an old snowmobile.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        PeriSoft, many dealers do consignment. I’ve sold excess cars through consignment in my area and it’s all contractual. After all is said and done, the salesman gets their commission, the dealership takes their fee, and the remainder was sent to me, minus the tax that the dealer withheld to forward to the state.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      All he needed was eBay.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        I agree with John. In this case, Ebay or BaT or something would probably yield the best result vs advertising locally for an enthusiast vehicle like the MR2.

        • 0 avatar
          threeer

          Eh, some of the comments out on the Coad FB page are straight ridiculous. The owner got what he wanted out of the deal and appears to be happy with the outcome. *Could* he have gotten more selling each one individually? Perhaps. But magnify trying to sell 5 old cars (regardless of perceived desirability) is something I’m not sure I would have wanted to take on, either. Selling a car is perhaps my least favorite aspect of the ownership cycle. Yes, you aren’t going to get as much on trade, but sometimes the lack of aggravation is worth it. No calls and texts from folks wanting to “help you sell,” no folks outright lying to you (looking at you, Mr. Dealer who flat-out lied about being from a dealership), no folks from across the other side of the country spouting off how they have “clients looking just for a car like mine,” (even though my car is one you can find on any Chevy lot. On any given day), no people willing to “send a check for you to cash with a little over to pay for shipping.”

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            I generally really enjoy selling used cars, it’s a bit of a rush and I love the human element of figuring people out. But my last go-around with selling my ’94 Ranger was an exercise in frustration. I finally sold it for my asking price, but not before showing it to about 10 different prospective shoppers. Generally, I’m able to close with the first or second person that comes to look. Similarly had issues middling my friend’s ’09 Mazda3 this summer.

          • 0 avatar
            PeriSoft

            Yeah, I’m still with threeer here. If you’re a 30-year-old dude who’s still trying to save money and has some free time, sure, you maximize your return. But this guy has paid his dues, has his (probably fairly good) retirement income set, and clearly wants to enjoy himself and spend more time doing other stuff – that’s why he’s selling the things in the first place. For some people, money is more valuable than hassle and time, but for this guy it really probably isn’t.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    He should have collected NA Miatas/MX-5s. Next time, professor.

  • avatar
    gtem

    I test drove a rusty and well worn MK1 MR2, and oh man I don’t think I’ve ever driven something quite so visceral and fun in my life. They seem to attract serial owners, my Physics teacher in highschool and her boyfriend who worked together with my father (physicists) had a pair of 1st gen MR2s that they daily drove in Ithaca’s snow and hills.

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    I always preferred the Mk 2. The interior of the Mk 1 was just too much plastic for me, having owned multiple lesser Toyotas from that era.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    In the early 2000s I test drove a MK2 turbo, before the handling upgrades were made to this platform and it was a bit hairy if you lifted off mid corner, but ridiculously fun.I should’ve bought it , I’d probably still have it today. I ended up with a mint Emerald green 5.0Lx hatch 5 spd with a rebuilt motor, mainly because it was a car I wanted in high school (and had a back seat)

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    He is smart that the stunt went viral and he now got what he wanted.


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