Junkyard Find: 2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 2001 toyota mr2 spyder
It took a while for the 2000-2005 Toyota MR2 Spyder to start showing up in the big self-service wrecking yards I visit, but depreciation finally caught up with the final generation of Mister Two. I spotted a 2002 MR2 Spyder with sequential-manual transmission in California a few months back, and now I’ve found this five-speed manual-equipped ’01 in Colorado.
The SMT used in the U.S.-market MR2 Spyder had no automatic mode, and it was the first non-exotic SMT-equipped car available in North America. The original buyer of today’s Junkyard Find, however, wasn’t messing around with some weird two-pedal manual and opted for the regular 1985-style five-speed. Actually, I think all the U.S.-market 2000-2001 MR2s were manual trans-only cars, with the SMT making its debut over here in MY2002.
Some junkyard shopper grabbed the 148-horsepower 1ZZ engine before I got here.
This car took a pretty good shot on the passenger-side door, probably while parked. When MR2s get in single-car crashes, they tend to bang up all four corners due to the excitement of trailing-throttle oversteer in lightweight mid-engined cars.
The Miata had the two-seater market pretty well locked down and surrounded by barbed wire in 2001 North America, but Toyota stuck with the MR2 Spyder for a few more years.
In Japan, this car was known as the MR-S, and Toyota likened it to a castle full of Spanish dancers.If you like this junkyardy stuff, be sure to visit the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™, where you’ll find links to about 1,700 posts like this one. For photos of junkyard cars taken with ancient film cameras, there’s the Film Photography Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.
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3 of 21 comments
  • DenverMike DenverMike on Aug 26, 2019

    It used to be Toyota's thing, bring out something good, then slowly ruin it with each new generation. Today Toyota fails to come up with anything good for which to ruin later.

    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Aug 26, 2019

      Come on man, there is the new...well...yeah, I suppose you are correct

  • -Nate -Nate on Aug 26, 2019

    I thought these were interesting, my late friend Damien had one in "Officer arrest me yellow", he was a Journeyman Mechanic and hot rodded it, commuted the "Palmdale 500" in it and eventually flew off Mt. Emma Road backwards well in excess of 100 MPH, was ejected and died . I miss him still . I'll ask to see of he'd swapped out the engine, it was fearsomely fast . I didn't know he didn't use seat belts until after he died, what a pity . -Nate

  • Goatshadow My favorite Lambo ever. It's gorgeous..
  • DenverMike Column shifter in all trims? Thank god someone is listening. The console shifter is just the stupidest thing ever. Frick just make the whole area useful utility. Luxury means something different in trucks. Definitely removable and I’ll make my own work station.
  • Joh65689020 1. Drape/ Masking-tape paint.2. Blue Coral (or any brand) chrome polish on PowerBall with cordless drill-driver.3. Buff lightly with microfiber towel to crystal clear finish.
  • Bullnuke "Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!" - Gold Hat
  • DenverMike They seriously want to kill the auto industry.