Used Car of the Day: 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Today's UCOTD is a highly modified convertible runabout.


This 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder was purchased by our seller in 2010, and it received the 2z engine and a six-speed transmission in a swap in 2014.

The front end has been repainted because of rock chips, and this 109,000-mile car has been garaged and not driven in the snow.

Other mods include upgraded headers, exhaust, flywheel, clutch, a cat-less downpipe, midship and front and rear bracing, carbon-fiber strut-tower bars, modified springs and shocks, performance brake rotors, steel-braided brake lines, and an MR2 luggage set.

There are some minor problems -- a couple of rips in the top that don't cause leaks, wear in the driver's seat, a constant presence of the check engine light due to the lack of a catalytic converter, a paint chip in the rear bumper, and no doors for the rear storage compartment.

Click here to check it out.

[Images: Seller]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

More by Tim Healey

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2 of 21 comments
  • FreedMike FreedMike on Sep 20, 2023

    I'd love to have a car like this, but if this one's missing the catalytic converter, it probably won't pass emissions. No thanks.

  • CoastieLenn CoastieLenn on Sep 20, 2023

    MR-Spyder with a 2ZZ and 6 speed? Yes please!

  • ToolGuy You know it's time for the ...
  • Buckwheat It seems like there should be SOME market left for a domestic intermediate or full-size sedan. I have a CUV, a Camaro, and a couple pickups, but I would buy a new car immediately if somebody built a car similar to my 2000 Lesabre. It's a beater but is quiet, rides smooth, has good outward visibility, great comfy seats, 30 mpg highway.
  • Ravenuer Just curious, will the next installment cover the 59-60 Italian made Caddies? They're my absolute favorite Caddy.
  • Lorenzo Yes, more sedans, but NOT "four-door coupes" with low, sloping rooflines. There's a market: The Malibu sold only 39,376 in 2021, but 115,467 in 2022, and130,342 last year. Surely GM can make money at that volume, even though it's the 4-D-C design. Auto executives need to pay less attention to stock price and more to the customers.
  • 1995 SC The sad thing is GM tends to kill cars when they get them right, so this was probably a pretty good car
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