Random # 146: Toyota MR2
It surprises UMPH that more car makers haven't embraced the Fiat X1/9 concept, by which he means creating a mid-engined sports car from essentially stock mechanicals.
In the case of the X1/9, Fiat took a 128 motor, gearbox and other running gear and slotted it into a sexy little coupe body.
It's arguable that Toyota took their lead from Fiat, given the first of the MR2s follows that same concept - and, quite obviously, the styling - from the Italian manufacturer's iconic model.
Mechanically, the second series of the MR2, like the one shown here, follows the same basic formula, again using what is essentially a front wheel drive Corolla drive train but this time fitting it to a slightly Ferrari-esque coupe body.
The third of the MR2s - a spyder-style sports car - again followed the same convention and took its componentry from the same source, although its styling is more reminiscent of a Porsche Boxter than its predecessors.
The example shown here, emblazoned with Toyota Racing Development motifs, looked particularly good, with a set of very tasty Simmons wheels its only ostensible modification.
The personalised rego - TRB 088 - suggests that car's a turbo-charged model, although it's less obvious what the 88 stands for (the Series 2 wasn't available until 1990).
U M P H
All iPhone images.