MR2 Blog

CleanCarCulture MR2: Step 1 - Tear Down

Time to begin another extensive build of some rare car from Japan’s golden age. This particular car, our 1991 Toyota MR2 Turbo, was the project of a young man over a decade ago. He had already outfitted the car with what was then some decent TEIN coilovers and Hankook RS-2 Tires. According to him, the car was his baby. When he finally decided to swap the Gen2 3S-GTE for the Gen3 that came in a newer model, life caught up with him. When he suddenly learned he was becoming a father, he vowed to get back to it, and let the car sit in his parent’s barn with no engine or gearbox. Sadly he never returned to the project, and finally decidied to part with his baby in order to take his son on vacation.

First step for us was to take inventory of exactly what we had. After a quick (and much needed) bath, we decided to start with the interior of the car. As it was the path of least resistance… or so we thought. It turns out that during the decade the car was sitting, mice had moved in. We began finding nests everywhere, and droppings in even the most obscure of places (including behind the B/C Pillars!). Very little of the interior is salvageable, which leaves a whole lot of room for customization.

The wiring appeared to be undamaged (while previously modified) luckily, but many other parts will need to be replaced. The dash is absolutely un-salvageable, as mouse droppings had cooked into pretty much every leather surface. The seats are complete toast. The leather was cracked and the tracks were rusted and seized.

In the next installment we will start digging into the customization of the interior and begin replacing parts. Stay Tuned!

Words: Michael McLean
Photos: Gordon Lister