Josh Vetter owner of the 1991 Toyota MR2Owner: Josh Vetter
Car: 1991 Toyota MR2 (SW20) G-Limited T-Top
Bought in: 2018
Mileage when purchased/now: 69 000/110 000 km
Current value: approx U$10 000 – there aren’t many around so it’s not easy to estimate a current local value.

Why I bought this car: I used to play Gran Turismo as a kid. The SW20 MR2 had superior handling and balance. It was more interesting than its FR competitors of the time. I also couldn’t think of anything else that I would rather have as a first car. It proved to be a reliable daily driver for the three years when it was my only car.

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Common issues with this model: There are none really. The majority of the issues in second generation MR2s are related to the turbo’ model. My car is essentially a mid-engined Camry, which is one of the most reliable cars you’ll find anywhere in the world.

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Major repairs I’ve conducted: Before I got the car it had been parked for a while. It was in a barn somewhere in KZN. Just after I bought it, I dropped the motor to replace the timing belt, all the seals, gaskets and fluids.

The handling as standard was a bit ‘boaty’ (apologies to NC MX-5 owners). I firmed it up with poly’ suspension bushes, new OEM shocks, 30 mm lowering springs and some aftermarket alloys. It’s still a comfortable ride, just a lot sharper. I also upgraded the brakes with EBC discs and pads. Since then I’ve done nothing major, just routine maintenance.

The best thing about my car: It has a lot of mod-cons for its age. This makes it a comfortable long distance tourer. Among these are electric mirrors, electric power steering, electric windows with auto’ up/down, steering fog lights, air-conditioning and a factory 6.1 audio system. Also, we can’t forget the pop-up headlights.

The worst thing about my car: Arguably the automatic transmission. But I know that old Japanese-car owners would all secretly love to cruise along at 120 km/h at less than 2 000 r/min. Anyway, I have a first-generation (NA-series) Mazda MX-5 (pictured alongside the MR2), which is my track toy.

Tech spec below the gallery…

1991 Toyota MR2 (SW20)

Engine: 2,0-litre inline-four  (3SGE).
Transmission: Five-speed automatic
Power: 130 kW
Torque: 200 N.m
Top speed: 180 km/h (JDM restricted, which may have been removed…)
0-100 km/h: about 7 seconds

Thanks to Nathan L Vans for the great images.