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It's Finally Alive - Driver's Seat

May 31, 2007

I'm so happy to report that after a seven-year hiatus our Project MR2 is back up and running. Can you tell that I'm more excited than Angelina Jolie at an orphanage? Everyone who knows me knows I'm a Toyota MR2 Turbo diehard fan. I've gone through six second generation MR2 turbos over the years, but I've always kept my very first one. Unfortunately, I relegated my baby to the garage after I salvaged its engine to put it into another MR2 to sell. It lied gutless under a car cover for several years beckoning for my attention but ultimately being ignored.

A twist of fate brought my Mister 2 back into the limelight. I received a call one Saturday from a good friend who knew of a MR2 Turbo for sale that he had worked on. He's a mechanic and a tuner and knows my predilection for MR2s. The MR2 in question had suffered a fatal engine fire, a common occurrence in the cramped midship engine bay of MR2s. Sadly for the owner, the fire occurred as he was driving to Hot Import Nights to show his vehicle - double burn. My heart fluttered as I inspected the burn victim. It was an awesome MR2 through and through. An impeccably built engine filled with high-quality forged parts, a GReddy T67 turbo kit, nice Advan RCII wheels with Rotora brakes, a full sound system and two Bride racing seats. I saw past the burnt paint and fire extinguisher powder everywhere. I bought it on the spot.

The next few days involved furious wrenching as I pulled out the engine from the burnt MR2 and put it in my shell. I also swapped over the Advan RCII wheels and Rotora 4 piston brakes. Additionally in went the Bride seats, a welcome replacement to the 16-year-old OEM ones. Finally, I was even able to steal the front bumper since the burnt MR2 was the same color as mine. It was meant to be. Not yet complete, upcoming salvaging includes moving over the stereo system and JIC strut tower braces.

Trying to get the engine started was a long endeavor. Forgetting that I had also gutted the ground wires, I wasn't able to get the engine to turn over until I located my error. Once the problem was solved the MR2 came back to life with a thunderous growl. The Fujitsubo Titanium exhaust let out a menacing roar that woke up the entire neighborhood. The GReddy Type-S blow-off valve screamed with each jab of the throttle. The O.G. Project MR2 is officially back in full force. Needless to say, I'm furiously making plans to add other modifications so this Mister 2 can live up to its full potential. I've yet to install the T67 kit and HKS F-Con Pro out of the donor car, but don't worry in due time the parts will make their way underneath the engine lid. I still need to make sure the MR-2 is roadworthy first. Mind you, the car hasn't been driven in over seven years and there's bound to be things that have gone bad in that time.

Editorial DirectorJohn Naderi

Corporate Creative DirectorAlan Alpanian

Group Art DirectorTi Tong

EditorRobert Choo -

Managing EditorRay Gonzalez -

Technical EditorAaron Bonk -

Engineering Editor-at-largeMike Kojima

Copy editorLaura Peltakian -

Editorial AssistantSharon Malm -

Contributing EditorsEvan GriffeyDavid LuongHenry Z. DeKuyperDino Dalle CarbonareIssac MinonJohn PrescottPablo MazlumianJohn RoperE. John Thawley III

Art directorClint D. Davis -

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