To understand Whitey, we have to go back before Whitey to AW11 #3. I was driving through town when I spotted a red 88 Supercharged MR2 on a car lot. The car seemed to be in decent condition but had some typical Nebraska quarter panel rust.
I took the Supercharged car on a test drive and brought it by my body guy at the time. He said $500 to fix the rust, the paint I would worry about later. I just wanted to make sure the rust didn’t get worse. I dealt with that on AW11 #1. Not Again.
With that figured out I bought the car. Like any used car it had some issues. By the time I had all of those figured out and thought I had a pretty solid car my body guy up and disappeared.
I continued on daily driving it while fixing and modifying things. I had even picked up a pair of used quarter panels that were waiting to go on.
And then the head gasket let go. I really had intentions to fix the car, but once I had the drive train out of it to refresh the engine I took a look back at the car and put the project on hold.
I started searching eBay for a new body and eventually found Whitey in Louisiana. I had the winning bid for around $1500 IIRC.
Of course getting Whitey back home is a story all its own. Since I was running a shop at the time I offered to fly a customer down to pick up the car if he was willing to drive it back. Luckily for me he said yes. I don’t know exactly how it went, but the next thing I know is that I got a call saying that the battery light and brake light were on. Classic sign of a failing alternator. With a 900 ish mile drive to go I had him look for a local shop. Nobody around seemed to know shit about a Toyota MR2. I wasn’t surprised. I had given him a bit of cash as emergency money so I had him stop by Walmart and grab a couple of batteries. That got him moving. For the next portion of the trip I hit up my go to O’reillys and paid for two more batteries there that they were able to “stock transfer” to a store local to the MR2. The next third of the drive was taken care of. For the final third of the drive I talked to a buddy that had moved to Missouri and arranged to meet at his place to swap in a working alternator. With the new alternator swapped in place we were ready to get it home.
Back home the repairs and upgrades started. The suspension was well worn, so I swapped the entire suspension set from the Supercharged car under this one. KYB GR2’s and TRD Springs included. The Porterfield brakes were swapped over as well. Next was fixing some of the little things like the rigged window switch and swapping in the front glass from the Supercharged car to get rid of the cracked and terribly tinted crap that came with the car. On the engine side I threw a bottle of Redline Fuel System Cleaner in and had some AMAZING results. The exhaust needed to be addressed and I happened to have a spare MKII Muffler that I did some “modifications” to make fit. To finish things up I swapped on the Supercharged wheels. While I liked the optional mesh wheels that came on the car the tires were even worse than these.