For this Michael Knight, it’s not a smooth-talking, self-driving Pontiac Trans Am that fuels his excitement, but an immaculate second-gen Toyota MR2. It took nearly a year to customise it, but the result has been more than worth the wait. This is Mike’s MR2 story.
Mike, tell us the story behind your fantastic-looking, Motul-lubricated Toyota MR2.
My first car was an MR2, back when I was 16 years old. I had it a few years but didn’t really appreciate it. I got rid of it and got into other cars. But I always regretted selling it and missed the MR2. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of driving a mid-engine, two seat sports car. Then about five years ago I was finally in a position to afford one and have it as a side car. But it’s not my daily because it’s so impractical.
It’s clear that you’ve spent a lot of time on the car. What have you done to it?
Yes, I bought it stock and it hadn’t had anything done to it. But I pretty much did a full build on it, with every bolt-on you can think of including a JDM Rev 2 turbo, a bigger intercooler, and a Mishimoto radiator.
It sounds like no expense has been spared on it.
Yeah, not at all. It was in the garage for about a full year getting everything done to it. That was two years ago. It’s the dream car that I always wanted and it’s great that it’s finally come true.
What do you do with the car?
It’s my weekend warrior. I take it out to car meets and car shows and park it back in the garage. It only covers about 2,000/3,000 miles a year. The main thing most people comment on is the wheels. They’re pretty aggressive fitment for the body. Also, the car has 350 wheel horsepower. On a car that only weighs 2600lbs. The car came with about 175bhp. So it’s about double over stock.
We notice from Instagram that you’ve been using Motul in the car. Why did you choose Motul’s lubricants?
Yeah, that's right. It’s the only thing I use. My mechanic recommended it from the beginning, and I kind of stuck with what he said. He is a Nissan guy and has a 240Z, which has a similar engine to the MR2: a two-litre turbo. So, if it's been in his car, I’m good with it, too.
Have you any other project cars on the horizon?
My daily is an FJ cruiser. I've always had imports. I’m trying something a little different and I might put it on some bigger wheels and tyres. Where I live there’s a national forest where you can go out and take it through the trails.
Where did this love of cars come from?
It came from my dad and my family. Ever since I can remember cars have always been the biggest conversation at family gatherings. My dad has lots of stories about racing, old 1960s Corvettes and American muscle cars. And I was a teenager when Fast & Furious came out, so that kind of propelled me into the import scene.