World’s Luckiest Mechanic Nabs Stolen, Abandoned 1,400 Mile Toyota MR2 for $500
This is the story of a barnfind that all enthusiasts wish for.
We all dream of finding our low mileage dream car sitting in some barn, waiting for us to uncover it from under an inch of dust. One mechanic in Arizona reportedly got his lucky break after finding a 1993 Toyota MR2 Turbo sitting under his nose for years, and the story behind it that he posted on Reddit is even more interesting.
Ever since he was hired at a local shop, Nick Dawson noticed the white Toyota MR2 sitting abandoned outside of his job. After a few years, Dawson became curious and decided to check out the car and see exactly why it was sitting alone and abandoned. After all, it's a 24-year-old Toyota that hadn't moved in nearly two decades; surely something catastrophic had to be wrong for it to be untouched. That's when he noticed the car's gauge cluster.
Not only does the MR2 have only 1,461 miles on the clock, but it also happens to be an SW22 (Turbo) chassis. The insanely low mileage was enough for Dawson to reach out to the owner of the shop and get a little backstory on the car.
Apparently, the ‘Yota had been towed to the shop in 1999 where it would sit for 18 years before Dawson displayed interest in getting it back on the road in late 2017. The (then) owner of the car spoke to the shop owner, Jim, over the telephone and asked for the shop to get the car running, despite not having seats and having its body wiring harness ripped out. He was never heard from after that initial interaction and the car would remain untouched for the remainder of its stay at the shop. In all accounts, the car was described similarly to one involved in a theft, and as Dawson would soon come to find out, there was a good reason for it.
An agreement was drawn up to sell Dawson the abandoned car for $500 and he began the procedure to re-title the car under new ownership due to it being abandoned. As he began the titling process, Dawson would come to find out that it was stolen from a Toyota dealership in 1993 and hadn't resurfaced since. Local police came out to check on the car and after being provided a work order from Dawson's shop that was drawn up in 1999, police towed the car away.
Fortunately for Dawson, when the police contacted the original dealer who reportedly had the car stolen from them, the company wanted nothing to do with the old Toyota that was missing its interior and had its wiring stripped out. In the favor of the soon-to-be new owner, they had brushed it off.
After the short-lived battle with the state authorities, Dawson was ultimately able to obtain the title of the MR2. He put new seats in the car, rectified the wiring gremlins, and brought the car back to being the roadworthy gem that it once was. Though he has been reportedly daily driving the car for the past several weeks, Dawson has every intention of keeping the MR2's mileage low, readying it to become a weekend driver. Thankfully, unlike some wonderful barn finds, he doesn't plan on selling it any time soon.