Published on September 10th, 2012 | by Ramon Trotman1
Michael Teh’s Toyota MR2
Ah yes, the baby Ferrari, or more well known as “deuce.” These cars are such a treat to look at, let alone own one! Check out this mad setup!
Photos By: Jon Tran exclusively for StanceNation.com
Hell, the cars themselves have changed. Park a 2012 Civic next to the beloved EF-generation and the differences are blatant. Unfortunately, not all of the popular models have survived the automotive evolution. Many models have become extinct over the years including an odd-favorite – the SW20 Toyota MR2. It was in a class of its very own, with no other manufacturers daring enough to offer a mid-engine sports car in that price range. While the model-name continued through a 3rd generation, it lost a turbocharger in the process. The 2ndgeneration is generally the most popular. Toyota durability in a balanced chassis, along with realistic pricing has kept it a cult classic.
Michael Teh is not as old as me. I will probably die before him, but that’s okay. He took ownership of this MR2 in 2004, before he could even legally drive, as a hand-me-down from his father. It wasn’t just any old car, however; it was the first car his father bought when he re-located to the United States. In 2006 Michael began driving the car and the modifications followed. This car was a learning process, as many first cars are. You not only are learning how to drive, but how to build. You learn which modifications work, you learn you probably shouldn’t have removed that, and maybe you shouldn’t have bought that one part because you’d later be ashamed you’d ever installed it.
It always begins innocently enough; Michael tells us he originally planned to keep it a very simple car with minor changes in order to keep it fun but nothing over the top. However, sometimes fate deals us cards that plunge us deeper into the build. In his case, the demise of the original naturally aspirated power plant led him to swap a Japanese-market 3SGTE under the hood/trunk/decklid/whatever-you-want-to-call-it of his MR2. The newfound turbocharged power motivated Michael and his goals for the build began to take shape. Some interior safety pieces from Recaro, Takata, and Autopower found their way into the car along with the addition of a GReddy TD06 turbo-upgrade kit – the car had transformed into a true driver’s machine.
We all make mistakes. Michael was intelligent in his youth, straying away from street racing due the inherent dangers of the scene. However, he admits the speed bug got the best of him and unfortunately he had an accident in the canyons. It was a difficult mistake for him to get over and the thought of giving up on the vehicle crossed his mind, however the car held many positive memories and he simply couldn’t turn his back on it. The Recaros and GReddy turbo setup were sold in order to fund the repairs. He went out on a limb and hit up ShowStoppers USA and they graciously assisted him with the TRD widebody replica aero kit the car wears today. With some help from friend Armand Pranadi (yes, THAT MR2) he had the car looking good again.
Of course, with wider body panels the wheels needed to fill the void. Tein Basic coilovers bring the bootylicious mid-ship runabout to the ground over a matte-black set of Varrsteon ES 2.2.1, sized 18×9.5″ +7 (effective) in the front and 18×10.5″ +0 in the rear.
Following the body improvements, the build continued. Now wearing a T3/T4 turbocharger instead of the Mitsubishi-derived GReddy upgrade, this 3SGTE has a solid array of power-producing hardware.
more at stancenation