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Raspberry Gin Tonic

The tall guy with the practical hair cut (@gintonic) keeps on telling me that there is this little early-nineties runabout that he just can’t get enough of. I had almost forgotten about this car though of course, the petrolhead that I am since the mid eighties, I was certainly able to recall the basic facts:
the M in MR2 stands for “mid engine” and further highlights are a flat front with pop-up headlights, detachable T-roof, side air intakes, little two-seat cabin, four cylinder engines with 150 to 200 BHB, the latter for the Turbo version.

Whereas the MR2’s mark 1 came edgy like a Fiat X1/9 and series 3 looked like an Alfa Spider on drugs, Mr. Gina’s series 2 has nice and neat radii and pleasing proportions.
Beautiful, early nineties candy design. The fact that according to official statistics ninety percent of all MR2 ever sold to Europe were red (a weirdly raspberrish red) lets you think that this could have been the entry-level Ferrari, if Ferrari had ever thought of making one.

Mr. Tonic and myself had started engineering a scheme of comparing his BMW 323 to my red foster child 911. However, every time I brought this up he replied: yes, but why not comparing it to the MR2? I finally gave in and grumpily admitted this comparison makes some sense.

Imagine it’s the early nineties, you’re something like a Yuppie, you’ve mastered your first job and now you earn good money. Berlin wall has fallen, Rabin and Arafat are about to meet to shake hands, apartheid is history, Mandela has become president. Things look joyful out there. For all this, there’s just one logical consequence: take the money you saved and buy a sports car.
But which? Is it a five years old 911 or a new Toyota?

1 additional image. Click to enlarge.


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