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Hot!Minty AW11SC

MR2 Enthusiast
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2023/02/09 23:39:20 (permalink)
5 (1)

Minty AW11SC

Greeting's fellow MR2 enthusiast's. I once had an account here 10 years ago but I'm unable to access it so I made a new one. I'm a long time MR2 owner having bought my first one in April 1985. I've owned my red 1989 AW11SC for more than 30 year's now and she is minty !!  

A Canadian spec model, it's one of only 304 SC's imported by Toyota Canada International (TCI) during the entire 1989 production run. What makes her even more rare is that she was one of the "final fifty" that TCI was forced to take from Toyota Japan.

You might say...WTF is this dude blabbering on about...????   
You see back in 1989 MR2's were not exactly flying off of Canadian Toyota dealership lots. Au contraire gentle reader. By that time Toyota had overpriced the MR2 into oblivion, and most dealers shunned them. A fully loaded Supercharged MR2 with factory a/c, T-roof, leather & taxes catapulted the price over $24K CDN. They simply didn't sell anymore, not like they once had.

At the end of the AW11SC production run for North America, Toyota Japan was trying to distribute their remaining inventory, and that's when Toyota Canada was told they had to take 50 of these hard load SC's. It was TCI policy back then that each dealership had to take at least one MR2 during the course of the model year, but there were plenty of store's that refused to take any, no matter what TCI said.

Toyota Japan was adamant, hence pressure from TCI raged and most dealers reluctantly accepted them. A few enterprising dare devil stores took multiple SC's from TCI. A Toronto and Montreal store took 6 (all at once), another extremely brave Saskatoon store (Enns Toyota) took 15, (a decision they later very much regretted), and I think a Vancouver dealer took a few also.

This background SC story is one that is not commonly known. I had insider connections at TCI and was lucky to have been privy to such info back then.

A majority of these cars sat unloved and unsold, languishing for several years accumulating TCI interest charges to the dealerships while creating the dilemma of brand new SW20's selling for the same price as left over AW11SC's.

The remaining unsold SC's were dispersed among the TCI regional zone offices throughout Canada, financed through Toyota Credit and offered up to management to purchase. This is how I discovered this particular SC and eventually bought it, a decision I have never regretted.
Over the years, I've installed a few performance mod's including :

* HKS Air Intake with a custom K&N Air Filter

* TRD 4-1 Exhaust Header Manifold that I had ceramic coated. Cat removed with TRD ceramic coated straight pipe - less weight, more bhp - now unobtanium

* HKS Pulley - 12 mm oversize - produces 2 lbs. more boost @ 10 psi

* Trust SP Exhaust that I had ceramic coated - it's LOUD, has much less weight than the heavy stock exhaust, and produces 8 more bhp - now unobtanium

* Ported and polished head

* 265 Cams - intake & exhaust

* Tokico 5-way Adjustable Illumina Shocks front and rear

* Eibach Springs and Urethane Bushing Kit - 1" drop - Spring rates F - 63-120 lbs progressive, R - 143-276 lbs progressive

* Hayashi (JDM) 3-piece wheel's (15 x 6) mounted on Dunlop Sport SP8000's 205/50's - much less unsprung weight when compared to ultra heavy stock OEM wheels - now unobtanium

*  Mobil 1 Synthetic engine oil

*  Red Line Synthetic gear box oil

*Personal Fitti E3 (350 mm.), a genuine OG factory numbered 3 spoke steering wheel that is different from the one's offered today. Now unobtanium

*Zymol Japon - the real expensive 100% natural Carnauba wax specifically formulated for Japanese paint so pure that you can actually eat kind, not the fugazi scat offered @ Crappy Tire

200 + bhp with 100 kilos in weight saving when weighing all mods including wheels before and after.
200 BHP translates to 125 BHP / liter from a 33-year-old engine design. That's pretty impressive IMHO.

The secret for more bhp with the 4A-GZE engine is to uncork it, allowing it to properly breathe. This tiny motor sounds like a "tuned" pipe organ with the lovely exhaust sounds it produces throughout the rev band after being modified. Toyota engineers copied the Cosworth BDA engine to create all this. At the time it was the most powerful 1600 cc class Japanese engine. The original engine was designed to run on 100 octane premium grade fuel, so I always fill up with 92 octane which is the highest available here. 

Driving through tunnels and underneath bridges, anything that amplifies the exhaust always brings out the hooligan in me. The Roots type supercharger connected straight to the crank gives instant throttle response with zero lag all the way to red line.

It's not always about high-end power and the SC doesn't disappoint. It cranks out prodigious low-end torque & grunt, making it the perfect urban attack vehicle. One not very well-known fact about the AW11SC is that when it was first introduced in North America in late fall of 1987, it was the world's fastest car accelerating to 50 kph or 30 mph. The December 1987 edition of Car and Driver recorded a time of 2 seconds. A stock 4A-GZE cranks almost 30% more torque at 2000 rpm’s less than the original 4A-GE.
To put this into perspective today, a 2020 Porsche 911 Turbo will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 2.1 seconds.

It performs better at sprints rather than long distances. It's fairly comfortable up to a point on long distance trips, but it's much more of a city slicker. It was once my daily driver back in the day.

My car has the 5-way adjustable Tokico Illumina shocks with the Eibach springs that were sold as a kit engineered specifically for the SC. I always have my front shocks set to a softer setting than my rears and had the Dan Gurney /TRD toe and camber settings properly dialed in when I installed everything. I cannot emphasize enough the contribution that Gurney made to the development of the first and second generations of MR2's.

I'm very happy with the overall performance of this kit and I cannot begin to describe how cool it is to be able to manually adjust suspension settings but make no mistake the ride is stiff and harsh. Definitely not for the meek or faint of heart. The car is still very much drivable on the street yet still delivers a go-kart/open wheel car sensation that only a mid-engine can create.

It does not have the sophisticated suspension characteristics displayed by modern sports cars of today that can incorporate performance cornering with no body lean and a plush comfortable ride. That's fine by me, it's an integral part of its cool factor.

With these suspension settings combined with the 5-way adjustability of the Tokico shocks my MR2 has more mechanical grip and is more neutral during hard cornering, exhibiting less understeer while allowing me to control rotation using throttle and steering input. A 'pointy" front end is what I like and prefer.

This AW11SC has 100% factory original paint, glass, light bulbs and headlights. The only two items that ever failed or broke were the OEM tape deck and the rear power antenna motor. No accidents, never been hit or abused and a non-smoker.

It is my personal interpretation of how the SC should have been equipped when shipped from the factory in Japan. She's a garage queen, and rarely gets let off the leash to rev except on sunny days two maybe three times a year, that's it.

MR2's have now become serious collector cars and are only going to appreciate. Being a lifelong hard-core enthusiast, it was a no brainer predicting this would happen. I now laugh reading the commentaries and predictions from MR2 pundits and what they were saying years ago in regard to their value and collectability. 

"They will never be worth anything, and never be collectable.....ever " are words that I recall hearing time and time again. My snobby Euro car buddies all snickered at me years ago when I bought and kept my SC. Way back then I was "tuning" and daily driving my MR2, way before it ever became vogue in my locale when at that time it was virtually unheard of.

They don't snicker anymore. 

IMHO, $100 K USD prices for genuine minty examples are just around the corner. Give it another 5-10 years.  A popular US website, Bring A Trailer, has already sold MR2's (AW11SC's = $ 51K USD & SW20's = $ 61,750 USD) for Pablo Escobar sums of cash. Further proof of climbing prices can be found by going to Classic.com.
Current popular resurgence in demand has far outstripped supply.  I rarely see one on the road, ever.
Canadian AW11 sales totaled 4896 from 1985 - 1989. Total SC production for '88 & '89 was only 563. If you include all of the SW20's and SW21's, you get a grand total of 6132 from a production run of 9 years. These relatively low numbers explain why there are so few MR2's left, especially one's that can rightfully be called "MINTY" .

Approximate U.S.A. Sales Figures for the 88-89 SC

1988 :

Number Sold In US: 1000 (approx)
Recalls: Only One. AUG 88 - Modification of Center High Mounted Stop Lamps
Price 1988: $16,418 USD
No factory rear stabilizer bar
1989 :

Number Sold In US: 600 (approx)
Recalls: None.
Price 1989: $17,628 USD
Rear stabilizer bar added to SC model making it a very desirable model year.

In the future, price wise ranked in order of value, it's going to be the legendary 2000 GT, (one recently set a world record sale for a Japanese car sold at auction - $ 2.53 million USD) - third generation Supra's, and the mighty MR2 - (first and second generations, with certain vintage types of Toyota trucks and Land Cruisers) that will be pulling big money as well.


Minty AW11SC

post edited by MintyAW11SC - 2023/02/17 09:23:51

3 Replies Related Threads

    MR2 Enthusiast
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    Re: Minty AW11SC 2023/06/06 15:14:00 (permalink)
    +2 (2)

    post edited by MintyAW11SC - 2023/09/08 16:15:20
    MR2 Enthusiast
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    Re: Minty AW11SC 2023/09/08 15:49:01 (permalink)
    video= Minty AW11SC....... 


    video= (1) AW11SC - MINTY - YouTube
    post edited by MintyAW11SC - 2023/09/08 16:22:31

    MR2 Enthusiast
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    Re: Minty AW11SC 2023/09/09 20:37:48 (permalink)
    Very cool read thanks!
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