The Toyota MR2 was the car that originally turned the affordable sports car market on its head. Before it was launched in 1984, two seater mid-engined sportsters had been strictly for those on six-figure incomes. Toyota changed all that, enabling the ordinary man to afford something which in terms of specification, if not in looks, was truly exotic.
On the road, the car was a revelation, one of the few that you just couldn't bear to see sitting idle in the driveway. A car which begged to be driven hard. Owning one was one of those rare pleasures in modern day motoring - a real driving experience. Ordinarily, you needed either a pipe dream, a pools win or a fairy godmother bank manager for that. The MR2 was the affordable exception.
Though it's now anything but affordable new with prices starting at just over £18,000 for the third generation mid-engined open top roadster launched early in 2000, many old-shape first and second generation coupe versions are on the used market at realistic prices. As ever with a sports car, you need to buy carefully.