Back in the day, the Toyota MR2 was a fun car to drive among its proponents. Auto designer Chip Foose agrees with the general idea of the car that Toyota rolled out from 1984 to 1989, but had an issue with the box-shaped exterior. So Foose decided to break out his art gear and convert the MR2 into a fastback. How did he do? Let's find out.

Shape Reminiscent of Bertone

Foose, the former star of the auto reality series Overhaulin', is no slouch at designing cars. The Art Center College of Design grad has done some serious work in revitalizing the looks of vehicles that include Eldorados, Mustangs and even antiquated roadsters. That training and his love of cars inform him of how cars that look impressive at the concept stage wind up as eyesores after production, as Foose believes was the case with the MR2.

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He noted that the original wedge shape of the MR2 resembled the trademark look of Italian car designer Bertone, which put its angular perspectives onto such 1970s vehicles as Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, and Fiat in the 1970s. "That's a beautiful car with a lot of nice, flowing lines," said Foose about the MR2. "By the time it got to a production car, it became definitely, almost a kitchen product."

Cleaning Up the Boxiness

Chip Foose examines concept versions of the Toyota MR-1
Hagerty

One Foose broke out his pen and paper, he decided to go back to more of what the concept version looked like. He opted for the original sleek look rather than the clunky attributes that had since redefined the exterior at the factory stage.

"As I'm drawing this car, I'm just looking at how boxy and square and flat it is," he said. "It's got some great proportions to it, but the details are just so harsh." He then went through several overlays to boost the elegance of the MR-2. Foose's idea was to convert the look into a fastback to make it look sportier than a commuter vehicle.

The Fastback Factor

Chip Foose adds color to fastback version of Toyota MR-1
Hagerty

Once he nailed down the look in his final overlay, Foose added some color to his design, which was decidedly more eye-friendly than the real thing. Converting the MR-2 into a fastback was the big factor, which led to Foose lengthening the windows, slanting the windshield farther back, cleaning up the awkward shape and making the rear less chunky. Foose's design is a far cry from the MR-2 that hit the streets, which he describes as a toaster. "What I'm trying to do is make something that's timeless and beautiful."

Source: Hagerty

NEXT: Chip Foose Gives The Ugly 1999 Pontiac Aztek A New Look

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