This MR2 demonstrates the most inexpensive way to add lightness | #LowBuckWednesday

By Colin Wood
Apr 19, 2023 | $2000 Challenge, Toyota, MR2, Low-Buck Tech, Tire Rack, Toyota MR2 Spyder, #LowBuckWednesday

Photography Credit: Dave Green

If less really is more, then Andy Surprenant seems to want as much “more” as possible with his stripped-down Toyota MR2 Spyder.

The two-seat Toyota has been an ever-evolving entry in our annual Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge, first debuting with original bodywork, then showing up naked the year after.

More recently, at last year’s $2000 Challenge, Andy went big and upgraded the MR2 with a 2ZZ engine–the one found in the Toyota Celica GT-S, Pontiac Vibe and Lotus Elise.

Oh, and did we mention that the MR2 still carries a license plate and gets driven on the street?

What is the $2000 Challenge? It’s our annual low-buck automotive festival that celebrates autocross, drag racing and ingenuity, which returns to Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida, on a new weekend for 2023, May 27-28.

The real challenge is in the event's name, however, as entries are required to prepare their vehicles for less than $2000. Each of these sub-$2000 cars will compete in autocross and drag racing sessions followed by concours judging the next day.

Rather see if more money equals more speed? Over-budget builds are also allowed to enter. Need more time to get your build ready? Spectators are welcome, and there will also be a Hagerty Cars & Caffeine, swap meet, model car concours and even a post-event track day at the Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park.

Think your low-buck racer or over-budget car is up to the challenge? Enter your build here, and learn more about the $2000 Challenge at


The Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge is presented by Tire Rack, in association with CRC Industries and Miller Electric, with trophies from ACI Automotive & Performance.

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