If you’re headed to Scottsdale for this year’s Barrett-Jackson auction, you’ll have more than 1,500 vehicles to bid on. With enough funding, you could buy everything from the first production 2020 Toyota Supra to Ford’s 2001 F-150 Lightning Rod concept truck, all four Transformers Bumblebee Camaros, and even a custom Mitsubishi Eclipse from The Hangover. But as interesting as those cars may be, the one we can’t stop staring at is something completely different.
Yes, we’re talking about this 1990 Toyota Sera. And if you only look at the spec sheet, we would totally understand you not getting why we’re excited. After all, it’s a front-engine, front-wheel-drive coupe that’s mechanically similar to the Toyota Paseo. It’s powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 110 hp and 98 lb-ft of torque. It has an automatic transmission and 75,000 miles on the odometer. Oh, and since the Sera was built exclusively for the Japanese market, it’s right-hand-drive only. Not your typical collector car qualities.
But since it only weighs about 2,000 pounds, that 110 hp probably goes farther than you might think. Plus, just look at it. This particular Sera might be from 1990, but it looks like it’s been immaculately maintained, and the green paint is still eye-catching. Oh, and it has trick-opening dihedral doors that Gordon Murray credits for inspiring the ones on the McLaren F1. How many economy cars can claim they influenced a supercar icon?
The design is clearly straight out of the 1990s, and that’s not a bad thing. Still, it packs a few features you might not expect such as rain-sensing wipers and parking sensors. It also has a Super Live Surround Sound stereo system that offers a very 1990s “casual mode.” This particular Sera comes with the original manuals, spare tire, road flares, and tools.
The best thing about the Sera, though, isn’t the heaping dose of 1990s JDM nostalgia that it delivers. It’s the fact that these McLaren-inspiring coupes are a relative bargain. We have a feeling this car will be a lot easier on your wallet than some of the other lots set to cross the block. And if you nab this one, you get the same doors found on much pricier exotics.