Proud owners of more than 600 Toyotas past and present participated in the 2024 National Day hosted by the MR2 Drivers’ Club.

Although the club is dedicated to Toyota’s mid-engined roadster, it again extended invitations to attend to other Toyota-focused groups. The result was one of the largest turn-outs in recent years, drawing fans from not just across the UK but worldwide, all keen to share in the love of the iconic sports car.

MR2 Drivers’ Club National Day 2024

“The fields at our usual venue near Warwick are waterlogged so I had to find a new venue with only three days’ notice”, explains MR2 Drivers’ Club director Nik Milford. “Given how far some people were travelling, cancellation wasn’t an option.  I quickly secured 350 display spaces at nearby Motofest taking place on the same day, but it just wasn’t enough with hundreds more already signed up.  So I emailed a local friend asking if they knew any venues with space for six hundred cars, and a few hours later we had secured this car park at the Coventry Building Society Arena. They have been nothing but abso-bloody-lutely brilliant since they were first asked about this out of the blue.

“I believe this is now the biggest annual MR2 event worldwide. Owners have driven their cars from all over Europe – we’ve even had people fly over from Australia. It’s incredible. Who flies around the world to stand in a car park in Coventry?

“We are celebrating our anniversary year – 40 years for the Mk1, 35 for the Mk2 and 25 years for the Roadster, so that – along with the fantastic weather – has helped to make this year’s event so big.  

MR2 Drivers’ Club National Day 2024MR2 Drivers’ Club National Day 2024

“I think over 600 entry photos were taken and we missed a few – so I reckon it’s closer to 650. Our previous biggest was last year at 450″ smiles Nik.

We caught up with some of the participants who had travelled far and wide to join the annual MR2 Drivers’ Club National Day.


Mikkel and Jeanette had one of the longest drives to get to the event in their 2005 Roadster. Along with friends and fellow Danes in a Mk1, they have travelled 1250 km from Ølgod. “We left on Friday and will drive another 1250 km home tomorrow”, explains 45-year-old Mikkel. 

“We’ve been once before – it’s the biggest show for MR2s. In Denmark, you only get to see a maximum of about 20 MR2s at a show. I’m modifying another car at home, so it’s great to come here and look around to get inspiration. 

MR2 Drivers’ Club National Day 2024MR2 Drivers’ Club National Day 2024

“This car has done 95,000 km. It’s a fairly standard car, with the addition of a front splitter and a different seat and steering wheel. I’ve also fitted a rear spoiler, and stainless steel exhaust and had the engine chromed. It’s entered in today’s Show and Shine competition” adds Mikkel.  He went on to win 2nd prize in that category.


This is also Thomas Vader’s second visit to the MR2 Drivers’ Club National Day. He has driven his heavily modified Mk2 from Heerhugowaard in Holland. “There’s so much love here for the MR2” he laughs after wowing show visitors with the sound of his engine.

“There’s nothing this big in Europe – I once saw about 100 MR2s at a show at home. I fitted my holiday plans around the 750 km drive to come here and am also visiting a few other car events.

MR2 Drivers’ Club National Day 2024MR2 Drivers’ Club National Day 2024

“It’s a 1991 Mk2. I bought it ten years ago as a completely stock car. It’s now fitted with a V6 engine, body kit, bigger brakes and wheels, Recaro seats, and a full wrap. I’ve also added a suspension geometry kit to reduce bump-steer. I use it for track days too – it’s a regular at the Nurburgring,” he adds.

The 32-year-old’s red and white Toyota gets lots of attention. One visitor crawls underneath it with his camera saying: “It looks so good – I need to know how it’s all been done – I have a similar body kit and exhaust and can’t get it to fit.”  


Craig Atkins is another visitor fitting his holiday around the show. The 58-year-old works as a technical operations manager for Toyota in Melbourne, Australia. 

“I own two MR2s and am a committee member of the Australian MR2 Club. The fraternity is much bigger here – it’s perhaps the biggest in the world. To get them all together is amazing – there’s probably 600-odd cars here today” he says.

Craig asks for his photograph to be taken in front of a very particular car. “This is the Holy Grail of MR2s – it’s an SW20 Spider. Toyota only built 76 – they were all right-hand drive. Most stayed in Japan and some came to the UK. We only have three in Australia – and I’ve seen three here at today’s show. It’s a Mk2 convertible with Porsche-esque scoops behind the headrests. My friend, who travelled over with me, is trying to make the owner an offer on this one. It’s such an iconic car.” he explains.


Irati and Andoni brought their 1986 Mk1 over on the ferry from their hometown of Bilbao in Spain. As the couple leave the show Irati says: “We came because we’re a bit mad – Andoni loves Toyotas and we wanted to see other MR2 fanatics.”

Barrie Cowland

Barrie and his wife Joy are founding members of the MR2 Drivers’ Club. The 87-year-olds drove their immaculate, red, 1989 Mk1 from Peterborough this morning and were delighted to be awarded first prize in the Show and Shine category. “It’s a perfectly standard car with original paint.

“We’ve owned it since 1991. At the time we decided we wanted a sports car and just liked the look of the MR2.  It was good to start with – with only 1,500 miles on it – so it’s been easy to keep it that way. We’ve toured France in it and been all over the place in it – It’s now done 96,000 miles”, says Barrie.

Ian Howe

Despite only owning his 1995 Mk 2 since October, Ian has managed to win first prize in today’s Concourse competition. “I know what the judges are looking for as I’ve won before – I’ve got five other cars at home including a Supra and a Lexus LC500 V8. 

“This one had only 2,588 miles on it when I bought it but it had cobwebs everywhere underneath – and I mean everywhere!” he exclaimed.

“I’ve been cleaning and polishing it every weekend since October.

“I first saw an MR2 at the NEC Motor Show in 1984. I fell in love immediately – but at £12K I knew I couldn’t afford one. I had to wait until 1995 before buying my first,” explains Ian.

Michael Abbott

“I’ve always had a thing about square-looking cars, and I love the design of the Mk1”, beams Mike proudly as he poses for a photograph standing by his ‘Best Newbie’ prize-winning MR2. 

“I travelled in a convoy of fifteen MR2s from Essex this morning. There’s just such a great camaraderie – we’re all in it for the driving and the nostalgia”, said the 75-year-old from Braintree.

“It’s a 1989 car and I’ve owned it for six years. I bought it with only 40K on the clock. And I’ve driven it less than 1000 miles a year since. It’s completely original and it’s never been welded. All I’ve done is polish up the dull paint.

“The weather’s been fantastic, and I’d like to thank the organisers for putting on such a good event despite the last-minute location change.

If you fancy finding out more about joining the MR2 Drivers’ Club and for more information about any future events, then click here.

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