The Antithesis! - March 15th, 2023

The Antithesis of an Automatic Z28

Taylor's interest in racing began long before he ever entered a competition or owned an MR2. He spent hours watching Rally and Hillclimb videos online and dreamed of one day getting behind the wheel himself. Unfortunately, his current weapon of choice was an automatic 2000 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, and in his own words, he "really didn't like it much. It was big, heavy, unreliable, handled like a boat, and just wasn’t fun to drive."

He knew that if he were ever to pursue his dreams of driving the way he wanted to, he’d have to choose a different car. Something much less like a hammer and much more like a scalpel. The very antithesis of an automatic Z28. On a trip to LA in 2018 he had the opportunity to check out an MR2 Spyder with just 29K miles on the clock. The next day he drove it all the way back to Texas!

Being lightweight, sporty and simple, Taylor felt like the ZZW30 (Chassis code for the Spyder…we talk in silly chassis codes here) was an excellent platform to build, so he dug in! Most people wouldn't think to take a low mileage bone stock MR2 Spyder to a hillclimb, but in early 2021 he did exactly that.

From the moment he started up the hill, he knew he was hooked. Later that year he went on to have a successful rallycross season and was invited to compete in the 2022 HooptieX Championship. After his first hillclimb event in a bone stock car, Taylor didn’t waste any time and got to work improving the car. All the mods he made were aimed at keeping the car legal for SCCA Street Prepared Rules.

The car now rides on Annex Clubspec Pro Coilovers with T3 Ultimate Tie Rods up front and Toe Links in the rear. With class rules limiting engine swaps and internal modifications, Taylor opted for simple bolt-ons like an MWR Intake, Ebay Header, and Lightweight Pulleys. The cockpit has been upgraded for safety and ergonomics with an RZR Factory Shifter, Sparco Evo Seat and Harness, OMP Targa Steering Wheel, 4pt Roll Bar, and a triangular safety window net. He's also made some simple aero mods. It might be hard to see, but there is a clear plexi adjustable wing in the rear along with an adjustable splitter up front.

Once he started racing, it was hard to get enough, so of course, he also played around with some road course driving, but in the end his heart remains dedicated to hillclimb. It's the raw intensity and danger, the imperfect pavement and the quick thinking required to navigate it all that makes hillclimb so appealing. It's the very challenges that keep him coming back for more. With fewer straightaways and more obstacles to overcome every turn and climb requires split-second decisions!

Looking to the future, Taylor has set his sights on competing in more climbs further away from Texas, maybe on the west coast or in Pennsylvania. But his ultimate goal is to compete in the Targa Newfoundland, a multi-day competition that covers over 2,000 kilometers of challenging terrain. Taylor is excited to continue his journey in racing and is grateful that he took that initial plunge!

Taylor's experience shows that with passion and a willingness to take risks, anyone can get started in racing. Despite not having a fancy car or years of experience, his dedication and hard work serve as an inspiration to others looking to pursue their own dreams in the sport!

Written by Kevin Guevara

Photo’s by Alec White/Guess Work Photography