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Homepage. This page: My other half's second MX5, a Eunos import
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Mazda MX5 Eunos
Early in 2005 we decided that 'er indoors' original MX5 was getting a bit long in the tooth, and really in need of some cosmetic refurbishment if we were going to keep it.

With far too many 'project' cars as it was, the thought of having to bull up one of the more modern cars in the fleet just didn't appeal to me at all, so a search for a replacement began. Ebay threw up plenty of MX5s, some nice original spec models, and others with bodykits that magically transformed a nifty little sportscar into something that looked like a design-reject from Hyundai. A few of the cars did meet our requirements (ie no bean tin exhaust trims or tacky bodykits), but were always located several hundred miles away. Knowing how well these little cars can rot, I was reluctant to bid on any of these faraway cars without having a good look at them first.

An alternative tack was therefore taken, and the Autotrader website became a regular hunting ground for us. Several evenings were spent looking at small grainy photos of these baby roadsters, but, eventually, a short list of possible contenders was drawn up.

First off we went to have a look at a 1996 UK MX5 near Chester, on sale at a used car dealership. From twenty feet away this looked like a good honest Mazda, but a closer look suggested that it had had a recent blow-over (respray), and the lower sections of the sills had recently been repainted. There was overspray on the black screen surrounds, and the panel fit wasn't the best either. We also had a look at an MGF that they had, but that looked like it had been involved in a crunch at some point in the past (plus horror stories of dodgy MGF headgaskets didn't really appeal to me). The same dealer also had a Jag XJR (a model I wouldn't mind owning one day), but that was very scruffy, not adding to my overall impression of this dealer. We walked away (well, drove).

Next we spotted a British Racing Green MX5 for sale, complete with hardtop, not far from us at another dealer. So we went for a nosey. This was another disappointment. Despite being on a P plate (1997??), it was worse than our old '89 car. The sills were bubbling up badly and mysteriously the hardtop was no longer with the car, so we ran away from this one too.

While visiting my folks one day, we called in at a local used car dealer that always has a variety of cars for sale. He had two MX5s, including a silver one (er indoors has always wanted an MX5 in silver). This was another car that looked ok from afar, close it there were signs of filler and a poor repaint on the rear wings, and didn't inspire much confidence. A later Mk1, this time in BRG, was parked close by, but had also been resprayed on the drivers back wing, and the colour match was hopeless.

By this time we were getting pretty fed up, and thoughts drifted towards the MGF option again. That same evening I spent some time reading a reviews website for the MG, but continual tales of woe with reference to blowing head gaskets reassured me that we should stick with finding a Mazda.

A week or so later, Autotrader threw up a possible contender somewhere in Lancashire. So we sped up there to have a ganders at it. This Mk1 looked really nice in silver, but the hardtop finish was very crazed, and tell tales bubbles of rot were appearing on the sills. It was a real shame, as otherwise we'd have probably gone for it. Pressing my thumb gently against the rust bubbles caused blobs of water to drip out of this corrosion area, so sadly it was another No vote.

Shortly afterwards a red import Eunos came onto the market. We'd always shied away from a Jap import, preferring to find a pukka UK car. However by this time we just wanted to find a decent example of any car. I'd read that Japanese market cars don't receive factory underseal, but on the other hand they don't salt their roads either, so rot should in theory be less of a problem. The red car we went to see had been undersealed on arrival to the UK, and had perfect sills. The rest of the car was in good order too, and seemed to back up its indicated 50k mileage (showing in kms on an import!). A test drive went without problem, and we decided to buy it.

One of the key ways to stop any MX5 rotting is to keep the drain tubes clear that run down inside the rear wings, ahead of the wheels. The water that runs down the back of the roof is designed to channel away down these tubes, but can get blocked quite easily, so it is important to check that water runs down these pipes ok.

The old MX5 we sold quite easily, just 2 days next to the road outside the house with a For Sale sign in the window saw it finding a new home.

(PS This page is just one of hundreds of pages on www.oldclassicccar.co.uk, stuffed full with articles, photographs (including a free image archive!), visitors stories, memorabilia, postcards, advice and more, all dedicated to classic cars and their enthusiastic owners everywhere!!)
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