A quick rant

Hi everyone, I am feeling a bit let down by the club this evening. I am the proud owner of a Mk1 Le Mans 24. When I heard there was a chance, all be it a small one, of getting the signature of Tom Matano on my car, naturally I jumped at the opportunity and paid my money straight away. When I arrived however I was told I had to park my car somewhere which couldn’t have been further away from display area where Mr Matano was going to be that afternoon which pretty much scuppered any chance of me getting that signature. When I queried this I was told that no, Mr Matano would not be visiting the area where my car was parked and therefore they had to agree that my chances were zero. My question is, why was I not told about this? It seems to me that because I have a rare variant I am actually being penalised for this and being excluded from an opportunity that should be available to any club member. I had to change my previously made plans and travel from Brighton on Saturday and stay overnight to be there in good time just to have that small chance of getting Mr Matanos’ signature on my car, when all the time there was actually no chance. To say I am disappointed is an understatement, it ruined for me what would otherwise have been a fantastic day. I appreciate that I probably wouldn’t have been one of the lucky ones anyway, but to have the opportunity denied because of the car I have is so unfair.

I quite liked the egalitarian approach. My car was introduced to Mr Matano as proof that not all MX5s are garage queens (or words to that effect). Everything mostly works 



I assume the OP had paid for the Anniversary Parking in Area A, but was misdirected to in front of the museum doors. Which of the colours would you have parked with, the greens or reds?

Simply not true.

I took Tom to the Le Mans cars as the very first stop on his travels out on to the Event field, we got there at about 1.40 (programme had timing from 1.30-3 for his travels) after he had spent a little extra time with some former Mazda design colleagues who also visited the show.

We spent time discussing the Le Mans model, the colour scheme and his thoughts on the 3 of them there, his preference was for the one on the left, but when he saw that it was for sale, decided to move on as unfortunately the others at the time were unaccompanied.

We left them to visit the workshop, then some of the exhibitors, before moving to the 89 cars and then on to the coloured display area, area stands but unfortunately not able to reach the cars in the Competition area as Tom needed to rest.
But The Le Mans, 89s and 30th Anniversaries were intentionally positioned within inner paddock for interest at the show.

Your advance ticket £6, (less vat, card fees and postage as well as time for processing) was in no way a guaranteed route to having your car signed but a multi faceted mechanism to help establish a base number of infield cars prior to the show, also enabled the production of a unique rally Mug to be created with explicit permission from Tom to recreate his signature phrase to be given to all the pre booked owners as a gift because it was always going to be simply impossible for Tom to sign every car, the sweepstake for him to do so was an effort to try to make a fair and understandable way to deal with the limited opportunity.

Thank you for bringing your car to display, it was a lovely feature of the day in the busiest area of the show, enjoyed by many who had not seen one before today and perhaps you can reflect on that when you next enjoy a tea or coffee from your mug.

" … unfortunately the others at the time were unaccompanied."

Shame. I wasn’t expecting a signature at all, as it was basically pot luck but mine was the black one and I’d have loved the opportunity to talk with Tom about it - but as one of the volunteers I was elsewhere most of the day.

By pure chance though, I know two of the people who had their cars signed. Couldn’t have happened to nicer people - or more different cars!

Speaking of nicer people, the original posters post doesn’t reflect his persona at all.

I know, I was parked next to him for the day and when we did bump into each other back at the cars we had some very friendly chats about the LM’s, their build history, the differences, personal changes made and original equipment fitted.



Must admit, as I didn’t know when Tom would be in the 30th Anniversary area, I was wandering around the show and missed him. I plan on keeping my car forever, so would have loved it signing. But hey - the chance was very slim anyway and it was great to be there.

On my drive back, I caught up with and pulled behind a Le Mans to convoy for a sadly short while (I needed fuel) - lots of waves which was appreciated - lots of grins in the Orange car and I am sure in the lovely Le Mans too :slight_smile:

Something that the OC may want to consider in the future is arranging a signing session and donating the proceeds to a chosen charity.

Carroll Shelby signed both the airbag cover, and a spare sun visor, of my Shelby Mustang and I, along with many others, were happy to donate a set amount to a charity chosen by Mr. Shelby.

People could bring the part, t-shirt, book, etc, to a designated place and both a charity and owners could benefit.

Just a thought.

At least the car looked nice! :slight_smile:


Something to do in maybe 10 years time.


On the other hand, the charity auctions yesterday proved MX5 Owners are a tough crowd. The club was honoured to have Mr Matano attend, we may not be so lucky again. None of these guys are getting any younger, and they are generally on the otherside of the world.


Still, maybe Norman Garrett the Third could be tempted for the 30th Anniversary of the UK launch.

All I wanted was to be in the mix with everyone else. Lain states that where I was parked was the 1st stop for Mr Matano. I had absolutely no idea that that was going to happen I was told by the stewards, several of them, that “no, Mr Matano would not be visiting the area where your car is parked” so I assumed that to be the case. Maybe if it had been made clear I would have been there when he arrived and this post would not have been written in the first place. To suggest that I expected to be treated differently to anyone else is complete and utter nonsense and I whole heartedly resent the acusation, that was the whole point of my rant, the fact that I felt I wasn’t being treated the same as everyone else. Pete. 

Oof, tell me about it. If the paint correction and protection prize doesn’t work out and the winner/company happens to be on here looking for a second chance candidate, please contact me.

  • Genius who didn’t take payment information or even ID and was kicking himself over being unable to bid.


Sorry to hear about this Pete. you have the most desirable MK1 and no doubt should have had the opportunity to get the man’s signature.

I would write to him personally with an explanation of events and a method(there has to be one available) for him to sign something that can be applied to your car - underbonnet seems the best place.

Best wishes




I was lucky enough to have my car signed, thrilled to bits.

Right, enough said. Thread will be cleaned.