It all started with a joking comment that if we had a MX5 we couldn’t be the mother-in laws taxi anymore when we visited.
That was nearly 6 years ago but it took another 4 before I seriously thought about getting one.
This is how it looks today, it’s been fun and really reliable over the last 10,000 miles. My plans for the car have changed a few times but I’m really happy with how she’d turning out.
Like any project, this one is still nowhere near finished!
Better show how I got to today. I used to own what can be best described as rubbish cars and decent motorcycles.
My first proper motorcycle, a 1978 Kawasaki Z650 B1. I striped it down in 1997 for a quick tart up as it looked a little tatty round the edges. In 2002, five and a half years later this is how it ended up, loads of replica parts made in stainless steel and aluminium. I won 2 awards for it that year.
I sold it in 2006 as I didn’t want to scratch it or even get it dirty!
I bought this 1989 Kawasaki GPX 600R as a runaround bike to save ruining the Z650. Great bike, I did 7,000 miles all over the country during 2003. I soon wanted a larger bike though which lead to this.
A 1991 Suzuki GSXR 750M. Fantastic in a straight line but due to a combination of being heavy and a previous owners idea on suspension settings it didn’t like corners. I sorted the carburation and did a lot of work sorting the bike out but couldn’t justify renewing the suspension due to cost against the value of the bike.
The Suzuki was replaced by a 1999 Kawasaki ZX9R C2. Fantastic bike!!!
I owned her for nearly 7 years and she was absolutely brilliant. 0-60mph in under 3 seconds, around 170 mph top speed yet would average 45 mpg.
It was due to this bike that I got my user name. I did my time and have calmed down since!
However, in 2012, partially due to how busy the roads are now, I decided to sell the Kawasaki and hang up my leathers and buy a 2 seat sports car.
So goodbye motorcycling, hello MX5-ing!!
I started looking for a Mk1 MX5 in February 2012. This is the second one I looked at.
The main thing I wanted was no rust. The hood could be replaced, the flat paint in the rear bumper and panel could be repainted and any mechanical work I was happy to do.
I replaced the worn carpet with a good used one and while it was out pumped several litres of Waxoyl into the chassis. I plan to own this car for some years to come!
It took a couple of months to go through the car before I was happy to get her back on the road. New fluids all round, parts cleaned or changed as needed so I was happy she’d be reliable. A new hood was fitted at Dandy Cars the first weekend she was on the road.
That first journey back on the road was wonderful!
I started to do runs with the Owners Club. One of the first was to the Ace Café near Wembley. Seemed strange to go on 4 wheels but had a fantastic day. Everyone who regards themselves as a petrol head needs to visit here at some time during their life.
Blyton 2012 was great as well. Somehow managed to pack a tent, 2 sleeping bags, food, clothes, etc into a tiny boot.
Even went on track for the first and only time. I was useless and got black flagged! There is only one photo in existence of me on track and all you can see is the nose coming into the photo!
The dashboard was the next thing to be replaced as a previous owner had somehow managed to break just about every mounting on the old one.
A replacement was bought on ebay for £10 and duly fitted.
After the Prescott rally we had a few days in Brighton as we used to have family holidays down there as a kid.
Also, what better place to take a Mazda than somewhere they have a Mazda fountain!
(Best if people google it but it really is called the Mazda fountain after the Mazda light bulb company).
One of the first parts I made on the lathe was the dipstick handle after breaking the old one off, doh!!
The front ball joint boots were changed as I the old ones were starting to crack. Easier than I thought it would be.
I pallet wrapped the MX5 up when cleaning and treating the mohair hood as the waterproofer is a sod to shift off paintwork if it gets on it. Neighbours thought I was mad when they saw the car wrapped up but paintwork stayed ok and hood looked great when treated!
Needed the car to look it’s best for it’s next use!
Yes, we used the MX5 as our wedding car. Raised a few smiles going through Norwich from the registry office to the reception. Who needs a limo?
We even had a MX5 on one of the wedding cakes.
And my wedding ring was one I made out of a silver florin.
To be honest I wasn’t going to have a wedding ring but a friend said if I didn’t have one on the day she’d force me to wear a Haribo ring. I knew she wasn’t joking either.
When it came to the honeymoon the MX5 had to be the car of choice. A 950 mile round trip to Cornwall and back without a fault. Cornwall is beautiful and we couldn’t have chosen a better setting, even if some of the roads are only just wide enough for a small sports car!
I liked the idea of making the car look more retro, like a 1960’s sports car. I managed to get a set of minilite style wheels by Black Racing in Japan. They needed refurbishing but, paintwork apart, were in good condition. I had them powdercoated by a local place that specialises in car wheels and am really happy with them. The centre caps came from the far east via ebay.
I liked the older badge that Mazda used up to the mid 1970’s and got a set of badges made up for the centre caps.
At last years Sandringham rally I entered the car into the car competitions. I didn’t get anywhere (not that I imagined for a second I would) and this was one of the last times she was shown before the winter makeover. Over the next few months I was collecting parts ready for it’s new look in the Spring.
The Winter makeover had begun.
A stainless steel fuel filler cap by Runabout.
Interior door handles by K G Works.
Old Momo steering that was on the car when I bought her.
Wooden Momo steering wheel I managed to find. Hardly a mark on it but is twice the age of the car, can’t believe it was made in 1979!
Out with the old fabric seats.
In with the new leather ones. Well they were new to me but it hadn’t been all that long ago that they had been recovered. I bought them off someone who was making a kit car and these came from the donor vehicle.
Hi, hope you dont mind me asking but did you keep the front number plate mount when you put on the stick one? I’ve been looking for one but can only find the type that mounts offset jdm style.
Super looking car, wish my Silver mk 1 looked as good as that!
The old cam cover.
New cam cover. I removed the lettering for a smoother, more retro, look before getting it powdercoated.
When Moss had the Cobolt exhaust on offer I bought one. Sounds great and not too noisy, just a nice sporty note. I changed the end tip for a smaller one with a rolled end as I didn’t like the 4" diameter one fitted as standard.
Hi Steve, I do have it but it’s still attached to the original front bumper. I changed the bumper so if I ever wanted to put it back to standard I could. I have seen them on ebay before, it was the standard mount used in Japan.
Thanks for your nice comments, I’ve been slowly getting the car how I want it. Problem is , where do you stop?
I wanted a stick on front number plate. So I could put everything back to standard I decided to get another front bumper sprayed up. Gave me a chance to look for and treat any surface rust under there. I also wanted a front badge with the old Mazda logo on it. K G Works in Japan used to make one but I wasn’t willing to pay over £80 if I could even find one. That left one option: make one.
I made it out of stainless steel in 3 pieces, the centre one powdercoated gloss black. Really happy with how it came out. To be honest, it’s probably my favourite part on the car!
I’d seen someone in America use a badge from a 1970’s Mazda RX2. I liked the idea so thought I’d do the same.
The “RX2” section off the badge has to be carefully cut off to leave the “Mazda” part. I think it looks really good.
I entered the car into the car competitions at the Brooklands Spring rally. After a 3:30am start, it remained dry for most of the journey down then the heavens opened for the last 30 miles.
Cleaned most of the road spray off while we were waiting to be allowed into the site and got it roughly as clean as she was pre-downpour.
Couldn’t believe it when I got 3rd place in class (lightly modified).
Great thread, like the care you’ve taken and the individual touches that are very much in keeping with the ethos of the car!
Looks like the Cornish roads around Gorran? Great to see the bikes…I’m resigned to 3 x 1975 fizzies (2 Dutch, 1 French) and a 1975 Benelli T50; all in various states of (dis)repair.
Loving what you have done to date; makes for great reading/viewing.
Nice motor. I have been trying the same with my front end and looking for inspiration. Am in the process of applying a stick on plate and am colour coding my tow/tie eyes to blend them in. ( No bottle to remove knowing my luck). As I was reading this my grill was drying in the exact opposite to yours ie dark Eunos/ light background. Thanks for proving it works.
Keep up the good work. Russ.