Extremely early mk1

I had been on the look out for an early mk1 mx5 for a while, the reason being that I wanted to have a standard mx5 to go with my modified ones, and if I was to have a standard one it needed to be something a little special.

Well, one evening while looking on a well known auction site I stumbled across a red mk1 on an F plate, my thoughts were it was either a dvla mistake, or it was a really early car, either way it would have been an early G plate.

It wasn’t far from me so I contacted the owner, loaded up the trailer and headed over to have a look, when I got there the car looked OK, as is the case with the earlier cars it didn’t have much rust with only the outer sills needing work, and a look around the car confirmed it was an early car, I didn’t know how early at this stage, so a price was agreed and we loaded it onto the trailer and took it home.

Once I got it to the workshop I had a good look over it and confirmed it had all the early parts and differences, light weight sports crank engine, only one hole on the slam panel, no cooling fins on the diff, gloss black roof catches on both the soft top and hard top, no heated screen on the hard top, different seatbelt stalks, different shock/Spring top mounts.

I then started looking into how to read the chassis numbers to find out how early it is, and in my research I discovered that 2500 cars were made in the first month of production in April 1989, and this car is number 2331 meaning it was made in the first month of production.

I have since had number 2336 in the work shop and to my surprise it doesn’t have all of the early parts, which could mean that my car is one of the last to have all of those parts.

So what is my plan with the car, a light restoration keeping it as original as I can, the sills will have the outer skins repaired, full respray, and general clean up where required, oh and put some standard wheels back on it.

Nice find Garath

My recently imported Mk1 is 1414 has all the early bits of No fin Diff, Gloss black hood latches, Seat belt stalks, Short crank engine. Only 31000k on the clock.

 Build date of 1st September 1989

Are you sure its really that early. Eunos Roadster production started sometime after Mazda Miata (LHD) production, unless your car is a converted and rebadged Mazda Miata. RHD Eunos Roadster production started at NA6CE-100021, in June 1989, in time for a September 1989 launch, not April 1989. Early production was exclusively for US and Canadian markets. The first couple of thousand Roadsters were earmarked for dealer preregistration, to build up stocks on launch day. The oldest Roadsters in the country are the 13th and 14th off the line, both of which are on a G-reg. There might be some older Miata survivors; the magazines at the time were full of ads for companies bringing in near new US spec cars for those not willing to wait, ie. cars with proper F-plates, not DVLA mistakes.

My Mk1 was NA6CE-100576 built 24 July 1989, ref: G83 FAN, this was reckoned to be in the second week of Hiroshima production, believe it now lives somewhere in the Brands Hatch area, have posted re this car before, seems was an oddity (maybe factory development/test/trial ???) had alloy doors, smooth diff etc, wishing now still had it !. Paul H.


Wow, that’s a really nice one, nice low miles to



I will try to find the link to where I found that information, it is possible it’s wrong, but from memory it showed the first 2500 being built in April 



And came with a load of JDM bits, Tein coilovers electronic adjusting from in the car, Four pot Maruha calipers with 270mm disks and braided hoses, Rose jointed drop links with Ultra thick Arb’s front and rear, Front and rear strut braces, Zoom console with fmoni gauges. Zoom mirrors, Hipower exhaust, 16" Enkei wheels.


Likely from Miata.net; they have month by month production stats there, but don’t break the monthly production down for Japan, only an annualised Japanese number. First month production for the Roadster might have been July; my memory fails me. The mystery car with the aluminium doors remains a mystery, and unless the present owner comes forward, difficult to discuss any further whether the car had factory parts or aftermarket parts.

To follow on , the car was a mystery - yes but was known well known in the club, the doors had been seen and confirmed many times as alloy at meets, rallies etc and this has been discussed here on the forum many times, only thing I can’t confirm is that whether the whole door assemblies including frames were alloy or just the skins, but when I competed with it the magnetic roundels/squares wouldn’t work, obviously !, so they had to be stick on, the doors were sold into Germany to a Company in Furstenfeldbruk to fund various other bits on my Mk1 at the time, the car was sold some 3 years ago to be used as a “learner” car with the people who do track days at Brands Hatch (MDS ??) I don’t know if the car still exists but other than the doors it was sold with 99% of the original bits on it.

I guess enquiries to Mazda with the VIN etc didn’t elicit any confirmation if it was their work or not. Bit academic now, since the parts were separated from the car (maybe it was one of Teddy Yip’s cars; they had to make them go as quick as possible around Macau).

The development cars were built in August 1988.

You can spot an extremely early car on this transporter, 3rd car from left, top deck

1988 development car; the stainless steel centre caps appeared in early publicity material

Another early car, but to all intents, finalised

But note, the different angled aerial and the confirmation that the front/rear diffusers were originally intended as standard fitment

From October 1988; one of the pilot production cars being tested by a journalist

Same car in Jay Lamm’s book; see the hubcaps

The 1989 Chicago show Club Racer concept; this car doesn’t carry a VIN, so maybe very very early. It has some strange differences, but how much is show car stuff, or preproduction is not known.

Production early smooth diff

Chicago show diff

Standard early cowling

Chicago car

Strangeness on the centre console

Show car door trim, but look where the release latch is

Different clocks

Other difference

Engine bay messy and full of prototype parts


Great info on this thread. How long have you been MX5ing from what you have been saying it looks like from day 1 if so how many others on the board have been mx5ing that long.

Brought my first Roadster in November 1997; a 1992 car, off the boat. Actually went out to buy a CRX, similar to what I had in the US. Joined Miata.net mailing list in November, inbox went into meltdown (500 emails per day…no forums then). Joined the UK MX5 Chaos mailing list about a month later (Hugo Fiennes’ list). Joined the club in early 1998. Drove a Mk2 on launch day, didn’t like, decided to stick with a Mk1 for the time being. AC in 1999. Then a 1991 car in 2000. Gave up being an AC in 2002. I decided on something a bit newer in 2005, and went for a 1996 car. Tried a Mk3 on launch day, didn’t like it (for petty reasons; the door cupholder), so decided to stick with a Mk1 for a bit longer. In 2007, I took a chance on a M2-1002, but by 2008, admitted defeat (at least I got it running, and passing a MOT…). In 2013, I went all retro, and brought a 1993 car as a rolling project. In 2015, tried a Mk4, quite liked it, but not sufficiently to ditch the Mk1s. 1993 car is now not far off completion, first time for me in 18 years. Still have the 1996 car, worth more to me to keep.

There were 2679 MX5OC members before me; there are a few here from that far back, and earlier.



I started work on the car today by repairing the minor rust on the sills, this car is amazingly rust free underneath, I have always said that the early cars are better in terms of rust, and this is no exception, I also noticed that the treatment coating on the inside of the sills is actually a different colour, it has a brown tint to it, where as every other mx5 we Have repaired has had a grey coating, perhaps this goes some way to explain why the earlier cars have less rust, maybe this coating is better, in addition to this I found that the stone chip coating on the bottom of the sills is thicker, normally I have no problem finding the original spot welds so I can drill them out, but I really struggled to see where they are on this car due to the thickness of the stone chip.


anyway, pictures.


Nearside with a rust bubble towards the front near the seam

Offside has a small bubble towards the back

outer skins on both sides removed, you can see some lines where I cut them lower down at first to see how high the rust went on the inside, I decided to go a bit higher just to make sure I wasn’t leaving anything behind,

notice how dark that protective coating is?

Surface rust removed from the inner sills

New protective coating applied, this is where you can really see the colour difference, normally our protective coating is very close in colour to the original coating, here it is a very different colour

New outer sections made, coated on the inside and hole punched for plug welds

New outer skins welded on and welds dressed

Thats all for now.

I want to be able to do that without it taking you the years you have spent learning the trade.

Better order a new compressor and welder.


When you are doing sills where do you put the 2 post pick up pads?

It’s great o see such an early MX5, brilliant…

I look forward to seeing the finished article!

I’ve always thought my Eunos was an early model and it seems you may have confirmed this for me…

Chassis number is 100897,single hole slam panel and smooth case diff.

Can anyone confirm a date of production for me please?

Chassis Number

Slam Panel



Hi Michael,

I used this site to get the date of production of my car;


They say you car was made on 21st July 1989.

Hopefully see you Sunday at the rally.