How many Mk 2 's' cars

Does anyone have an idea as to how many Mk 2 1.8 ‘S’ cars are still on the road? I understand they were not made for very long and was informed they are relatively rare. I am considering having new rear arches etc and a full repaint on mine, alternatively I may just look for a newer car. I love the Mk2 but am struggling to decide where the money would be best spent. The car has done under 70k and drives superbly.!engine

What surprised me is that 6 people swapped the petrol engine for a diesel. oh and there’s one with a 4.5L monstrosity lol


I’d definitely keep it.
My brother in law had the Sport one and let it go for a song when it failed it’s mot.

Personally if you are anywhere near south east I’d go and have a chat with the mx5 restorer. If you decide to sell the mx5 restorer may want to buy it off you.

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The 1.8iS was a trim level and produced throughout MKII production up to the introduction of the facelift. The MKII Sport was a limited run model.

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Many thanks for all the replies so far. I understand mine is a 1.8iS as it has the Torsen Diff and Nardi leather steering wheel. It also has a rarely seen small front lip spoiler and a boot spoiler which I have rarely seen on any MX5. I believe this was factory fitted as far as I can make out. I am in the Hull area and have a possible body shop lined up to do the work. I am happy to spend the money getting the car ‘right’ again but don’t want my heart to rule my head too much and throw a shed full of money at something that will never be worth it really. That said I imagine that good Mk2s will soon begin to increase in value and make this seem viable.

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It would be interesting to see how the figures compare to say this time last year. Mk 2/2.5’s seem to be being broken in huge numbers at the moment due to requiring ‘uneconomic’ rust repairs. Personally I think they are worth saving. One reason being is that there really is no alternative out there.


What’s very surprising is that earlier NBs till 2000 seem to have survived better than later FL versions. I suspect something untold happened to production processes on the FL, causing them to rust quicker.

As I have surmised in the past the earlier NBs used solvent based paints rather than water based. I wonder if the steel used was of a poorer quality. I believe that there was a Ford influence to reduce costs.
The Racing Green Mica and the Gold seem to last particularly well.

My very early NB (Jan 1998, VIN number is a few over 1050) is in bright black paint. I’ve owned this for almost six years. The bodywork overall is in very good, rust free condition but I recently noticed slight bubbling at the rear of the driver’s side lower sill. I took it to my local car repair shop who said after previous experience of rusty MX-5s he didn’t like working on them…we all know why, once you start digging etc. I saw a 2.5 there before; it was needing a great amount of work with both outer and inner sills being replaced.

However, once he had a good look round the car he said it looked in otherwise good condition so he’d be happy to work on mine. We discussed the usual problem areas; he knew all about rusty front outriggers etc.

After he’d done the work he rang me and said it turned out to be the cleanest NB he’d seen for many years and actually needed very little doing to it. He’s replaced the lower part of the sill behind the driver’s door but the bill was less than the £450 he originally quoted.

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That was lucky mate. Nice one :+1:

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Having been unsure about how sensible it would be to rebuild the arches etc my Mk2 1.8s I can now report that the rear arches and sills have been replaced on both sides and the car fully resprayed in Audi/VW Nardo grey. I have spent the last two weeks wet flatting, compounding \and polishing it up. I was lucky enough to get some Rotas secondhand which I have also refurbished. I looked for these having spoken to Scottish fiver on this site. Really pleased with the new appearance of the car. It used to be silver but I wanted a ‘flat’ colour that was different to most other MX5s. I do not really mind what other people think of the colour choice as it’s great by me. In honesty it is not a colour that I would have entertained in my earlier years though, old age much be catching up on me!


I have a 2000 NB (Jasper Conran version) and whoever had it before me had it in Jersey, one year it only did 1500 miles, 34k miles when I bought it! But there was no rust on it as such, probably due to no salt on the roads there? I’ve had it a little over 7 years and it’s now approaching 94k miles, had it undersealed about a year ago, and when putting on a new back box touched up and re-undersealed a couple of minor areas myself. the only rust I had really was at the number plate lights - which I sorted and I have a bit of a bubble on the front right wheel arch - been kind of looking for a replacement wing, but only prepared to buy a black one as I don’t want to stat respraying.

Also looking for a new soft top, so I’ve been around a few scrap yards and seen a few MK2’s in them and everyone seemed to be very badly rusted on the underside, leaving side the ohter bits of body damage, which is sometimes hard to assess with various bits stripped off or bashed in the yard.

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Hi Mike,

I did lots of Waxoyling when I bought mine a few years back,inside the doors, sills, underneath etc. I am sure this has helped but the rear arches simply got worse and worse. Now professionally repaired and painted I am now doing a load more Waxoyl applications. Yours sounds like quite a rarity to have so little rust and that’s great news. Number plate lights are another common area for rust. Mine has the RS boot spoiler and when I removed this there was bad rusting around the boot stop light, I replaced with another boot which was solid but again had rust around the registration plate lights, all rectified now. TBH I am not at all that sure that the wheel arch replacements done professionally is an economic repair for most people but I love the car and consider it worthwhile, clearly most people either do not think so or cannot afford it. I hope the car now has many more years left in it.

There were the very very early beginnings of a bit of rust at the edges of the rear arches, nearest the road, I scraped the rust off, primed, and sprayed with a rattle can - looks fine - it was just surface rust.

When I had it undersealed (Preserve & Protect - Paisley/Johnstone) he did the cavity waxing as well.

I was tempted to buy a boot lid when looking for parts in a scrap yard, as it was in good condition, but figured my repair was fine - still think I should have bought the rear light clusters - upgraded ones that I think look nicer, but no point on spending on something I don’t really need - then again it’s payday this weekend :slight_smile: