Importing a Mk1

Over the years I’ve had and thoroughly enjoyed six Mk1’s , two Mk2’s and a Mk3.
I’d now like to finish off and just enjoy one last Mk1 and ideally, totally rust free, reliability of course goes without saying. So, if anyone has ever imported one or can recommend anyone I would be very grateful. TIA.

Check out Autolink, they import and have info on the website

Interesting, thank you.

My brother used Autolinkuk to import a FTO on commission. Very smooth process.

Staged payments (you need to release cash to buy the car at aucton in Japan, which is a lower price than the eventual price).

You can pay Andrew to sort out getting the car from the docks, and registered, and sort out the MOT. Frankly, I’m not sure why anyone wouldn’t.

Andrew does charge for the overall service, but it was very modest, and I thought worth it.

I think you need to think very carefully about the condition of the car that you want. If you want low miles, 1 owner etc, there is a significant premium, and you will be waiting sometime, especially if you have a preference for colour or trim.

My bother wanted Grade 4 or higher, manual non-Mivec V6, 1 owner, less than 40k kms, and no modifications. In black. Apparently rare. He got lucky, and Andrew’s agent found one quick. BUT, 1-owner wthout any crashes seemed to stick it into grade 4 right away. The agent didn’t have a lot of time to give the car the once over before sale, except he thought it had a few scratches. Only low resolution photos were available, but the car looked ok. My brother could have passed, and waited for another, but went for it (money transferrred through Andy via normal debit card).

Once purchased, the car was then recovered to the Agent’s yard, and better photos could be taken, and everyone could agree on the condition. The agent spotted that someone had used a rattle can to paint a roof scratch. Car was shipped and landed,and final payment made on the basis that the car was as described. It was scratched on all panels except the boot lid, whch felt a little disappointing , but the car was very very original, and the landed price was still much lower than retail price. It wasarranged for Andrew to get a full service done, MOT, and used Andrew’s contacts to get the car repainted.

Shipping took, as I recall, 6 weeks, and a couple or more or so for the car to be finally handed over. And it looked stunning, as new, for about £1000 less that what a car in the trade would cost (and it wouldn’t be as good, due to trade margins).

89-91 cars have potential issues with the crankshaft
95+ cars have cloth seats that wear very badly even on low mileage, and some of the run out models can be a bit poverty spec (ie. final S-Specials didn’t have BBS wheels)
Not all 1993 1.8s had the Torsen diff.

Late 92-93 seems to be the sweet spot for a 1.6; I would look for a nice standard S-Special with the 14" BBS wheels. If the Bilstein suspension is unmodified, its fine (the ones with the abysmal ride tend to be cars where someone has put on lowering springs with the Bilstein). The standard Bilstein set up certainly lets you know its a sporty ride, but I think its wonderful on a smooth road.

1.8s came in 3 flavours. Phase 1 ran from mid-93 to late 94. Phase 1.5 ran to late 1995; that introduced the 4.3 Torsen instead of 4.1 Torsen, with a lightened flywheel, on some models. Phase 2 cars, came with a 4.1 open diff or 4.3 Torsen. That change in gearing does make a difference, and makes the 1.8 more like the 1.6 to drive. The trade off is the easily-worn seats, and a cheaper feeling thin carpet.

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Thanks Sam, very good advice and some excellent info on specs for me to digest.
Save for a daily car I want a Mk1 to keep hold of now, enjoy and if it does cost me a bit more money I know long term it will pay me back.

Thanks again

Beware though we are getting to a trickypoint with Mk1s in Japan, as some are starting to rust over there. The undersides might look rust free, but the same cannot be said of the sills.

In this Autocar Japan article, it describes how Mk1 sills are repaired using fiberglass!

Essentially the article says this is the high tech approach to repairing rust, by gluing a bit of FRP in place.

That is illuminating. As an investment I would be planning to have someone check over the car with a boroscope anyway and treat where necessary.

Thanks again

Autolink has a few MX5s that have never been driven on UK roads; straight cars, they need some trim sorting out.

Worth enquiring, I’ll drop them an email. Do you have a contact?

The website link I posted earlier has the cars and contact details

Got it👍