Goonet etc is retail. The starting price for a “DIY” import (in reality using an agent here) is probably about £3k landed (those same cars are now about £4-5k retail). NA are cheap in the UK largely due to condition.
The OC guide is fairly inaccurate (eg V-Spec IIs don’t come in just black, and after 94, the colours broaden to include white). The guide still lists a 1.6 Roadster Mk1 after 1993, no such thing. No such model as a “M-Limited”; there was a M-Package, which was basically a slightly cheaper S-Package (ie. it had power steering, but no Torsen etc).
The adage has always been buy on condition, not on spec. Are you wanting one of these models, because you particularly desire the leather seating spec, or because of the particular model. The facotry leather isn’t great quality, it can’t really be “fed” like old hides. Its about £500 to retrim a MX5 in good quality leather.
Cars already here start to show rust 10-12 years after importation (mostly).
There are various places where you can get a feel for the auction prices in Japan, without having to sign up for anything. Generally, to the sale price, add £500-1000 for the FOB costs (agents fee, getting the car over to the docks), £600 ish for ro-ro shipping (plus 7% shipping insurance), duty, vat, £200 or so UK dock fees. A few years ago, it wasn’t worth importing a car, but I think that might be on the turn, as the supply of decent cars in the UK dries up.
Really bog standard pricing guide:
This is better to under actual sale prices, and how often the same car can go through the auction before being sold
So here is an example of a very late V-Spec II, in white and an automatic
It was a pretty decent car, sold for 417,000 yen, £2750
But this one, which arguably is a worse car, went fr 705k yen. Maybe that’s the cost of a manual now.
Went for less money.
Crash repaired S-Limited, needs interir work, went for big money.
In general, good early (pre 1994 cars) seems to be attracting more money, the best deals might be had on plain later cars.
A car like this:
Got a cloth interior; D-grade means the cloth is worn through, which always happensa on the later cars, due to a change in the seat. The 240k yen sale pruce sounds good. I think it will need cosmentics, but it is a very late NA, and as a S-Package, will have a decent spec (power mirrors, Torsen etc). Owner even fitted raybrigs. That will be £4000 in the UK, plus the costs of the MOT, Budget £1000 for a new hood, service, maybe some tyres. But it will be rust free
The pricing can be curious
This is a Tokyo Limited, went for peanuts. I suppose the 200k kms on it was the reason, but otherwise, it looks a decent car. Another reason is that maybe in Japan, the Tokyo Limited isn’t that collectable. Its a low production car (40), but technically not a factory edition. A Tokyo dealership put in an order for S-Packages in black (at the time, you couldn’t buy a black S-Package) and then got Mazda to fit out the cars with some of the surplus cream leather M2-1002 interiors (some bits were made up for the car, such as the door cards). The M2-1002 was planned to be 300 cars, but they pulled the plug at 100. In effect, its a dealer special, albeit a noce dealer special.