Meet Mindy, Daves MK1 NA MX5

So after extensive searching, and viewing all the wrong cars, finally got our MX5 (aka Mindy!). We had only just arrived home, and I got out the car, thought oh I’ll take a quick photo with my phone, turned round and my Mrs Gayle and our daughter had jumped in and promptly disappeared for a wee run! lol

I’ve loved these cars since the day they were launched (was at the car show in Glasgow SECC when they unveiled it) and when the cover came off and I saw this sweet little red sports car I fell in love! Said there and then I have to have one of these one day, but I was a teenager with empty pockets at the time! Roll on 29 years later and now I’m older (still with empty pockets, least i am after buying her!) and finally I’ve got one!! Always wanted a mk1, but did put deposit down on a mk2 in a garage around 7 years ago. Sadly my then wife (Dawn) became seriously ill so we cancelled going down to test it/buy it and just forgot about getting an MX5. Lost my wife to cancer 3 years later

Now married again, my Mrs said that I need a project! I’ve been a grumpy old sod lately due to pressures at work, so she decided this would give me something to take my mind away from it all. I used to restore old 70’s MK3 ford Cortina’s years ago and enjoyed it back then. So, the hunt was on for “Mindy”!

Original plan was to buy one that needed a full restoration, but as i don’t possess any welding skills that plan changed. After a lot of good advice from members in here, we upped our budget and went to view a few more cars. Most were bodged repairs and nothing like described, until we found this one in Stirling, Scotland.

She’s red (obviously),  1.6 UK car with 90K on the clock. 10 months MOT. There isn’t a service history book, but all the old mots are there and receipts for various work done. The chap selling her didn’t want to let her go, but was under instruction from his wife to buy a more family friendly classic car! She has had the rear sills done before, drivers side is a tidy enough job and solid (just the black paint that’s not right), passenger side is still solid but repair is showing signs of rust. Engine wise, she’s great! Engine sounds sweet, and pulls well in every gear. Suspension wise, she needs an overhall. Interior is basic but (now) clean and tidy. Hood is shot, but my mrs went straight onto ebay and found a brand new hood that the seller has had lying around for a couple of years for £120! result! She bought it, then we had another road trip to Aberdeen to go collect it. Hood is mint and getting fitted this weekend!

I have noticed when at speeds of 70mph upwards, she has a horrible vibration which is coming from the front. It shakes through the car, and if at lower speeds (60mph) we go over any bumps in road, it shakes up through the steering wheel which deffo isn’t right. Unfortunately during the test drive there were no roads we could get her up to anything over 30 - 40mph so this only came to light on the way home. But hopefully the work i’m planning should resolve these issues.

So Plans are:

  • Fit the new hood
  • Replace all 4 shocks and springs
  • Replace upper/lower wishbones (they look ok, just grubby, but I want to replace all bushes so might aswell just change the whole lot.)
  • Replace wheels/tyres with dished BBS rims
  • Full service including timing belt/fan belt etc.
  • New front and rear brakes (rears have just had brand new calipers fitted)
  • Full custom interior retrim in either full leather or half leather/alcantara
  • Full respray, looking to go for a nice metal flake red! Will also be taking it to BorderMX5 before the paint to have both rear sills repaired professionally/correctly. Think we should be able to get through the next mot with them but not chancing it any longer than that.
  • Engine and engine bay fully detailed.
  • Accessories, such as chrome/stainless steel boot rack, new stereo (just replaced the one that was there for a Pioneer that I had lying around in the garage).
Will be a long term project, but want to fully replace as much as we can as we go along for brand new/renovated parts. End goal is to have one very mint mk1 MX5.

After cleaning her interior up to my standards, Gayle said “oh look, the suns out!” Which roughly translated means “time for a run in Mindy with the top down!” lol Got some pics when we were out.




Totally love this wee car! She’s not perfect, but she’s ours and makes me happy! First ever convertible I’ve ever owned, and loving it! Hope you all like, comments welcome. Oh, and again, a massive thanks to all the members who helped with advice in my other thread about buying one. You guys were amazing!


1 Like

Nice looking MX5 - enjoy and happy motoring.


Thanks Andrew! Loving it so far

You have a very nice car there.


I hope you have many happy years with Mindy.



Thanks Grant, yeah, Mindy has very quickly become part of the family! She’s going to get lots of love and attention here

Glad you finally found one, have fun and welcome to the MX-5 family. 

I’d love to say don’t get carried away with the work on your car, I didn’t for the first year or so…

Then the flood gates opened. 

Have fun. 

Lol I Reckon even reinforced flood gates won’t stop me doing everything I can to make her perfect mate! These cars are so addictive!

So, out in the garage after work tonight and decided to see if the vibration was just wheels needing balanced, so my old wheels from the mini were fitted to the front of her. A workmate came down to see her tonight, and was well impressed. Took him out in her at 9pm, dark, cold but top still down lol  Her on the motorway and up to 70 and slightly beyond… vibration gone. We’ll, there is a tiny tiny bit, but hardly noticeable! Result! So happy, as I thought there may be some horrendous fault I’d missed, but looks like the wheels just need balanced, or worst case scenario maybe they’re buckled. These will be swapped for tasty new rims anyways, but will get them checked for balancing so they can get refitted until new wheels are bought. The mini wheels look awful on her! Lmao. I’ll get a pic taken before they come back off. Really chuffed nothing serious found, means we can enjoy her a bit more before all the big work on her starts.

Oh, and the workmate? He’s just a young lad, only 21 and was his first run in a convertible! He thought it was amazing! Let him drive her back home and he was smiling ear to ear. Couldn’t believe how you feel everything the car is doing, and said when we got back “I totally get it now!” Think he too now wants an MX5, although he just got himself a Skoda fabia Monte Carlo ltd edition so he may have to wait a while!! Had a shot of his car and really nice wee car too!

All is good in Mindy’s world!

Been out in garage again tonight (just this minute finished!). Was going to swap the two front wheels back to her originals then see about getting them balanced. Mrs came into garage and reckoned the Mini Cooper wheels looked better than the 5 spoke wheels she came with. After much debate, decided to swap her remaining two wheels for the mini wheels to see how she looked. The 5 spokes are 14 inch, and the mini wheels are 15’s so after fitting, have to agree with the mrs that the mini wheels look a bit better. They also have decent tyres (two fronts are almsot brand new Avons, the rears are Continential’s but these need changed soon, so will stick another two Avons on there as I’ve found them to be really decent tyres.) So, Mindy rocking her new temp wheels…


Blanked out the “MINI” logo on the centre caps so they look better. Do think these look better being 15’s, and kind resemble the early Mk1’s daisy wheels. Only a temp measure until we get brand new wheels for her.

Also, a pic of the new hood Gayle got for her, which we’re fitting tomorrow.

Also took a couple of the interior as I didin’t have any interior shots before. Shows the Pioneer head unit I’ve fitted so i can plug my phone into it to play my music. Again, will be getting changed at a later date for either my Pioneer double din touch screen unit (will do the double din dash conversion) or another new Pioneer with bluetooth, usb etc. Oh, and as you can see in the pic, I’ve removed the ashtray from the centre console so my phone has somewhere to sit. Will probably get one of the replacement ones from MX5 City that has the cup holders.

Also found a how to guide in the forum for adjusting the pop up headlight covers, so they are now sitting nice and flush with the bonnet. Just my ocd kicking in again! lol Loving all the info on here guys, learning so much about these cars.  Hoping the replacing of the hood goes ok tomorrow, will get some more pics up when it’s done. Loving working on this wee car so far!


Hi Chillax

The Mini wheels look good.

Possible issue is weight related. The Mini wheels are likely to weigh considerably more than the original MX5 alloys. This may undermine your enjoyment of the car.

The other issue is overall diameter. Standard MX5 15 inch alloys have a 50 tyre profile to keep the diameter almost the same as 14 inch alloys with 60 profile tyres.

If your Mini wheels have 65 profile tyres you will be adding approximately 30mm to diameter. Looks good as gets rid of that MK1 gap between tyre and arch to some degree but will upset speedo, odometer, etc and may undermine enjoyment of car with changed gearing.

Check out google - others have used these wheels and if you want to keep them on longterm may be some tips.        

Also done a bit of paint correction to the front (both wings and the bonnet) as the paint although looked fine from a few feet away, up close had a lot of fading and oxydising. Think she’d had the wing painted before (possibly been replaced?) and the paint job isn’t the best. Does however look a bit better now after using G3 cutting compound and my machine buffer, then G3 paint restorer, onto  Autoglym super resin polish, before finishing with a topcoat of Autoglym hi gloss polish. Will probably do the rest of the car tomorrow after fitting the roof.

Anyone know where I find the paint code on her? Want to get some paint made up so i can do a lower half respray for now as hate the black paint on the sills and rear quarter panels. Just want her tidied up and looking better for the time being as long term she will deffo be getting a full respray.

There is only one red for the Mk1, SU Classic Red.

Paint code on the sticker on car bodywork where the drivers door shuts.

Ex. Color on bottom text line above barcode.


Thanks Rhino. Did wonder what size the 15’s should have on them as the mini wheels do currently have the 65’s as you said. Really wanting the new wheels asap, but need to get more funds together first before we can get them. We were checking out wheels today, and have ruled out the BBS rims. Thinking of possibly going for the Cades Enos wheels, as they are a similar design (and dished) but are slightly less fussy design. Have these already on my aerodeck and really nice wheels. Again would be going for 15’s (ones on my aerodeck are 16’s) so good to know what tyre size we should be going for.

Here’s the one we’re thinking of

Not sure whether to go for the red spokes or just silver?

Excellent. Will see about getting some mixed up possibly next week then get the lower half sanded down and prepped. Need to get a new hoseline for my compressor as its perished due to not being used for a long time. Looking forward to doing this part! Should make a big difference to how she looks.

Also looking for a decent garage to supply and fit a new timing belt. One I used to use is RJM performance in Glenrothyes as the guys there are brilliant and do an amazing job, but quite a treck from here. Mind you, if the suns out… lol will be worth the run to get it done properly.

I would not worry about running those Mini wheels for as long as you need to although be interesting to see what needs doing to get the dodgy front 14s sorted. If it just a balance should be very cheap to get done.

The important things with these wheels are weight and tyre profile.

Choice for you is 14s with 60 profile or 15s with 50 profile. 

Deffo be 15’s with a 50 profile of tyre as I feel the 14’s are too small. 15’s always seem to be a nice balance on most cars. Did put 17’s on my mini but noticed the difference in ride comfort going from 15’s to 17’s. Had a 2008 Civic TypeR which had the factory optional Rage alloys which were 19’s, but these were a nightmare! Car was already stupid stiff in the first place on 18’s, so these just made it unbearable.

So plan now set! So glad I joined here, the info and advice has been amazing. And so glad to finally have an MX5! Think my mrs is maybe regretting suggesting I get myslef a wee project now as I’m constantly disappearing off to the garage to tinkier with the mx5! lol

Very little difference between standard 14s with 60 profile and 15s with 50 profile.

The lower profile tyre will give you a slightly firmer ride with the 15s. If you are intending to fit firmer suspension at any stage will work better with the 15s.    

Plan is to fit brand new OEM suspension, plus renew all the wishbones etc. Want her looking good underneath as well as on top. Also want her to handle as close as poss to how she did when new, so again will be a long term project of replacing everything as we go along. Just glad we got one that we can have some fun with just now and get used to the whole mx5 experience, and can do all the stuff we want to do to her as we go along. Can’t believe how addictive these little cars are! They always seem to draw looks from public when you’re out and about in them too, which is nice


You should include a new water pump at the same time, and Mazda OE camcover gasket and CAS O-ring. Now is the time to paint the camcover.