Mk 1 restoration project

This is sort of " before " photo … This car was imported in about 2007 I believe and although the arches still look good it has some rot in the o/s sill . I bought this to restore for my wife just a few weeks ago so work is only just beginning when I get a bit of spare time . The last owner used the car for 13 years and loved the little red rooster to bits but her local garage advised her that the car needed too much money spent to achieve another MOT … Which is where I stepped in .
I saw the car on Ebay and parted with £370 to give the car another chance . Faded paintwork really made the car look sad but I knew that there was a little gem hidden somewhere under the grime .


Good luck with the restoration, just wish i had the garage or drive space to do the same.

Well I have rented and old chicken shed on a nearby farm and that is where I work on my cars , Its not cheap but I have room for about a dozen cars .

It will be worth the effort when you get it finished, ive just about finished my project v spec
done over about 5 mth and i love it.

1 Like

I will keep posting the progress but it might take me longer than 5 months … You did well .

When (if) it stops raining i’ll take a current photo of mine. The silver paintwork is particularly faded on the rear end. I had a replacement roof from Mazmania about 5 years which really improved the appearance. The OEM? 5 spoke alloy wheels are in surprisingly good nick . Black circles commented on them when I last treated it to new tyres. Fortunately I have a very understanding MoT and extremely reasonable labour costs local garage, that has been nursing it through the MoT for the last 10 years. Some close calls (like the sills), but the total bill has always been low enough relative to the value of this car to me to give them the go ahead. I need to do the rear number plate lamp brackets when the spring really arrives (have to work outside as the garage is full of bikes) . I do routine servicing myself (Mobil 1 0-40 full synthetic since I got it) and with 125000 on the clock it still goes very well.

Looking forward to the project updates.

1 Like

Mx5 red is notorious for “Going Pink”. You may be pleasantly surprised how ( because it’s pretty soft) it will respond to a good 3 or 4 stage mopping. But then, being soft, need to be careful with paint thicknesses…from panel to panel in case it’s been repainted.
It would save a shed load of cash if it responds well.
For what it’s worth, I’ve had mine nigh on 16 years as work transport and had it refurbed last Spring for retirement fun. It was rot city. It’s far from perfect but a decent rolling resto now.
Probably around 70% of where I need it to be.

It had, shall we say…an “active service life”

They certainly respond very well to the right attention.
Good luck with the project.

Cheers mate ,
I must admit I get a bit peeved when I see so many being broken for parts , It won’t be long before the MK1 becomes an endangered species .
Its great to see another car being cherished and enjoyed .


Totally agree.

1 Like

MK1 becomes an endangered species

We already there or close to it Laurie in my personal opinion. Plenty of resto’s to be had as you just found out ( or scrapped) but good solid road-worthies have become a rare sight of late.
Nothing new there. I can’t recall seeing a “95 points” Mk1 “razor” Golf.
I guess it’s just the Automotive Circle of Life.
TBH, I’d not resto a Mk1 as an “investment”…conversely there are still so many in one shape or another, but I did mine for me. I’m nearly 68 so future investment means nothing.
Belting up my beloved glens hood down…means a lot.

1 Like

Couldn’t agree more.

My Eunos would be a crap investment…too much outlay to get it where i’m proud of it. But if I were to sell it now I would never see my outlay back.

Some cars get under your skin. Saving them becomes a personal mission.

1 Like

When I look at the convertible cars that are available these days , how many are true sportscars and not just topless shopping cars … Not many . MX5’s are now where the Triumph Heralds were a few years back , Cheap to buy … Parts easily available but will disappear without a trace if we don’t recognise that now .

It does become a personal mission and even though I now have two of them I still find myself looking through Ebay to save more if the price is right . The future is bright for a RWD 2 seater … Its never going to make any money but just driving one puts a smile on your face , and that is what its all about .

1 Like

Good luck with what is going to be an interesting and ultimately rewarding project. If it helps theres a complete mk1 in a breakers near me,Swansea.

Cheers Dave
Unfortunately Swansea is a long long way from Norfolk and it would cost more to pick it than it is actually worth … The red car came from Rutland which is only about an hour and a half from me so it wasn’t too bad .

Do you not have problems with Amonia in your chicken shed? I thought it was quite corrosive? :wink:

No its a brick building that hasn’t been used for years , they built a more modern building at the other end of the farm yard . My shed has concrete floors and is very clean inside … No smells at all .

I guess you could benefit by picking up a couple of basket case scrappers ( whose bits are 100% interchangeable)…since you have so much dry store at hand.
Often times, such cars are worth a lot more in bits than as a whole.

I would always try to save a car before considering dismantling it it for parts . A good supply of used parts is always handy to have … But a car has a history and to me it has a life , You can’t really make money out of saving a wreck but I’d still try to save it first .

1 Like

I confess I have broken a couple of Motorcycles for parts. That does at least keep several others going if the donor is in a very sorry state. Even greater heresy - they were Moto Morinis. Not lovely early double drum brake 350 Sports - but my parts from cooking Stradas may have kept some of those on the road.
Anyway, here’s a shot of mine being used as intended.A few years ago now so even less shiny.