Mk 1 restoration project

Totally agree.

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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.

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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.

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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 .

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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 .

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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.

That’s a great looking car doing what it was designed to do , my current 2 wheel project is a '98 Triumph Trophy tourer … In fact it is 2 Trophy’s that I bought to make one good bike out of , neither bike was complete … both had engines but only one had a set of carbs . I got 3 seats but only one top box and panniers . It will be a bit of a mongrol when its finished but I’ll be riding to Poland on it in 2021 .

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I won’t whore my renovations out, but good luck with your renovation, it was always going to be the case that they become fewer, as with you with triumphs and my self with them and MG’s etc we have seen all this before it is just another circle, I get the " hate seeing them broken up" big time, and i would hope i personally have saved a good few over the years to have even longer use for people with a passion to, someone said to me a good while back" you cannot save them all" and they were right, but what i will personally save will see me out and their owners out… the only thing i will say is that we are no where near doing restorations on these yet, that is still a good number of years off as the rubbish are scrapped to save the good ones, they will always be in good healthy numbers because they were over built/engineered from the start, less so as they moved further through production, which most is safety regs that kills them off ( been there before with the old rag tops), its just a big circle, and i am lucky for it to of come around again to be enjoyed, some of us eat and sleep these roadsters and have oil for blood, shout if you need any advice or info buddy, get some more pics up to nosy at and will be following all the trials and tribulations as you go, because it will all not go right and smooth, they never do… with a healthy swear box on the garage work bench with spanner dents in it ;0)

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Well said Mazda Mender.
It’s not a case of ‘making one good car from two bad ones’. One basket case broken for parts can make it economically viable to save many more that wouldn’t be so if there wasn’t a source of good used parts.

There will be more pictures of the red car posted as work progresses , the first job will be polishing up the paintwork to see exactly which bits of bodywork need respraying and which bits look good enough to leave . All of the interior will be coming out for a clean and while its out I’ll get the welding done … Hopefully it will be back on the road before too long but spare time is always hard to find and I may find other unknown problems to solve as work goes on .

Laurie680, Thank you for sharing your Mk1 restoration from the very start. You may well have many silent supporters who will be following your exploits so don’t give up please as I am one of them. Your story is close to home.
I have an MoT rust failure Mk1 1800 costing £300 intended to live on, with no timetable, as an Exocet. Scrapping the Mk1 body would not be righteous, I will see how I get on.
Your enthusiasm already appears to have attracted some great supporters, and I thank you for writing, … “its never going to make any money but just driving one puts a smile on your face , and that is what its all about”.

Cheers Darius ,
over the last 2 weeks I have had a bout of the flu which has really stopped me from doing any work over the weekends but today I intend to get the bodywork polished up just to see what kind of a rough diamond I have got . There is no set finish time for this project … My wife would like it done for the summer but I’m a bit more realistic .
I have a superb blue MK1 MX5 on my drive and it spurs me on to get the red one done , in fact when I got the blue one I loved it so much that I wanted more … I found the red one for sale on Ebay just three weeks after getting the blue one and they are both 1800 auto’s . I paid £370 for the red one and the wheel arches look to be rust free . I hope you are going to get your car posted on here so I can follow your story too … We may just be able to drive each other on .

Hi Laurie,
Looking forward to seeing the progress on your red mk1. These little cars are so addictive, and the rewards of seeing them come together is amazing, but the smiles per mile of driving them is simply immeasurable, they really are that good!
We’ve only had our red mk1 since August 2018 and bought it as a long term project that we can drive just now. Done loads to her (new oem shocks and springs, new hood, wheels refurbed, new brakes all round, new interior…the list goes on but we’ve only scratched the surface! Plan is to replace the wishbones/bushes etc(infact most of the running gear will be restored) and then onto the bodywork. Ours is the same as yours, rear arches are original and mint, but has had the lower sills done before, and not a pretty job. So think my next plans are new exhaust, service and then sills replaced properly. Really looking forward to seeing yours come together mate and seeing how you get on. Some pics of Mindy so far…

Its great to see another work in progress although you are much further ahead than me , I have really only scratched the surface on mine … I had some problems after charging the battery when the Thatcham 2 immobiliser failed to recognise the key fob and I couldn’t start the car , I decided to search for the immobiliser and remove it to save future problems and it only took me 7 minutes to find it , remove it and reconnect the ignition wires … Job done but it begs the question … What good is it if I could start the car within 7 minutes , it certainly wouldn’t stop the car being stolen if someone wanted it .
This car is actually for my wife as I already have the blue MX5 and to keep her happy I thought it best to clean up the faded pink paintwork first so she can see what it could look like when its done … You have to keep the wife happy after all !
I have posted a couple of before and after photos to show what a few drops of T-Cut can do . I haven’t done all of the car yet as I have had some fences to rebuild after the high winds we have had here … I think she doesn’t look too bad apart from the plastic bumpers which will need respraying and I have to deal with a dent in the front bumper which was hidden by the number plate but I’m hoping a heat gun will help me sort that out .

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