My 1989 MX-5

I bought this earlier in the year from motoring journalist and author Rich Duisberg. He’d owned it for sixteen years previous and it had sat in his garage for over a year. It’s a really early one (july '89) and believed to be the earliest silver uk in the country. I paid £750 for it and £250 for it to be delivered from Leicester to up here in the North East.
So a grand for a car with hanging rear arches and no mot.

Here it is being delivered. And of course my dog wanted a look.

Anyway, I pumped the tyres up and took it for an mot. Waiting like an expectant dad, the garage rang. It had passed with no advisories!

The rear arches were letting the side down along with a crusty drivers door.
It’s a lovely little car and is quite famous. It’s been to loads of tracks both here and abroad including the Nurburgring.
There is a great build thread detailing a full strip and overhaul. It has new powder coated subframes, coil overs and if fully poly bushed.

Is there any interest?


Couple of curious things about that car to warrant some further photos.

July 89 build, so obviously I assume its an early Eunos Roadster. Has the hardtop fitting kit, so someone in Japan ticked off the hardtop accessory; Japanese market cars didn’t have the hardtop kit as standad, but UK market cars did. It also appears to have the lighting setup of an early UK car, as I see the heatsink that you see in UK cars, but not in JDM.

Looks like a cracking little motor that could be a gem after some TLC.
Nice buy :+1:

1 Like

And the nodding dog in the rear, remember those? although not sure whether that one still has the nod motion still in operation.:grin:

1 Like

That’s a UK spec car?

It won’t be July 89 build. RHD JD cars started rolling off the line in June 1989, Australian spec cars a few months later. UK cars were launched March 1990, so likely the first UK spec cars were made tail end of 1989. The first “UK spec” car was registered in January 1990, but its actually a Eunos Rodster converted with some, but not all, of the European spec parts.

Hello. I’ve also bought an early eunos this year but it is in need of serious welding repair. It is a Feb/Mar 1990 build and was imported into the UK in 2003. It has the short crank engine and one hole in the bonnet landing panel. which I assume your one will have as well. These early eunos are becoming desirable, I hope! Definitely worth saving.

1 Like

It’s a uk car. It also has the single hole in the slam panel.
There’s a face book page called G reg mx-5,s I gave the host the vin and he told me the build date. Which is different to the registered date.
Anyway here’s a build thread on it detailing all the work done about 5 years ago.

1 Like

I bought it in the summer. I’ve done loads to it personally since then. My mate has a body shop. He replaced the rear arches and gave it a respray for £800.
It’s probably standing me just over 2.5k with the roll bar fitted.
I wonder what it’s worth now.

It has a weird lighting set up. I can’t seem to get the flash to pass mod to work. When you pull the lever the lights light up but don’t pop up.

On my last track day, I blew the baffles out of the exhaust which is original and hasn’t done bad for 140k miles

It’s amazing how much material is in there. It took about ten laps before it was all out. It did have a nice throaty sound to it afterwards.
When I looked underneath it had been patched loads so decided to replace it. A mate had a second hand ss back box that he’d tore trying to split it. He gave me it for nothing and it cost me a tenner to have it welded.
The new one is rather loud and isn’t my style but it’s quiet enough and isn’t too noisy so it’s staying for now.

1 Like

It had an advisory for a slight oil leak so I changed the cam cover gasket and the O ring on the cam position sensor just to be on the safe side.

While I had the cover off I tidied up the cam cover with spray paint.

1 Like

Here’s the old guy welding the ‘new’ exhaust. He was in his eighties. and is currently making a k11 pickup!

Ah, that car. I know the guy who did the weldingin the Motorpunk article. How has that work held up in 5 years?

579th UK car, so likely in that batch on the first boat from Japan in early 1990.

There is a thread on early cars:

I’ll be updating that thread

JMZNA18B200100376` was built 18th December 1989. Yours was bult likely on the same day or the next.

1 Like

MX5 Restores were selling an early F plated example after they fitted new sills and wings for £10000! So look after it as it’s definitely collectible.:+1:

Nice car that with a very interesting history!

1 Like

Thanks for the positive replies. I’s still mint underneath, I don’t think he drove it much after the restoration and kept it garaged. I’ve put it in the garage myself about a month ago for the winter. It drives amazing and handles really well although I may have span it once or twice on the track.

I replaced the rotten drivers door before the respray. I got it off my mate’s donor car whose currently nearly finished an exocet build. I can’t wait to have a blast.

My passenger on my 96 import went in the same place, but I caught it early, so could treat, and put in a bit of filler.

The panel sealant on these cars hardens off, then cracks, creating a moisture trap. Also at the base of the A-pillers. Better off to pick off suspect sealant, treat and paint.

1 Like