New Member Questions

Hi everyone.

Am now actively looking to get my first MX5 – looking at NC sports in the 3-4k range.

I will use as a daily driver – is this feasible?

What are the “essential” modifications, having been in the TVR world certain models had “upgrades” that were considered an improvement on the original.


Perfectly feasible as a daily driver
Watch out for rust at that price point
Engines can go bang due to oil starvation
Generally, go for a 2.0 not 1.8
Later engines (2007+) stronger than earlier (crankshaft modifications)
Mechanically there is not that much difference between the various models
Generally avoid cars with lots of owner installed modifications, or at least, don’t fall for the line that this increases value. Ill advised changes in wheels, suspension can be deliterious.

At that price and therefore age condition is everything, specification a secondary consideration. Check rust anywhere although you will be lucky to find a rust free example at that age and price. Check previous MOT history for problems and work done, neglected cars will have strings of advisories or fails. Engine oil must be at top of dipstick and a regular change with documentation is useful. Everything else can be changed for little ££ if you diy. There are plenty around, problem is finding a good one. Go and view as many as you can, there are plenty of helpful posts on here and you tube. Good luck.

Applicable to any car; check the tyre brands on the first walk around.

Matching premium brands good,
Matching less-than-premium ok
Matching across axles; a bit less than ok
Completely different brands; second hand tyres with tyre paint slapped on. Walk away.

2 types of MX5 owner:

  1. I brought a MX5 as I enjoy the handling. I make sure the tyres are as good as they can be based on my budget.
  2. I brought a MX5 to catch a bit of sun. Its just a car, innit? Tyres are tyres, they’re all the same.

Safe to say, if the latter, that service history won’t look too impressive, and huge amounts of deferred maintenance, and general disregard of advisories.

Rust can figure on MOT histories, but its absence does mean there is none. My main MX5, in the 17 years I’ve had it, never had an advisory for rust. When it went in for welding, it was pretty scabby though. And no, I never paid the testers off.

Expect every car to be rusty when you go to look. Due diligance MOT history checking at least saves your time, if rust is an important thing (it might not be, if you are just dipping your toes into short term ownership. Rust repairs can be good for 2-5 years, and if you are looking at 12 months ownership, its problably not going to affect the prospects at the next MOT and when you come to sell).

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