Right Car but wrong choice

Hi all!
I have been lurking around for a while as I was looking for a MX5, I am returning to the fold as it were having owned a MK1, a 2.5 and then finally a NC3.5 Sport Tech (which is now in Sydney Australia, long story!)
So the problem, I needed a bit of a project, something I can get the spanners out for, coming from a nearly new BMW there was little chance, hence my quest for a MX5. I bought a NB Mk2.5 from the for sale section on here, it belonged to HB and was the 18,800 mile ICON in grey. The car in fact is everything which Hazel said it was, you can tell it has led a good life! trouble is I am missing some of the creature comforts and ‘modern’ gizmos.
So the dilemma, a ND is no good, no spanner work, so a NC 3.5 Sport Tech having owned one before seems like the logical solution, or is it?
the purity of a mega low mileage NB 2.5
or the feel of a ‘more modern’ Sport Tech

I am sure there are 2 points of view here and i know it is down to personal taste, but i still drive a lot and perhaps a 2005 was too far a step back in time.

What are you looking at doing (what do you mean by ‘spanner work’)?

Cars are cars, all of them can be taken apart and have different components fitted, why is an NC so different from an ND in that regard?

Because they are so new… The spanners will come out to fix, modify (a little) and generally tinker a bit, I must admit I don’t know much about the ND, road tested one in Sydney which was fine but it did not grab me.
The kicker is I intent to tow behind my Motorhome, that is a complete no with a ND.

so I am limited to a NB or NC if i want to tow


Problem is pretty basic insofar prime NB’s like yours just keep running for decades and ask for little when serviced intelligently. Our 2002 Sport @106k miles has only needed, bar a full rot rebuild (!) new brakes & droplinks, front coils & shocks, and new COPs. Plus the usual bulbs, belts, and cambelt/water pump service. Not bad in 19 years.
Matter of opinion but we have never felt short changed with the Sport’s toys bar AC which would have been useful.

A good solid (not rot free but 95% OK) Mk1 would keep you spannering a bit for sure.
I’m afraid to say…looks like you bought the wrong car for your well intentioned “needs” given, by your own description, it’s general excellence. It’s likely to soldier on mechanically for many years without “interference”. It’s a cake and eat it dilemma.
Another debate is…if your new NB is as good as stated…there is a powerful argument to keep it as is given they are getting very thin on the ground now.

What comforts and gizmos are you actually missing then?

I went from a basic nb to a prht nc. Love the creature comforts specifically:
Mold free roof
Aircon (stop steamy windows in the rain)
Heated seats
Better performance (although on paper they look close, the 2.0 is way better than the 1.8nb)
It is bigger, I am six foot and feel that the screen is in the right place (on the NB I sat too high relative to the top of the screen)

Plenty spanner work on 2008 car with tired suspension, ancient hifi, and modifying trim to my liking that I would not be too tempted to do on a much younger car. Over and above servicing and fixing.

I would like another NB, but in addition to and not instead of the NC. If I only had one car, it might be an ND, but the mx5 is my toy and I prefer to have another grown up car. There is definitely an NA shaped itch needing scratched, but again would keep the NC and the NA would be the hobby sunny Sundays only car - view might change after I get one, but for now I can’t see past the PRHT NC as the best of the bunch for my particular mindset. Only you know what will work best for you.

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thank you all for your measured and thoughtful response.
My NB has lived in a garage most if not all of its life, it now lives on the drive, so the points about the roof, maintaining its near time capsule condition I cant do, it has to work for a living, not everyday but most. It still has the stickers on the rear light clusters!!
As for its mechanical condition and its ability to go on I don’t doubt, it had been regularly serviced throughout its life but being and engineer I felt it safer to baseline certain things, cambelt and seals, waterpump, all fluids changed, a good check through and four new tyres, it was still on its original Bridgestones! I have only had the car a month so still learning about its ‘condition’. I had a battery fail, just tired I guess, it also I believe to the the original Panasonic!!
I will and I do as you can see cherish this NB, but its in a such a great condition and low mileage perhaps it needs to go to a place where it would be that second car and retain its cosseted lifestyle and come out and play on the weekends rather than be the daily driver. As a project car there is still plenty to do, wheels need to come off and have a proper clean on the inside of the rims, not proper spanner work I know and when the work was done above it was done by a professional, which eats into my spanner theory i know but the car had to be reliable and ready to go to work.
so i guess sell to an owner who wishes to retain its low mileage, condition and appreciate the car for its originality or just run it, drive, and have fun.
just a final point, my BMW was a M240i convertible in pearlescent white, with a red interior (rare in its own right) it also worked but that car was in showroom condition after 4 years of ownership, so do not fear for the NB ICON. When we have been out in the NB I would happily state it gets more admiring looks than the BMW ever did. Long Live the MX5, an oldie but a goody!!
I have a tough decision to make

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I have a 140, owned since new in 2017 and I traded in an e93 (last of the hard top convertible 3 series) for it. The NB I bought was to fill the convertible shaped hole that was left. Almost swapped the 140 for a 240 convertible, but love it too much so preferred to run both the mx5 and the MLite. Do wonder if I did have a 240 whether I would keep the mx5.

I think the cheapness and lack of worry about minor things (like oiks scratching things) mean going for a run and leaving the mx5 in a NationalTrust carpark while hill walking or whatever makes it a more enjoyable day tripper than a new BM would be.

If I had a mint low mileage museum peice MX5, some of that devil may care attitude would be missing. But at the end of the day it is a £2k (give or take) car, not a £50k vintage porsche. I would use it and enjoy it, the low mileage and general condition will just make you prouder/happier to own it. If you sell it and buy something “rougher/older” you might have an extra few hundred pounds in your pocket, but suspect you will regret it. Selling it to buy something more suitable (such as prht) is a different question. Get what you want, life is too short.


do I miss the M240i yes of course, the power, the sheer brutality of the car and every time I pressed the start button, the smile!!
I never bought the NB to replace the BM (no MX5 could do that, perhaps a V8 may come close) but to go another way, get back to the basics of driving, fun and turn a spanner or 2. Trouble is my NB is probably is what I wanted, desired, but too good to be a daily, hence right car wrong choice. Not in a bad way but perhaps I rushed in without thinking what i need my car to be and to do.
you are right, I may just put it out there, and see if anybody agrees with my assessment of the car and wants to give it a second car home from home


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All thank you once again for your comments, decision made I am going to sell.