MX5 Mk1 (Eunos)
l Homepage l
In 2005 I bought my first MX5, to be strictly accurate it was a "Eunos" Japanese Import of 1994 vintage. I'd looked all over for a well specced, nice 1.8cc UK car but every one I saw was heading rapidly towards a terminal rust problem. After a while and getting a bit despondent, my thoughts turned to a Japanese Import, I didn't really want one but the ones I'd seen so far did tend to be of better specification and had less apparent rust showing.
The Japanese have a thing called a "Shaken". It's a bit like the UK MOT where cars have to undergo the first one at 3 years of age and then every two years afterwards. The difference is that the Japanese version is far more draconian than ours as almost every component on the car is checked and any found even slightly worn have to be replaced. It can be very expensive. The result is that many Japanese motorists get rid of their cars before the first test comes along so there are Japanese warehouses full of low mileage cars awaiting export to countries where they're not so thorough with their annual vehicle tests - the UK being one of them. It's big business and there are a few UK agents that buy the cars then shjp them over here to sell through specialist imported car dealers. I went looking at several imported Eunos cars and found that generally they were in much better condition than the UK cars I'd been to see, but that "X Factor" car still remained illusive.
It was a few weeks into my search when I spotted an ad for a small company based in Blackburn who imported Japanese cars, and they had a 1.8 '94 Special Edition Eunos in stock with a bit over 25k miles on it, much less than some of the UK cars I'd seen. Plus, there was lots of paperwork with it, some of which suggested that it had passed it's first shaken. It had only been in the UK for about 8 months and hardly used in that time by the lady who bought it as a fresh import from the same dealer, it had spent most of it's time with her sat in her garage. Being a "base" special edition it came with electric windows and air con which ticked two more of my boxes - air con is essential for summer Euro tours.
The only problem with it was the colour, it was silver and I'm not a big lover of silver cars. Still - nothing ventured, nothing gained so I toddled off over to Blackburn to have a look at it. To be honest after seeing so much biodgrading, rusting, rubbish over the previous weeks I wasn't expecting too much but this thing was revelation. Absolutely immaculate with not a spot of rust anywhere to be found. There'd been a small dent repair to the N/S rear wing which had been well repaired but apart from that it was totally unmolested. After a lengthy test drive proved it to be just as good mechanically as it was bodily I decided that not buying it just because of the colour would be madness, this was as good as I was going to find. So, a deal was struck and I ended up with a bloody silver car! OK - a pretty damned immaculate silver car but a red one would have been a lot better.
The day it was bought and brought home
Making a NACA duct air intake to feed cold air to the engine air intake.
This is a cheapo headlight cover bought from E.Bay
The finished item
Over the following months the car began to evolve, First job was to totally rustproof and underseal it which took me about 3 days but it was done properly with every nook and cranny injected with waxoyl and the underside protected with Tetroseal underbody sealant. A proper roll bar was fitted, as were Enkei wheels, a rear spoiler and Toyo tyres, the brakes were also upgraded with new vented discs and Greenstuff brake pads. The interior also had work done to fit white dials, a new steering wheel and a GPS mount for our up and coming 2006 European summer tour in the car. A strut brace was fitted in the engine bay and another brace beneath car, which really tightened things up a lot. If I'd kept it, it would have been put on lower springs but another motorbike came along that I'd been lusting after so the car had to be sold to finance it in 2007. I should have kept it really and maybe would have done had it been a better colour, it was probably one of the most rust free MX5s around at the time. I later learned through the grapevine that it had been involved in an accident a few months after selling it and it was thought to have been written off.
White dials lit up at night
The white dials in daylight and the replacement steering wheel. The cabin of this car was a very nice place to be.
The very clean and tidy engine bay with the Strut brace fitted
Painting the rear spoiler,
This spoiler was made for me by a fella who had just started up in business making aftermarket fibreglass car bits. I rang him to see if he did one for the MX5 and he said no but if I gave him a few days he'd knock up a mould. Sure enough, less than a week later he rang to say the spoiler was ready for collection. He wasn't sure if it would fit though so he told me to take it and try it. It fitted fine with a few minor adjustments here and there so I took it back when it was fitted for him to see and I gave him a detailed report on what slight adjustments needed doing to make it perfect. I paid him for it but he charged me very little because I'd been his guinea pig! He went on to make the headlight covers with the air duct moulded in it based on mine, which I lent him for a few days to take the mould from. Sadly he didn't make much money making car bits so eventually he went into fibreglass flat roofing. Pity, because he was good at making the car parts.
Marking the holes for the boot spoiler
Colour coat applied
Fitted and finished with the clear lacquer coat, great colour match from my paint supplier.
Installing the rollbar was fun! This is a pukka item that passed down through the floor and bolted to the chassis legs,
so I had to cut holes in the carpet and rear bulkhead floor to fit it.
Another E.Bay bargain, I picked these up for a song but had to drive all the way to
Consett in the North East for them - in a snowstorm as the fella wouldn't courier them
The interior. The son of one of my mates took this radio / CD unit out of his Toyota so he let me have it cheap,
it filled the double hole in the console nicely
The car was crying out to be lowered and I did intend doing it but it was sold before I got around to it
Click for photos of the European tour we did in this car in 2006