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PH Fleet

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Friday 9th December 2011


PH FLEET UPDATE: MAZDA EUNOS ROADSTER

Winter's here but Dan's Eunos isn't quite ready to hibernate yet


I've been very lucky in finding a garage in which the Eunos can stay out of harm's way and keep tucked up, warm and dry when the weather is less conducive to ragging around in a roadster. Interesting to compare here with my brother's UK Mk1, which has no such pampered life and gets used every day. He has had nibbles of rust sorted out on the sills and rear arches and invested in a heavy duty (and expensive) underseal application earlier in the year at Rustmaster to help protect it.

Cold weather 'exciting' on rubbish Tigar tyres
Cold weather 'exciting' on rubbish Tigar tyres
When I bought the car at the start of the year the lack of rust was a big factor in my purchase and my first reaction was to do the same to keep it that way. But the guys at my local garage were less convinced of the benefits, patching up a section under the boot but of the opinion that a wholesale application could mask any onset of corrosion.

As I say, I'm lucky enough that my car can be selective about when it gets driven and won't have to be out in the salt like my brother's. So I'll leave it for now and would welcome any feedback from other MX-5/Eunos owners on the subject.

Over the limit
Another reason for having to be selective is the fact I keep running into the self-imposed mileage limits I volunteered for on the insurance. Based on previous experience with my Clio 172 Cup I initially went for 3,000 miles but sailed through that in a few months. So I went up to 5,000. And went through that too. And I've now got just a few hundred left so, much as I'd like to be out in it more, I have to choose my journeys carefully for maximum enjoyment.

Sam from Mazda explains Snetterton to Dan
Sam from Mazda explains Snetterton to Dan
I pretty much had to use it for the trip to Snetterton for my race in the Mazda UK Mk3 production race car in the MaZda 12-hour Winter Endurance. There were loads of Mk1s in the race too and plenty of hungry-looking mechanics prowling the pitlane with socket sets so I was a little worried the appearance of a nice Eunos in the pitlane might see it being cannibalised. Thankfully that didn't happen and, though the motorway trip there and back wasn't real Mazda driving, it was good to show willing.

Much more appropriate was the drive up to the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone for a lesson in winter tyres and a chance to skid around on the facility's low-grip surfaces.

PHers in not especially on-brand visit to Porsche
PHers in not especially on-brand visit to Porsche
Much skiddiness
Thing is, an early morning drive on slimy late autumn roads with the mighty Tigars meant I was already very familiar with sliding around, so after that the Porsche track was easy! I'm still debating what to do with the wheels/tyres too. One of my 14s has a ding and is losing air and one of the Tigars is definitely worse for wear.

The Toyos on my OZ 15s are definitely not legal after being ragged on track on the Clio so, really, I need a couple of sets of tyres. I'm minded to use the 15s as my 'posh' set with proper tyres and get some fun budget rubber (for 'budget' read 'skiddy') and continue to prevaricate about which I prefer.

Whatever I do I'll have to get at least one decent set before the new year when I face the triple-whammy of having to tax, insure and MOT the Mazda. Ouch. That'll be my post-Christmas impulse purchase coming back to bite me then. A six-month disc will mean I can break that cycle later in the year but, post-Christmas, that's going to hurt. Other than the tyres I'm not too fearful about the MOT, though there are a few niggles like an inoperative foglight that I'll need to sort out over the Christmas break.

Freshly painted nose picked up from Dent Wizard
Freshly painted nose picked up from Dent Wizard
Stop, spannertime
Indeed, I'm actually hoping for some lousy weather so I'm not distracted into going out and driving it! As you'll see from the pictures, I've been doing a bit more of the latter recently and having a lot of fun into the bargain but I've got a few other things to look at too.

One of the more pleasurable ones will be fitting my freshly painted nose cone. When I took the car up to the boys at Dent Wizard they took one look at the one on the car and said it was beyond the scope of their smart repair techniques. As you may recall, this was a cheap replacement for the original one that lost a load of paint when the stick-on plate came off. So I stuck that in the post and Flying Colours (Dent Wizard's paint subsidiary) man Adam stripped it back and repainted it properly, having matched the colour when the Eunos was at the workshop. It looks great and, with the freshly dent- and scratch-free body after the previous trip there, I'm expecting the Eunos to look a lot better once I've got round to fitting it.

As much of this as possible over festive period
As much of this as possible over festive period
Other than that it's a case of making those last few miles on my insurance allowance really count. Suffice to say, any half-decent day is an excuse to give the Eunos a bit of a run, so I'll be looking forward to some wintry blasts over the coming weeks. I also need to get it booked in with Performance5 to get the damper eyelet bushings changed over to the updated ones Phil now uses to cure a small amount of play noticeable over small bumps at low speed.

 

 


FACT SHEET
Car:
1993 Eunos Roadster (JDM import model)
Run by: Dan Trent
Bought: January 2010
Purchase price: £1,250
Last month at a glance: Still deliberating on tyres, picked up repainted bumper, can't resist going out for winter blasts when I should be working on it instead


Previous reports:
Myleene Klass wasn't available, but the guys from Dent Wizard have done a sterling job making the Mazda look 10 Years Younger
Slammed ride height, loud exhaust. Oh dear - has Dan's inner chav finally been let loose on the Eunos?
Plans for new springs and dampers have finally borne fruit, but not before Dan's driving comes under scrutiny to see if he's worthy...
Dan Trent's impulse purchase 'bargain' is sucking up an awful lot of money, but he still seems happy...
Open Season heralds rare 'money where mouth is' moment...

Author: Dan Trent