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Thursday 12th July 2012


PH FLEET: MAZDA EUNOS ROADSTER

Look, I was kidding about removing the spoiler meaning less rear-wheel grip...says Dan


After a 1,000-odd miles of flame-spitting around Scotland, the Eunos has probably earned itself a little period of rest and recuperation, so it's had a much quieter time of it lately.

Quick, a sunny evening - get the Eunos out!
Quick, a sunny evening - get the Eunos out!
This is in no way linked to the fact that it's been raining and I'm a fair weather roadster driver, no sir. In fairness I'm not. I'll avoid wet salty roads in the winter, but take somewhat perverse satisfaction in refusing to put the roof up unless it's absolutely necessary. And so long as you can keep up 60mph or so you're usually OK.

Well, you would be were it not for the ridiculous rain of late. Yet another reason to be impressed by this little car? Not even a trace of a leak from the roof, no matter how hard it's been raining.

Wings clipped
What to report though? Well, the spoilerless bootlid kindly sourced for me by Classic & Sports Car compadre James Page - via MX5 Central in Wales - is now in place. And was, genuinely, the work of a moment, even though the 'five-minute job' is now accepted in my household as code for over-ambitious assessments of how long these things usually take.

Definitely neater, loss of downforce acceptable
Definitely neater, loss of downforce acceptable
The colour match is OK but the fit isn't perfect, legacy probably of the rear-end repair the car had at some stage in its life. Some deeply unscientific leaning and tweaking has got it acceptable but, such is the beauty of a cheap car like this, you can live with such 'character features' and not get too stressed.

And, tongue now removed from cheek, there has been no apparent difference in handling without the mighty downforce generated by the previous winged bootlid. And I think the car looks neater without.

GT looks great
Elsewhere on planet MX-5 I was heartened to hear about the MX-5 GT Concept prepared for Goodwood by the Jota race team with whom I've been lucky enough to drive on occasion.

Dan (and Eunos) pose with the Jota race car
Dan (and Eunos) pose with the Jota race car
It's clearly been built with the production racer I've driven in mind and I'm very keen to have a go, the race car's blend of more noise and predictable, exploitable and pliant handling just the ticket in my book. I like that they've achieved the extra power through 'proper' tuning, too.

Plenty of folk make MX-5s go faster with forced induction and the temptations are obvious. But I can't help feel it's not quite in character with the old Jinba Ittai spirit somehow. I speak having never driven a supercharged or turbocharged current shape MX-5 of course (the BBR Le Mans was fun though) and will probably eat my words having done so.

Jota's road-going GT looks a barrel of laughs
Jota's road-going GT looks a barrel of laughs
But given how much tuning expertise there is in the Caterham world for the Duratec 2.0-litre the Mk3 MX-5 uses, I've been surprised there's not a more established business in tuning up MX-5s too. 205hp sounds like a sensible amount of power too - enough to make things a bit more entertaining without messing with the spirit of the car. And though I've not seen the GT in action yet I gather from those who have that the noise - the induction especially - is awesome. I'll be pestering Mazda for a go as soon as possible...

 


Fact sheet:
Car:
 1993 Eunos Roadster (JDM import model)
Run by: Dan Trent
Bought: January 2011
Purchase price: £1,250
Last month at a glance: The Eunos has been resting up after its Scottish adventures and getting used to life without a wing


Previous reports:
The Eunos returns to Scotland for another road trip
Has Dan killed his Eunos?
Snowed-in Eunos gets a mini facelift
Taxed, insured, MOT'd, re-tyred - it's been an expensive month
Eunos gets a loud exhaust and new suspension
New suspension offered but am I worthy?
Purchase price only half the story...
Open Season heralds rare 'money where mouth is' moment...

Author: Dan Trent