PH FLEET: MAZDA EUNOS ROADSTER
The numberplate is on straight but Dan's facing the possibility he may actually have killed the Eunos ... properly
I did make a rare sortie to head down to Bedford Autodrome for my rendezvous with PHer Julian Perry to take him up on his kind offer of having a go with his 964 RS. I somehow found myself in the lane for the noise test, even though I wasn't actually heading out, and got a sticker and 89db reading for my troubles. Which is good to know and means I shouldn't have any bother with tracking the car, even with its noisy exhaust.
Making a right royal hash of driving the RS in the rain, I did at times hanker for the simple charms of my Mazda, but on track the Porsche was mighty. Not so much fun on the road, admittedly, and the drive back was a reminder of how enjoyable the Eunos is. And how slow.
Proof of how these things get under your skin comes with news that former colleague and PH contributor CJ Hubbard has, having sold his Mariner Blue Eunos to my brother, now come full circle in his car buying and, unsurprisingly, realised the answer to the question was MX-5/Eunos all along. So he's gone out and bought another. I await to see it with interest.
My other brother has, meanwhile, been reporting very favourable things about the Yokohama tyres he's just fitted to his UK 1.6. Running standard 14-inch 'Daisy' wheels he reports a pleasing compromise between sensible stuff like being able to stop when the road is wet and indulging in the odd wee skid when the mood takes him. The Tigars/Triangles/ditchfinders of your choosing are all very good for the latter but there are times when proper rubber has its uses. And the Yokos sound like a good bet so I may try and source a set for my 14s. As it stands the car is looking great on its 15s and fresh Michelins.
courtesy of The Daily Mash, titled 'MX-5 drivers convinced they look cool'. If you can't laugh at yourself and all that...
Golf balls, cricket balls and NVH
The Bedford trip was also a chance to meet up with PHer James Marson off the back of an email from him asking about the Performance5 dampers. "Come and have a ride!" I offered. What followed was one of those superb drives that has you pinching yourself and chuckling at just how much fun you can have for so little money in these things. James's route was superb - fast, flowing and well sighted - and the cars evenly matched. He seemed to like the increased poise offered by the P5 dampers too, a subsequent chat with Phil there illuminating a little on the slight chatter in the secondary ride that's been there from the start.
He offered a most elegant analogy, comparing the effect of hitting a golf ball with that of smacking a cricket ball. The former deflects more, absorbing sound, while the latter doesn't deflect at all. That resounding thwack of leather on willow? That's your NVH from over-hard bushings right there! All of which tallies with the experience of fellow Mazda-owning hack John Simister, who went to the considerable effort of polybushing his first MX-5 and then instantly regretted it.
Scotland bound ... hopefully
This is to come though. But the aim is to get the eyelet bushings done before the planned May Bank holiday trip to Scotland, reprising the fabulous little roadtrip I had last year.
At least the numberplate is on straight and bubble free - the tip from Watchman and others in the comments thread after my last report advising spraying warm soapy water onto the bumper to position the stick-on plate working a treat. Small comfort after the battery episode but a hearty thanks for the advice!
Car: 1993 Eunos Roadster (JDM import model)
Run by: Dan Trent
Bought: January 2011
Purchase price: £1,250
Last month at a glance: Dead battery, jump start SNAFU, car now dead ... damn
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...