Is it still worth importing an NA MX5?

Is it still worth importing an NA MX5?

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Discussion

Gad-Westy

Original Poster:

10,825 posts

173 months

Sunday 23rd August
quotequote all
I'm tempted to directly import an NA from Japan. The main motivator is to try to get a car as rust free as possible and then keep on top of it rather than always be chasing my tail. I know all too well how easy it is to buy a car in the UK that is gleaming on the outside and crusty on the inside so I'd rather give myself the best possible chance and buy a minter directly from Japan.

I need to gen up on the import process. But I guess the bigger question is whether it's still possible to buy a near 30 year MX5 that isn't all ginger underneath? And does it make financial sense? I know I could go to one of the myriad of UK importers but I'd of course be paying a premium and I also quite like the idea of importing one myself. Sounds quite fun.

pablo

15,218 posts

233 months

Monday 24th August
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Depends if it’s a particular model you’re after really. Most U.K. cars will have had some attention already so I’d personally say you’re better off looking for a car here that’s had work done. That way you know the owner was aware of it and didn’t ignore it but had it seen to. There must be enough cars around with long term owners to find one you like.

mazzer1

15 posts

34 months

Tuesday 25th August
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I cant comment on the financial side of the question other than if it is not too expensive a process with everything included, and you cant find a rust free car in the UK, it may be worth importing one. I have a 1992 mx5 here in NZ imported from Japan way back in 96 and it is completely rust free and it has not been pampered and done 245,000km (I've had the car for about 8 years). About a year ago the head gasket failed so I had that replaced and at the same time a basic engine refurb - new rings and a few seals. Everything else is original and the car is great to drive. Here in NZ we get heaps of Japanese import cars of all types and most are completely rust free even at over 20 years old, although I have seen a few with rust underneath - presumably from sea front locations and mostly 4x4's possibly used to tow boats out of sea water. Also if you do find a recently imported car with very low milage I would take that with a pinch of salt and go on condition not milage.
Happy hunting, a good NA is always a great thing to have.

Gad-Westy

Original Poster:

10,825 posts

173 months

Wednesday 26th August
quotequote all
Cheers both. Quite happy to buy a UK car (or a car already in the UK) but my experience of these is that it can very difficult to pick through those that are just patched up when rust makes it to the outside and those where they've genuinely been sorted properly by somebody who understands them. In an ideal world you'd find one with a fanatical owner with photographic evidence of work being done properly but those cars are rocking horse poop. The appeal of a fresh import is partly about standing a better chance of getting a very clean example but also I actually really like sound of the process. It sounds like it could be quite exciting. Sad I know!

But in the meantime, while I deliberate, I should maybe keep an eye out for UK gems.

SAS Tom

2,873 posts

134 months

Wednesday 26th August
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I think if you’re happy to pay the money to import one then it’d probably be worth buying one from one of the many restorers over here like the mx5 restorer. They seem to go through the cars they sell really well and make sure any rust is sorted.

Chazdad

35 posts

11 months

Thursday 27th August
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Hi. Ive a friend whos an importer and have a mk1 rs.
Mx5 are making very good money in japan now. Especially ltd ones.
Mines actually for sale and maybe going to a collecter in italy. But id rather it stay in uk.
Feel free to pm if your interested

Gad-Westy

Original Poster:

10,825 posts

173 months

Thursday 27th August
quotequote all
Chazdad said:
Hi. Ive a friend whos an importer and have a mk1 rs.
Mx5 are making very good money in japan now. Especially ltd ones.
Mines actually for sale and maybe going to a collecter in italy. But id rather it stay in uk.
Feel free to pm if your interested
Doesn't look like your profile is set up to accept emails. Do please send me the details though. Might be of interest smile

Gad-Westy

Original Poster:

10,825 posts

173 months

Thursday 27th August
quotequote all
SAS Tom said:
I think if you’re happy to pay the money to import one then it’d probably be worth buying one from one of the many restorers over here like the mx5 restorer. They seem to go through the cars they sell really well and make sure any rust is sorted.
Thanks, I'm in contact with them. smile

MX5Biologist

745 posts

135 months

Saturday 5th September
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Chazdad said:
Hi. Ive a friend whos an importer and have a mk1 rs.
Mx5 are making very good money in japan now. Especially ltd ones.
Mines actually for sale and maybe going to a collecter in italy. But id rather it stay in uk.
Feel free to pm if your interested
Probably the same collector who brought my M2-1002. He has a lot of them.

MX5Biologist

745 posts

135 months

Saturday 5th September
quotequote all
Gad-Westy said:
I'm tempted to directly import an NA from Japan. The main motivator is to try to get a car as rust free as possible and then keep on top of it rather than always be chasing my tail. I know all too well how easy it is to buy a car in the UK that is gleaming on the outside and crusty on the inside so I'd rather give myself the best possible chance and buy a minter directly from Japan.

I need to gen up on the import process. But I guess the bigger question is whether it's still possible to buy a near 30 year MX5 that isn't all ginger underneath? And does it make financial sense? I know I could go to one of the myriad of UK importers but I'd of course be paying a premium and I also quite like the idea of importing one myself. Sounds quite fun.
Some of the NAs are now rusting in Japan, but its different from the UK. The undersides look fine, but the sills suddenly disintegrate to nothingness. The approaches to repairs can be a bit haphazard. Companies such as Garage Vary are now making sill repair panels.....in fiberglass.

https://rev9autosport.com/garage-vary-restoration-...



This M2-1028 in Japan looked mint underneath, but the sill was shredded

http://www.hatori.co.jp/30021.html

Yep, and a fiberglass repair.

Autolinkuk has a couple of NA6CEs off the boat; cosmetically, they need work, but fairly priced at £4k each. DIY import will cost you at least £2.5k to get a car over, low grade. Entry price of NAs in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand is about the £4k mark.

tonymor

1,203 posts

132 months

Wednesday 9th September
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I’ve got two mk1 both restored by my son in law . Sills and rear wings usual rust traps but I m o I think if you go and look yourself you’ve more idea and gut feeling than clicking a few laptop keys and waiting and hoping.

GR1FF

23 posts

174 months

Friday 16th October
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Gad-Westy said:
I'm tempted to directly import an NA from Japan. The main motivator is to try to get a car as rust free as possible and then keep on top of it rather than always be chasing my tail. I know all too well how easy it is to buy a car in the UK that is gleaming on the outside and crusty on the inside so I'd rather give myself the best possible chance and buy a minter directly from Japan.

I need to gen up on the import process. But I guess the bigger question is whether it's still possible to buy a near 30 year MX5 that isn't all ginger underneath? And does it make financial sense? I know I could go to one of the myriad of UK importers but I'd of course be paying a premium and I also quite like the idea of importing one myself. Sounds quite fun.
I've sent you a pm thumbup

tonymor

1,203 posts

132 months

Thursday 22nd October
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I’m fascinated. Is there a link to Mazda Mx5 mk1in Japan?