RE: Shed of the Week: Mazda MX-5

RE: Shed of the Week: Mazda MX-5

Friday 19th January

Shed of the Week: Mazda MX-5

A Mk2.5 MX-5 that will be perfect when the weather starts getting warmer and drier



Many of you won't bother to read this because it's about the Mazda MX-5.

Good. Mocking the MX-5 is a fine tradition as it keeps used values nice and low for those of us who simply see a smashing little sports car rather than some sort of threat to castrate the entire male species.

Our Shed this week is one of the very last Mk2.5s made. What's a 2.5? Well, in 1998, the Mk2 (or NB) model predictably succeeded the Mk1 (or NA) model. Although some would say otherwise, and undoubtedly will on the thread, the Mk2 was much nicer than the Mk1 in just about every aspect bar it not having the Elan-like retractable headlights. Binning them was a safety thing, and was certainly regrettable from a styling point of view, but a 2001 facelift tried to address this by bringing in a triple-lens front light arrangement.


Thus was born the so-called 2.5. Those lights were the easiest way to tell the 2.5 apart from the 2. The 2.5 got better seats too, and new white-faced instruments, which possibly weren't better. But the stiffer body was. And, as history has shown, the 2.5's styling and driving position turned out to be better than that of the third-gen NC MX-5 of 2005. You can argue about that all you want but it's a fact.

Taking all that into account and then factoring in your 'fun per pound', many believe the Mk 2.5 to be the best MX-5. Shed certainly does. Mrs Shed owns a 2.5 Arctic 1.8, or thinks she does at any rate. She thinks she owns the house too, but the paperwork in both cases says otherwise. The only thing Shed wishes he had in her (i.e. his) 2.5 would be the six-speed gearbox from the Sport model, as the five-speeder's tendency to rev on motorways regularly causes Mrs Shed to try and get sixth, usually to the accompaniment of a deep-throated grind because that's where reverse is. You can imagine how much Shed enjoys hearing that noise.


The specimen on sale here is the 1.8 Icon, so it has the best engine and a decent spec including heated seats, which are still working perfectly in Shed's car. That's the thing with MX-5s. They carry on working. The engines are fantastically reliable and ridiculously happy to take big mileages. The hood on our SOTW looks clean and unripped and the car generally has the air of one that's been enjoyed and looked after for the last nine years.

Like the vendor's Mazda, Shed's otherwise mint 2.5 is getting a bit bubbly in the rear wheelarch area, but so far only in non-structural areas. The brown stuff on our Shed looks eminently treatable, although of course we do need to be aware that this might be the tip of a rusty iceberg. We can do no better than to refer you Snotrag's excellent rust-busting advice here If you're planning on buying this or indeed any NA or NB MX-5, it's worth considering comprehensive measures like this because corrosion comes to old MX-5s with the same degree of certainty as death and taxes. There is absolutely no way of avoiding it other than by restricting all your motoring activities to the Atacama Desert in Chile, parts of which haven't seen a drop of rain in 500 years. And even then you'd probably want to stay in on a cloudy day.

Here's the ad.

!.8 litre Icon version.
A lovely car which my wife has owned for 9 years.
In excellent mechanical order and drives very well. It now needs to go to another good home who will give it some TLC
Full leather heated seats with red stitching
106500 miles. 
Full service history. MOT until September 2018.
Priced to reflect rust appearing on rear wheel arches

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

V8 FOU

Original Poster:

2,473 posts

76 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
Yaaaaaawwwwwn......

rastapasta

303 posts

67 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
V8 FOU said:
Yaaaaaawwwwwn......
you speak the truth

muckyman

286 posts

120 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
dee you double elle

Oldandslow

1,873 posts

135 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
Pearls before swine, Shed.

daemon

20,775 posts

126 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
Rust would worry me on that one.

Also MOT'd just to September this year so you've that to worry about by the end of the summer.

A bit of a boring example of one too.
Advertisement

Richard-390a0

398 posts

20 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
I thought the budget was upped to bring in some more interesting sheds & a few months in we get this yawn fest!?. rolleyes

GibsonSG

143 posts

40 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
I’m an MX5 fan, yet even I feel a bit robbed of my Friday morning entertainment

MarkwG

1,732 posts

118 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
yes
Oldandslow said:
Pearls before swine, Shed.

smartypants

34,042 posts

98 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
Wow.


TristPerrin

82 posts

107 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
Huge Mx-5 fan but I wouldn't touch an NB of any variety.

They're more prone to rust than a NA (and that's saying somthing!) and the rust issues these suffer on the front chassis legs is very well documented; It's a matter of when, rather than if.
Wait a few years and get an NC, that's what I did driving

JD2329

157 posts

97 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
Come on guys, maybe not the most original choice, but think you're being a little harsh...for £1500 you get a smashing little sports car that's always going to start in the morning and give you a good few years of fun. There have been more interesting Sheds for sure, but it's nice to know that reasonable examples are still around for this money.

J4CKO

24,146 posts

129 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
If you can see rust through the wheelarch, I would be assuming its bad underneath, in fact, even if you cant see it ont he arch, its pretty bad underneath.

Then you get ones that the owner proudly says has been sorted and a look underneath confirms its had some welding which is then covered in black gunk.

To sort these properly it is expensive and time consuming, not the end of the world but just lashing a bit of steel over rust isnt uncommon, it needs cutting out and pieces making, repair panels letting in, protecting and painting, that for most of these is more in labour than they are worth at the moment.

Never thought these looked that great, grown on a me a bit but would always be hankering for a MK1, I looked but bought a MK1 TT, seemingly impervious to rust in the main but with less reliable and more complex mechanicals, at least MX5's are relatively simple.

If I had to, would spend more and get one that had either demonstrably no rust (must be one somewhere ?), or had been sorted, with pictorial evidence, or just one with an MOT with the assumption you would be scrapping it at some point.

daemon

20,775 posts

126 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
JD2329 said:
Come on guys, maybe not the most original choice, but think you're being a little harsh...for £1500 you get a smashing little sports car that's always going to start in the morning and give you a good few years of fun. There have been more interesting Sheds for sure, but it's nice to know that reasonable examples are still around for this money.
I'd say the fun will stop in September when its due its MOT....

As J4cko said - If you can see rust through the wheelarch, I would be assuming its bad underneath, in fact, even if you cant see it ont he arch, its pretty bad underneath.

The rear quarter panels look like they've been painted already and its coming through again which isnt good news.

ash73

14,534 posts

150 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
article said:
Like the vendor's Mazda, Shed's otherwise mint 2.5 is getting a bit bubbly in the rear wheelarch area, but so far only in non-structural areas.
MoT history said:
Nearside Rear Outer Seat belt anchorage prescribed area is excessively corroded sill panel holed/corroded (5.2.6)
...

Limpet

2,806 posts

90 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
Needed welding for the MOT in 2015, but no mention of corrosion in the MOT history since then.

I reckon you could find a nicer one for the money, even if it meant going a bit older.

Cambs_Stuart

218 posts

13 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
It's a shed. It wouldn't be here if it was perfect. It's a perfectly usable MX5 that will need an amount of attention to rust.
If it could seat three then I'd be interested.

BeastieBoy73

181 posts

41 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
TristPerrin said:
Huge Mx-5 fan but I wouldn't touch an NB of any variety.

They're more prone to rust than a NA (and that's saying somthing!) and the rust issues these suffer on the front chassis legs is very well documented; It's a matter of when, rather than if.
Wait a few years and get an NC, that's what I did driving
Had a NA and a NB and rust got them both in the end... Looking for a NC now, any evidence of rust appearing on your car?

TristPerrin

82 posts

107 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
BeastieBoy73 said:
Had a NA and a NB and rust got them both in the end... Looking for a NC now, any evidence of rust appearing on your car?
The inside of the boot lid had a little bit of bubbling on the support structure welds and around the number plate lights. This is probably the worst bit of NC rust generally and it's very easy to fix; since you can see it from the outside I rubbed it all down and gave it a bit of primer and paint and it's fine now.

The wings, arches, sill etc all look pristine. The underside isnt bad either for a 57plate that's driven all year round by the coast. I even managed to replace the drop links without snapping any bolts tongue out

I think it all depends on how they've been looked after and just blasting the wheel arches out every time you wash it. I looked as some real rotters before I bought mine.

BeastieBoy73

181 posts

41 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
TristPerrin said:
BeastieBoy73 said:
Had a NA and a NB and rust got them both in the end... Looking for a NC now, any evidence of rust appearing on your car?
The inside of the boot lid had a little bit of bubbling on the support structure welds and around the number plate lights. This is probably the worst bit of NC rust generally and it's very easy to fix; since you can see it from the outside I rubbed it all down and gave it a bit of primer and paint and it's fine now.

The wings, arches, sill etc all look pristine. The underside isnt bad either for a 57plate that's driven all year round by the coast. I even managed to replace the drop links without snapping any bolts tongue out

I think it all depends on how they've been looked after and just blasting the wheel arches out every time you wash it. I looked as some real rotters before I bought mine.
Brill, many thanks for the tip... Best get searching...

TimHorn

2 posts

38 months

Friday 19th January
quotequote all
Great car, but I'm 6'2" and don't fit. And if Mrs Shed is 6'2" wide, I can't imagine how she fits either!!!!!