RE: Sheds of the Week: Mazda MX-5 (Mk1

RE: Sheds of the Week: Mazda MX-5 (Mk1

Friday 2nd November 2018

Sheds of the Week: Mazda MX-5 (Mk1 & Mk2)

Yes! It's an extender! Shed goes for double trouble...



The woolly hats and gloves are coming out of Shed's cupboard now as the mercury struggles to heave itself above single figures. Mrs Shed has taken up bee-keeping, which is an odd thing to do at this time of year. It's early days yet: she's only got around four dozen of the things so far, but they're quite active (if a little drowsy) considering the chilly weather. Shed is certainly looking forward to the warming effect of Mrs Shed's 48 bees wobbling around his head.

Another weird thing to do at this time of year is to sell MX-5s, but here we have not one but two tempting variations on the theme: a solid looking Mk 2.5, and a modded Mk1 that you can drive to the track, on the track and, with luck, away from the track.

Ten years elapsed between the manufacture of these two cars, but there's only around 4,000 miles difference between them now. Both had MOTs within a week of each other - end of July for the Mk1 and the beginning of August for the Mk2 - so you'd like to think there's a good amount of angst-free motoring to be had from either.


The nature of the motoring might be quite different, though, depending on your choice. Let's start with the red 'triple light' front end Mk 2.5. For Shed this is the best MX-5 iteration in terms of appearance, driveability and affordability. Admittedly, he is biased, having owned a couple himself and is indeed still running one to this day. The 144hp 1.8 is the engine to have: tick that box. This one isn't a slippy diff model but it does have adjustable suspension and a good quality exhaust system. You could trackday it and it would provide plenty of fun until the brakes caved in - but if you think circuits are your natural home and that you simply haven't been talent-spotted yet, you may find yourself being drawn towards the blue Mk 1.

This one has adjustable suspension too, and a full stainless exhaust. It's £99 more than the 2.5, but then it does come with a £600 roll bar and strut brace - and it's a Mk 1, so has more 'classic value'. On the downside it will need its sills sorting at some point as the tester spotted corrosion on the offside rear. It also had a corroded rear brake pipe, which is Joe Normal for any car of this age. Inner edge tyre wear is another entirely typical MX-5 thing and can usually be easily fixed by your friendly neighbourhood trackman.

Shed had the exact same problem on his MX-5. It was mended by one of the big chains after he'd had four new Avons put on. Unfortunately, in the course of the wheel alignment process they introduced a jaunty new angle to the steering wheel so that it now points slightly to the right even when going along in a straight-ahead type fashion. Not as much as the angle of the blue MX-5's wheel in the pic, but just enough to drive you a little bit bonkers.


The Mk2 has had its sills done, so its advisories were focused on a traditional weak area for MX-5s, the whirly bits at the back. The next owner will want to book it into their local garage soon for some new rear wheel bearings and discs, and Shed will be a monkey's uncle if, while they're doing that, they find that the calipers are in perfect nick.

So, decision time: which one to have? The question you've got to ask yourself is, do you feel lucky? If you fancy the idea of going racing on a budget, you could do a lot worse than put your money on blue. It would be a great starter car. The BRSCC runs a MX-5 SuperCup championship at the UK's big-name tracks with three races at eight weekend events from March to October. You can race your Mk 1 in that, as long as you're 'deemed suitable' by the BRSCC and can front up the £300 registration fee and the £405 per race entry fee. Even bargain basement motorsport isn't cheap. There's no dedicated Mk 2 series as yet.

Alternatively, you could enter the MSV Track Day Trophy series, which is defined as 'an affordable step into circuit racing for track day specialists' and which will rush you around £2,400 for a full season's entry. Or you could just do what most people do and go trackdaying, which will cost you between £99 and £199 in the UK at tracks like Anglesey, Croft, Bedford, Snetterton, Brands, Lydden Hill, Thruxton and Cadwell. As long as your car comes under the noise limit and you book up in time, you're in. Sounds like a Shedman sort of thing. And you don't need to bring along any human ballast.

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Author
Discussion

alorotom

Original Poster:

5,557 posts

124 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
I’d think that a modded mk1 has removed almost all “classic value” now.

I do like the mk2.5 though smile

gonnagetyoursBenny

38 posts

42 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
Why does the blue ad say tax exempt next year? I thought it was 40 year old and up that were tax exempt?

Sa Calobra

27,628 posts

148 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
Why put the ugly face of the mk2 onto a mk1? It looks terrible

Oldandslow

1,983 posts

143 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
Sa Calobra said:
Why put the ugly face of the mk2 onto a mk1? It looks terrible
What you talkin' about Willis?

2 different cars.

MrGeoff

290 posts

109 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
gonnagetyoursBenny said:
Why does the blue ad say tax exempt next year? I thought it was 40 year old and up that were tax exempt?
It's a 1.9 as well....
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CDP

5,580 posts

191 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
alorotom said:
I’d think that a modded mk1 has removed almost all “classic value” now.

I do like the mk2.5 though smile
The wheels and bumper aren't great but I can't see too much else wrong. A roll bar is useful, well hopefully not but you know what I mean.

ianwayne

1,980 posts

205 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
gonnagetyoursBenny said:
Why does the blue ad say tax exempt next year? I thought it was 40 year old and up that were tax exempt?
The seller has got his wires crossed. When tax-free exemption was introduced in the mid 1990s, it was for 25 year old cars. Gordon Brown froze it in 1998 for cars registered before 1973.

Wen it was unfrozen by Osborne 2013, these cars were now 40 years old. So it became all 40 year old cars on a rolling basis, i.e. 1978 cars will become tax free in April 2019.

The seller somehow thinks (or misleads?) that a '94 MX5 will be tax free next year.

Mafffew

1,243 posts

48 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
Crap advert and crap photos on the MK1. The MK2 looks great though.

Intermittent Misfire

10 posts

30 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
Lower seam on those sill repairs doesn't have the appearance of a quality job.

Fezziwig

68 posts

91 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
Why put the number plate at the jaunty angle. Does this make the red car go faster?

probably chalk

583 posts

129 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
Oldandslow said:
What you talkin' about Willis?
clap

griffdude

1,472 posts

185 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
Having had a MK1 (that ended up in ITBs) & got a MK2.5 (that is now SC’d), I’d go for the later car despite the extra 100kg.
TR Lane rollbars aren’t £600 either.
https://m.trlanefabs.co.uk/MX5-ROLL-BARS.html

Andy_5

64 posts

35 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
Intermittent Misfire said:
Lower seam on those sill repairs doesn't have the appearance of a quality job.
I agree. Wouldn't mind betting that the rust will start bubbling / paint start cracking fairly soon....

Can just imagine the conversation now, "Mr Customer, I can either do it properly or cheaply..?" "Just do it cheaply, I'm selling it anyway....."

kellyt

158 posts

56 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
Hello rust my old friend
I've come to weep on your many holes again
Because a brown stain softly weeping
Left it's seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains

designforlife

2,156 posts

100 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
Front chassis legs are probably swiss cheese!

Krikkit

13,903 posts

118 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
kellyt said:
Hello rust my lonely friend
You've come to pray on me again
Because a brown stain is softly weeping
Left it's seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
From the sound...
Of rusting.

Slight amendment, very good!

kellyt

158 posts

56 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
Krikkit said:
kellyt said:
Hello rust my lonely friend
You've come to pray on me again
Because a brown stain is softly weeping
Left it's seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
From the sound...
Of rusting.

Slight amendment, very good!
I approve. To be fair, I wasn't giving it 100%!

TheVole

450 posts

90 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
I've had a few mk1s and also a mk2.5...

I'm tempted for another, but the rust repairs on the mk2.5 don't look too clever. The paint on the rear wing (picture 6) looks like it's been done with rattle cans, badly; which doesn't instill confidence in the rest of the repair either. The front chassis legs are most probably full of holes too, and they're a pain of a job to sort. A lot of specialists advise taking the engine out to do a proper job - this may have changed in the last year since I got rid of mine though. Finally, they look a lot like eBay special Vmaxx/TA Technix coilovers. Not the best.

The mk1 is a very nice colour, my first one was Laguna Blue as well. Awful photos and ad though.

As much as I'd like another MX5, ahm oot.

Alias218

777 posts

99 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
I wouldn't buy the mk1 simply on the basis of the poor photos. If someone is incapable of operating a camera properly, then I don't want to dabble in anything more complicated they may have used!

aaron_2000

2,318 posts

20 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
quotequote all
A filthy MK1 with photos that seem to be taken by a 5 year old, or a MK2.5 with such a bad sill job that it's probably worse off for it. I'd probably go for the rotten mk1, at least then you could sell it on and not lose too much on it after a track day or two.