Mazda Eunos Roadster: PH Fleet

Words you don't want to hear from the man who's just stripped all the paint off your beloved Eunos? "Please pop in and have a look at what we've done so far - there is a bit of an issue with the rear quarters." With a sense of dread I headed down the M1 to Deepcar Autobodies' base, wondering what Dave was going to show me.

That'll be the problem at the back then...
That'll be the problem at the back then...
This is always the fear with projects like this and, inevitably, I was wondering if perhaps the Mazda should best have been enjoyed as was. Which is to say slightly ratty, but fun to drive with no huge financial ties and a lot of happy memories. Worst case he'd discovered something frightful but I was now committed to spending a lot of money just to paper over the cracks, knowing that deep down the car wasn't really worth it.

As previously reported I knew the car had been involved in some sort of shunt and a new rear end had been fitted. With the paint removed a scar that would make Frankenstein's monster recoil in revulsion revealed exactly what had been done. And Dave and I agreed it was weird. A repair like this would have been a big undertaking, both in terms of skill and cost. And yet it had been done in a slightly half-arsed manner, leaving an ugly seam on the join. This had been visible through the paint but was now revealed in its full horror. Oddly the floor pan and rest of the underside was original, suggesting perhaps whatever had caused the damage had been higher than the bumper. Front of a truck perhaps? Who knows. Dave said the proper repair would have been whole new rear quarter skins, expensive and involved but not THAT much more of a job than what was done. Money no object that would be the answer now. Money is an object though and the solution will be to braze in to fill the seam and then fill and smooth it over before painting.

Can they sort the wheels at the same time Dan?
Can they sort the wheels at the same time Dan?
It'll bother me knowing it's there. But it always was and didn't spoil my enjoyment of the car before. And it won't be visible any more. And on the positive side the rest of the car is rust free and structurally sound, which is perhaps more important. Dave even took it home one night before starting the work and reported it as one of the keenest and most fun he'd ever had a go in. He spotted the dampers are a bit bouncy and I've got a lead to chase up with someone who can apparently rebuild and refresh the Performance 5 units. So that'll need doing once the car is finished.

But the little Mazda isn't looking at its best right now. Indeed, it was a little upsetting seeing it as-was! Next time I pop by it'll be properly in bits too. And thankfully the "bit of an issue" was just that. "We always find something!" I was told. Thankfully this isn't beyond the skills of Dave and his team to put right.

1993 Eunos Roadster (JDM import model)
Run by: Dan Trent
Bought: January 2011
Mileage: Some
Purchase price: £1,250
Last month at a glance: It's only money (part two)

Previous reports:
The answer to everything?
More exhaust noise? Don't mind if I do...
Skidfoolery at Silverstone on the eco tyres
Er, more skidfoolery at Silverstone on the eco tyres!
Hibernation? Not for this Eunos!
Sell it? Nah, I'll just drive it, ta
Spring comes along and heating mechanism packs up
Skids on hold as LSD bites the dust
Eunos out of hiding and expenditure looms
To the paint shop!


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Comments (7) Join the discussion on the forum

  • patmahe 06 Apr 2017

    Really like articles like this, as an owner of a tatty MX-5 that I'm considering doing a full on home restoration on its really interesting to see something like this on the site. Well written and very relatable for a petrolhead on a budget, keep up the good work biggrin

  • threespires 06 Apr 2017

    Well done digging deep to keep it alive.
    Keep the pix coming.......

  • Jonmx 06 Apr 2017

    Another tatty MX5 owner here, hoping to get mine in for mot in the next week or so and to get some work done on it. The MX5's seemed to have dropped off a bit on PH lately, they rarely pop up in the Reader's Rides; maybe it's a seasonal thing.
    Looking forward to seeing the progress on this one.

  • DM525i 06 Apr 2017

    Interesting piece, I recently bought a Toyota MR2 roadster. I really fancied an MX5 having driven a friend's car. I was put off by the rust problems with them including the MK3 model. It seem to be a great car but not a great product. When I got my MR2 I removed the wheel arch liners and the wings and hidden metal were in great shape. It's a pity Mazda didn't pay more attention to rust proofing the MX5. Still quite fancy one though. Good to see the car being cared for and kept on the road. There is a good online video of a MK1 MX5 with a Jaguar V6 conversion. Awesome car.

  • edoverheels 06 Apr 2017

    Another tatty MX5 owner here. Mine is a great drive and I use it as a track car but have decided to keep it tatty. I have other cars and I like the feeling of freedom it provides, it reminds me that I only bought it for £500 (owes me significantly more than that now, cough...)
    Look forward to seeing how this one gets on.

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