Shed of the Week: Mazda MX-5

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





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Comments (76) Join the discussion on the forum

  • V8 FOU 19 Jan 2018


  • rastapasta 19 Jan 2018

    V8 FOU said:
    you speak the truth

  • muckyman 19 Jan 2018

    dee you double elle

  • Oldandslow 19 Jan 2018

    Pearls before swine, Shed.

  • daemon 19 Jan 2018

    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.

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