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Chillax
#1 Posted : 21 April 2018 21:34:51(UTC)
Chillax

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Hi guys. I'm looking to buy an MX5 which I want to use as my daily driver. Thing is, I tend to be quite ocd about my cars ( I already have a show car), so even my daily (currently a 08 MINI cooper) is lightly modded and has to be clean and polished all the time. I try to keep even my daily car as mint as possible, hate dirty/dented/scruffy cars, just drives me insane!!! lol

 

I love both the Mk1 and the Mk2/Mk2.5, but wonder whether either would be up to being a daily, used all year round and in all weathers? I've read on how bad the rust issues can be on the Mk2, so I'm kind of wary about buying one as a daily as I'm not sure it would last long. I do like the Mk2 interior more than the mk1, but exterior wise love them both for different reasons.

Do the Mk1's have the same rust issue with the front/rear chassis legs? Are the chassis legs in the Mk1 the same as the Mk2 legs, or are they built differently. Have read the topic regarding the mk2 chassis leg woes, and a few members have posed the question above but no-one seems to have answered it? Also noticed when checking mot history of potential cars that a lot of the mk2's suffer from corrosion to the seat belt anchoring points. Can these be easily checked? Again, is this something that also affects the Mk1?

Been attracted to cars that also come with the optional hard top, but wondering if these are easy to find 2nd hand and what they generally go for?

Apologies for all the questions! just want to make sure I go into this with my eyes wide open so i can buy the best one I can find/afford.

Any other members using their Mk1/2 mx5 all year round? How do you find them?

Dave

Drives: Mk1 Mazda MX5 NA. Life is a journey best travelled with the top down!
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Redditchdave on 09/08/2018(UTC)
saz9961
#2 Posted : 22 April 2018 05:58:58(UTC)
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It has been stated many times before; the Mk1 does not share the same chassis leg problems as the Mk2. The construction is different. Mk2s were basically a development of the Mk1 unibody. In order to keep it in the game longer, Mazda had to improve performance in a crash, and so designed in telescoping chassis legs; instead of a single layer of metal, multiple layers used, with the rust starting in between the layers..

"Seat belt anchoring"" corrosion has usually nothing to do with the seatbelt points themselves, but because the rear sills are within 30cm of them. Both models suffer from rear sill/ rear wheel arch rusting.

Hardtops are plentiful, and interchangeable between Mk1 and Mk2. There are 3 different Mk1 hardtops; an ultra rare top made by TRW for Mazda UK. No spare parts (seals) are available for this. Early Eunos Roadsters were supplied with a top that had no demist, and which were supplied either with a grained satin black finish, or gloss body colour. Later tops were body colour with demist. The very earliest cars were not prewired for demist. Mk1s used different connector plugs from Mk2s, but it is trivial to make up a new connecting wire. Second hand tops are plentiful, and range in price from £200 to £600 or so.

It is a lightweight, rwd car. In Winter, the car can be bags of fun, or a complete nightmare, depending on your perspective. For 19 years, I used to use the car throughout the year. No longer.

Many Mk1s are now approaching 30 years old. So you should set your expectations and budget appropriately.
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Chillax on 22/04/2018(UTC), Gerryn on 23/04/2018(UTC)
mal jones
#3 Posted : 22 April 2018 06:27:01(UTC)
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Go for a very good EUNOS, I have one that is 27 years old and I love her. I have no garage so she is used all year round as is the ND.

1991 mark 1 EUNOS 1598 auto in red with black hardtop. Style bars.Detachable wood rim steering wheel + bling (now for sale)
2000 mark 2 1600 in Blue with blue leather and blue door cards.SOLD. 1994 S Ltd now SOLD.
2016 ND sport nav in artic white
Competition Coordinator
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Chillax on 22/04/2018(UTC)
Chillax
#4 Posted : 22 April 2018 16:09:39(UTC)
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Thanks guys. Think that settles it then, a MK1 it has to be. I'd found a really tidy 21k miles mk 2 on a 52 plate, advertised at £2995 which for the miles on it I thought a really good price. Will deffo give that a miss though as don't want to be trading in the MINI (which has zeros rust, underneath is like new, hardly even any surface rust) for something that's going to need the chassis legs replaced no matter how well I look after it.

To be honest, I prefer the exterior looks of the Mk1 (my mrs doesn't like car with pop up lights so wanted me to get a Mk2 lol) plus there's less electronics in them to go wrong.

Going to have to up my budget though, as decent low miler Mk1's are commanding strong money now.

Appreciate the help chaps!

Dave
Drives: Mk1 Mazda MX5 NA. Life is a journey best travelled with the top down!
colindash
#5 Posted : 22 April 2018 18:01:53(UTC)
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A lot of finding a good Mk1 is down to luck and timing -I saw a very nice looking mk1 advertised locally for £900, it sold within a day. That seems to be the trend - a good mk1 at a reasonable price will sell pretty quickly.

So just a question of keep looking, there are bargains to be had, but be prepared to act fast 

NC2 Sport Tech Copper Red, Rag top, SE wheels
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Chillax on 23/04/2018(UTC)
Chillax
#6 Posted : 23 April 2018 15:54:54(UTC)
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Ok, did some searching (the searching never stops!!) and have found a really sweet looking Mk1 (97 P reg) in a garage for £2,990. It has done 77K miles,  no service history book though, but MOT history website backs this up back to 2006 when it had 44K on it. Apparently receipts for thousands that have been spent on it including the rear arches/sills at on both sides professionally done, timing belt etc all just been done last year. Going by the photos, she looks mint. The garage are emailing me more photos as I asked for close ups of the rear arches/sills and interior.

What do you guys think on the price/miles? If it has proof to back up how much has been spent on it do you think it's worth it? Itching at the bit now!! Downside is it's a 6 hour drive (one way) from me, but I've travelled that far for a car before. Hence asking the dealer for loads more photos before taking the trip down.

Here's a couple of photos (does anyone recognize the reg from here maybe?)

mx5 1

mx5 2

 

Hoping this could be the one!!

 

Dave

Drives: Mk1 Mazda MX5 NA. Life is a journey best travelled with the top down!
Gerryn
#7 Posted : 23 April 2018 18:57:24(UTC)
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From my POV, it's overpriced, but that won't be everyone's opinion. Also - you need to see under the car, only possible with the aid of a lift. Welds are one thing, the condition of metal next to them remains open to scrutiny.

While the first car I saw up close was the reason I bought one too is neither here or there, it was in A1 condition, and as I opted for a new car, the option then was buy a Mk2.5. I hardly ever drive it on salted roads, being aware that most of the suspension was showing rust at twelve months old, and I want it to last as long as possible, which makes daily all round use virtually impossible. Re-enforced by recent chatter about Mk2/2.5 derogatory remarks.
I have however, been a passenger in several Mk1's, and the amount of creaks and groans from the body makes me wonder. The Mk2 onward had better chassis strengthening and bracing, and the doors also now have an inner strengthener to protect driver and passenger against any T boning - so less creaking.

Recent comparisons ( by fair minded members) were that a Mk1 was closer to the 'raw' experience of the first design, while Mk2's had the benefit of most of that, but additional bracing, which made the car more comfortable to drive than the less comfortable Mk1.
After the 2.5, general opinion seemed to be that due to design changes, and obvious 'appeal' to new owners, subsequent models went away from the base design, and engendered on the car being more appealing, while less so, to older members. True that a Mk1 has less electronics,but it still has some, being in effect a modern car in an earlier shell. Electronics got worse with every new model, and later cars have finally caught up to the modern trend. They are all made of steel, and all given full use, will rust somewhere. There also seems grounds for suspicion, that later cars are lighter on paint in hard to get areas, so may rust faster than owners would like. BUT - it's the modern way, the days when cars were built to last a lifetime went after WWII, and built in obsolescence now rules the day.

I assume your mini is a BMW version, as earlier UK minis were well known for sub frame replacement? In many ways, the MX5 is great for driving 'freely' - not so in modern traffic jambs, where any 'city' car will do the same job of getting you to work. FUN is the name of the game of MX5 ownership - no fun in rush hour traffic!

Good luck with your search, and always inspect any car with suspicion, if you know what to look for, and make sure you take it for a drive, before saying "I'll buy it". I'd haggle about the price too, but that's your choice. "Thousands spent on the car" is meaningless, unless it improves the handling of it. - we all spend hundreds, if not thousands on ours, not many purchases are about handling though.
Five is Alive 2002 Mk2.5 Sport, with added Mazda body kit, 15 inch Rota Circuit 8 with Toyos, rescued wood rim steering wheel from a crashed Arizona. Air intake mods to come (one day!) Hard Dog Deuce rollbar. and HT (permanent fixture!) - It's still a sportscar.
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Chillax on 23/04/2018(UTC)
Hevans
#8 Posted : 23 April 2018 19:13:59(UTC)
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I'm surprised you've given up on a Mk2 with only 21K miles so easily.  That mileage suggests a fair weather car that has rarely been exposed to rain, let alone road salt.  If that is the case, it's not too late to have it rust protected.  

The major difference between the Mk1 and the Mk2 in terms of rust is the chassis rails, but have you actually checked whether the rails are rotten?    Even if the chassis rails need attention, they're not that expensive to repair.  For example MX5 City, who are justifiably at the top end of the market, have published a cost of around £650 (+ VAT) to sort out both sides (say £800 in total).

Now compare that to a Mk1 with only 21K miles on the clock.  They do exist, but you'll have to pay a premium of several thousands for one.  Suddenly the Mk2 seems like good value.  Furthermore, the Mk2 is a more modern car and is likely to be better suited to life as a daily driver.

You pays yer money and you takes yer choice . . .

Edited by user 23 April 2018 19:16:38(UTC)  | Reason: typo

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Chillax on 23/04/2018(UTC)
Chillax
#9 Posted : 23 April 2018 20:25:51(UTC)
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Thanks for the advice/comments guys, much appreciated. To be honest for a daily driver (and although I do love the purist lines shape of the Mk1), I would have loved a Mk2/2.5. The interior is just a nicer place to be, more refined so would I imagine be better for daily duties. I do also love the shape of the Mk2 which to me seems a bit more "butch" than the Mk1 (can you really call an MX5 butch? lol), it's just them dreaded chassis rails.

Do you think if I did find a mk2/2.5 with rust free chassis legs (not sure how to tell though as by the time rust does appear, they've usually rotted out from the inside?) getting it waxoyled in the chassis legs would prevent them rusting out? I was under the impression that even if they were waxoyled, because the rust starts inbetween the layers of metal it wouldn't make any difference? Or would this maybe prevent it? Just don't want to get one only to find it needs as an old school mechanic once said to me "welded from arse to elbow!" lol.

My plan was originally to buy a mk2/2.5 before I found out about the rust issue, as there are so many more available with low miles at decent prices. A lot more choices of colours/specs/low miles etc.

Thanks for the info on MX5 City, checked out their site and amazed at some of the prices, thought parts would be a lot more expensive. Only trouble is I'm in Scotland and it's around a 6 hour drive to get to them, so makes getting it repaired if it needs it difficult. That's why I hat living in Scotland! All the great places for car repairs/tuning/car shows are all at least a minimum of 5 hours drives away from me. Scotland sucks! lol Does anyone know if there is even an MX5 specialist in Scotland along the same lines as MX5 City? Would be handy to know.

Regarding the white mx5, garage never got back to me, didn't call back or email me the photos of it so guess they aint that interested in selling it.

So now I'm stuck again, risk a Mk2 and hope it doesn't rust out or hold out for a mk1 and accept it might not be the best for a daily driver. Damn you Mazda!! lmao
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Chillax
#10 Posted : 23 April 2018 20:33:52(UTC)
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Oh forgot, yes mate, mine is the 2008 BMW MINI. That's what makes me so wary about trading it in for the mx5, as chassis wise there isnt a spot of rust on it, same for the body panels. Don't get me wrong though, rust wise the MINI is great, same for handling and looks (looks are a personal choice, some hate it some love it), but they have so many design flaws it pee's me off! Hence the idea to get the car I'd always promised myself (sure that was meant to be a saying for the Ford Capri!) the mx5.

Drives: Mk1 Mazda MX5 NA. Life is a journey best travelled with the top down!
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x366gpx on 09/08/2018(UTC)
saz9961
#11 Posted : 23 April 2018 21:09:05(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Chillax Go to Quoted Post

Ok, did some searching (the searching never stops!!) and have found a really sweet looking Mk1 (97 P reg) in a garage for £2,990. It has done 77K miles,  no service history book though, but MOT history website backs this up back to 2006 when it had 44K on it. Apparently receipts for thousands that have been spent on it including the rear arches/sills at on both sides professionally done, timing belt etc all just been done last year. Going by the photos, she looks mint. The garage are emailing me more photos as I asked for close ups of the rear arches/sills and interior.

What do you guys think on the price/miles? If it has proof to back up how much has been spent on it do you think it's worth it? Itching at the bit now!! Downside is it's a 6 hour drive (one way) from me, but I've travelled that far for a car before. Hence asking the dealer for loads more photos before taking the trip down.

Here's a couple of photos (does anyone recognize the reg from here maybe?)

 

 

 

Hoping this could be the one!!

 

Dave

 

Its a late model 1.6, which likely means 88hp (not the 116hp of earlier 1.6s), no PAS or likely power windows, but some people dig that. MOT history suggests there was some near side sill rust in 2016, but its not clear if it was repaired.

 

2 minutes of searching reveals this car belonged to a current mature MX5OC member, who purchased it round about 2012. To point you to the owner would be to reveal his name, which won't be fair. There was a thread on when this car was purchased after some searching, so I assume in 2012, it was in pretty nice condition

 

Cazana:

https://cazana.com/uk/car/P389URE

indicated likely that owner had the car a couple of years.

 

Value is fair; even if the sill needs attention (max. £800 to repair, replacing sill and entire wheel arch), you won't lose money on the car. Most of the cars of this age had a pretty ragged interior; down to the quality of the cloth used. I have a feeling that this one is pretty nice. Has relatively rare Mazda UK option wheels (Fondmetal?).

 

These late 1.6s were down on power, but Mazda compensated for this by deleting all of the bracing on them, so that 0-60 was 10-11 secs. If you need more power, I think these particular cars respond well to turbo- or supercharging.

Edited by user 23 April 2018 21:11:22(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Chillax on 23/04/2018(UTC)
Chillax
#12 Posted : 23 April 2018 23:04:08(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: saz9961 Go to Quoted Post

 

 

Its a late model 1.6, which likely means 88hp (not the 116hp of earlier 1.6s), no PAS or likely power windows, but some people dig that. MOT history suggests there was some near side sill rust in 2016, but its not clear if it was repaired.

 

2 minutes of searching reveals this car belonged to a current mature MX5OC member, who purchased it round about 2012. To point you to the owner would be to reveal his name, which won't be fair. There was a thread on when this car was purchased after some searching, so I assume in 2012, it was in pretty nice condition

 

Cazana:

https://cazana.com/uk/car/P389URE

indicated likely that owner had the car a couple of years.

 

Value is fair; even if the sill needs attention (max. £800 to repair, replacing sill and entire wheel arch), you won't lose money on the car. Most of the cars of this age had a pretty ragged interior; down to the quality of the cloth used. I have a feeling that this one is pretty nice. Has relatively rare Mazda UK option wheels (Fondmetal?).

 

These late 1.6s were down on power, but Mazda compensated for this by deleting all of the bracing on them, so that 0-60 was 10-11 secs. If you need more power, I think these particular cars respond well to turbo- or supercharging.

Nice one Saz. Loving the heplfulness of members in this forum. I've found there is actually an MX5 specialist www.bordermx5s.com, up here in Scotland (around a 50 minute drive from here) so that's promising. Not sure if anyone from here has used them before/can advise if they are reputable? Looking at the website, the level of work they turn out looks to be of a very high standard, so good to know that there's a specialist nearby that will be able to help look after my MX5.

 

Now I just have to decide which to go for and stick to that plan! I found yet another Mk1 on a 93 (k plate) in silver (not a huge fan of silver cars to be honest, had a few but never really liked it). This one had 72K, 3 owners from new and was about 3 hours away from here, again no service history but had apparently never been welded. Also had the optional hard top. This was an eunos, and had some nice oem extras fitted. Price was £2,450 which seems fair. Was going to call but just can't feel enough love for the silver paintwork!

Think I may revert to plan A which was to look for a mk2/2.5. That 21K mk2 is still for sale so may chase up that one. It's in black, totally standard. Who knew trying to decide on what car to buy would be so damn difficult!!

Dave

Drives: Mk1 Mazda MX5 NA. Life is a journey best travelled with the top down!
saz9961
#13 Posted : 23 April 2018 23:42:23(UTC)
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Plastic parts on silver cars tend to be very scratched. On early cars, the paint can fall off.

If its a JDM spec car, how on earth do they know how many owners it has had from new?

Also, if considering a non-UK spec car, for some drivers, insurance might come as a bit of a shock. There are still many insurers who will not cover an import.
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Chillax on 24/04/2018(UTC)
Raymond Harper
#14 Posted : 24 April 2018 05:59:03(UTC)
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My wife also has a 2008 Mini Cooper while I have a 2006 MX5. On a sunny day it is the MX5 we use. On wet days and long journeys it is the Mini. Sadly if I had to pick the one car as my daily driver in wind. rain, ice and snow it would be the Mini

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Chillax on 24/04/2018(UTC)
Chillax
#15 Posted : 24 April 2018 18:31:43(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: saz9961 Go to Quoted Post
Plastic parts on silver cars tend to be very scratched. On early cars, the paint can fall off.

If its a JDM spec car, how on earth do they know how many owners it has had from new?

Also, if considering a non-UK spec car, for some drivers, insurance might come as a bit of a shock. There are still many insurers who will not cover an import.
Originally Posted by: Raymond Harper Go to Quoted Post

My wife also has a 2008 Mini Cooper while I have a 2006 MX5. On a sunny day it is the MX5 we use. On wet days and long journeys it is the Mini. Sadly if I had to pick the one car as my daily driver in wind. rain, ice and snow it would be the Mini

Exactly my thoughts, I know imports can be fantastic cars, sometimes with even more spec/power than the uk versions, but I like to know the history of a car too. So always been wary of buying an import. And like you say, insurers can also be iffy about imports, some even refusing to insure or offering inflated quotes. My ideal choice would always be a uk car.

Agree about the MINI, even in the wet it feels really soild and planted on the road. I will deffo miss her when she goes, but there are some really stupid design flaws on the MINI which really shouldn't have been put into production. Even small things like the 12v power socket/cigar lighter will only work if the engine is running! What the hell is that all about!! lol. Main fault being the actual engine though. It's got decent power, and the gears are matched perfectly. But they sound rough as hell, no refinement to them, and then there's the dumb plastic timing chain guides that wear out quicker than a hookers underwear! Really stupid design. Also auto wipers that to alter the speed (normal cars you just turn a button on the window wiper stalk, simples!) you need to navigate through a menu on the small led display which takes around a thousand clicks to get to the bit where you change it. All the time your eyes off the road while driving in rain! And they never seem to clear the screen enough, even on the most frequent setting! But for all that, a cracking looking car with decent build quality and amazing handling. Really is a sweet car to hustle around or drive like miss Daisy.

 

Drives: Mk1 Mazda MX5 NA. Life is a journey best travelled with the top down!
Chillax
#16 Posted : 24 April 2018 18:33:52(UTC)
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Spoke to the mrs, we're going to test drive a mk 2 at a garage up here to see what they will be like as only ever drove a mk1 mx5. Hopefully it will be ok for every day duties. If it is, we'll get in touch with the dealer that has the 21K mk2 and put a deposit on it so they'll hold it till we get down to see it.

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Dill0n
#17 Posted : 24 April 2018 18:53:59(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Chillax Go to Quoted Post

Spoke to the mrs, we're going to test drive a mk 2 at a garage up here to see what they will be like as only ever drove a mk1 mx5. Hopefully it will be ok for every day duties. If it is, we'll get in touch with the dealer that has the 21K mk2 and put a deposit on it so they'll hold it till we get down to see it.

I’ve owned both an NA and currently an NB (MK 2.5).  The MK1 was a daily driver and quite scary in the snow! My current car is fair weather only but I use it all year round top always down! I would say the MK 2 is more refined but still retains an element of rawness of the MK 1 which I like. I would try and buy on condition first and get the best you can there are lots of good cars out there as well as bad. Chassis rail repair is no longer a big problem but if they are crusty you need to factor into the cost as for rear sills/arches. Engines usually less of an issue if they have been maintained properly e.g. cam belt and water pump replacement as required by the service schedules. I’ve had my current car for two years so far with no problems but I keep some money aside for any potential repairs etc. So in my view condition is king as opposed to whether it be a MK1 or 2/2.5.  I like both! I did buy the first one I saw and did get lucky as I didn’t have the knowledge I have now about the MK 2! Best of luck with your search.

 

 

Edited by user 24 April 2018 19:10:46(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

MX5 mk 2.5 1.6 icon sunlight silver
Golf R
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Chillax on 24/04/2018(UTC)
saz9961
#18 Posted : 24 April 2018 21:35:48(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Chillax Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: saz9961 Go to Quoted Post
Plastic parts on silver cars tend to be very scratched. On early cars, the paint can fall off.

If its a JDM spec car, how on earth do they know how many owners it has had from new?

Also, if considering a non-UK spec car, for some drivers, insurance might come as a bit of a shock. There are still many insurers who will not cover an import.

Exactly my thoughts, I know imports can be fantastic cars, sometimes with even more spec/power than the uk versions, but I like to know the history of a car too. So always been wary of buying an import. And like you say, insurers can also be iffy about imports, some even refusing to insure or offering inflated quotes. My ideal choice would always be a uk car.

 

You misunderstand me. My personal preference would always be for an import.

Only one UK Mkl1 model has less power; the 88hp 1.6 you considered. There was no equivalent JDM model.

UK cars will be mostly rotten, unless you are prepared to double or triple your budget. On earlier models, the rot can extend to the floor pan and beyond.

 

Some drivers will have a driving record that will make it hard for them to find insurance cover. I don't know your driving record. Since 1997, I have owned 5 Mk1s, all JDM. For me, I don't believe there is any financial penalty on insurance, but I ensure the cars on specialist classic car insurance.

 

 

 

 1 user thanked saz9961 for this useful post.
Chillax on 24/04/2018(UTC)
Chillax
#19 Posted : 24 April 2018 21:55:02(UTC)
Chillax

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Ah, It's sounding more and more like the MX5's are now really only used as second cars, for summer use? Which would be an issue for me at the moment as it needs to be driven all year round. Are there any members using MK2/2.5's all year round? Would love to know how the cars fair.

Drives: Mk1 Mazda MX5 NA. Life is a journey best travelled with the top down!
Bettabuilda
#20 Posted : 25 April 2018 05:41:02(UTC)
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Hi, I've been reading this with interest? Before I retired, I ran my '91 supercharged Eunos all year round, getting to and from work? Did this for about 3 years doing 65-70 miles return trip each day! It was quite heavily modified too, I actually loved getting into the car and drive the 30 odd miles to work? Gave me time to relax, think about the day ahead etc? Same coming home after a days graft, loved it! Mid winter with a vinyl hood and plastic ( non heated ) rear screen was a challenge sometimes, the car being parked outside all day? Just allowed a few minutes extra time warming up the car before setting off? No different to a more conventional car winter routine really? Now have a mk3 but am retired so car doesn't get the same use. I think it would make a great all year round car though? I leap frogged all the mk2/2.5's so never owned one, drove plenty though ( used to help out a chap who bought and sold them ) quite liked them but as others have mentioned, they're not without problems? TBH this applies to all model versions though but get a good one and you'll be happy I reckon? Good luck with your search!

Barrie

Edited by user 25 April 2018 05:42:10(UTC)  | Reason: spelling

COG group member

2007 NC1 1800GT 1st place lightly modified 2018 Spring Rally Goodwood

'91 Eunos, classic red, 2nd place in modified mk1 at 2015 Spring Rally Oulton Park.
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