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Anyone know owt about....


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24 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Baz

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 11:21 PM

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....The Mazda MX-5? 8)

I really miss my 1990 Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider Veloce S3 (but can't afford another :( ) and have always fancied the MX-5, especially in white as pictured, or silver....Prices have started to dip below £1000 recently, but does anyone know what I should look for when buying at the Shite end of the market? :?:
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#2 OFFLINE   wuvvum

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 11:44 PM

I reckon you should try to track down one of these:

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It'd be more in keeping with the pronounced Renault flavour of the rest of your fleet. :wink:

MX5's are pretty reliable for the most part, although head gaskets occasionally go. All the magazines recommend buying a UK car over a grey import (Eunos etc.). They're great fun to drive though whichever model you choose.

What's wrong with your 9, by the way?

#3 OFFLINE   mk2_craig

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 11:50 PM

Reckon you could stretch to £16,850 Baz? - that's the cheapest Sport Spider on Autotrader at the moment :)

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 11:59 PM

Never quite figured out the fuss about not buying the imports, they nearly always have a better spec and much lower miles than UK cars and tend to be cheaper too! Only problem is the insurance can cost more.I would just make sure not to get the detuned version of the 1.6 which came later, it has something like 90hp! The normal 1.6 is lovely though.

#5 OFFLINE   reallyloud

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 12:15 AM

Decent cars them MX-5's. Lots of fun and look good with a hard top. I think they're are always going to be worth a punt because oddly, soft top motoring is amazingly popular in the damp UK. Mechanics should be bulletproof, but I reckon repairwork, ripped roofs, damp carpets & rust will be the major factor to look out for - just odd that you seldom see them in scrapyards.

#6 OFFLINE   Mr Lobster

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 07:13 AM

They are a cracking car, if you can get a good one it'll be ace! On an early one the main issue would be rust I think although a lot of them do lead fairly easy lives so that might not be too much of an issue.Parts availability is great as there are a million and one specialists. As above the UK cars are easier to insure and I seem to recall reading got better rustproofing than Japanese sourced cars.

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 08:59 AM

They will have better rustproofing than UK cars when made, but any importer worth their salt (ha ha!) has them undersealed on arrival. Not to say they all do though, so probably worth having a good look underneath.I'd just look for overall condition and take it from there, I've never seen a very obviously rusty MX5 or Eunos Roadster, but that's not to say they don't exist. Might just be one of those cars where they rust from the inside out like the Suzuki Cappuccino.

#8 OFFLINE   r.welfare

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 09:35 AM

The one problem with a Eunos is it is difficult to verify the service history, although if it is with the car and you can read Japanese you'd be OK!However - you can do the visual checks for crash damage, mechanical knackeredness etc, but I would be wary of a car with lowered suspension and noticeably odd wheel camber angles...a mate had one a few years back that wore tyres out rapidly as the suspension geometry was all to cock.Having said that another mate has recently bought a J-reg Eunos with a year's ticket for about £1,500. Personally I'd go a little higher, I saw a nice yellow 1.8 California special edition (UK car) for £1,995 the other day.Rust - watch the sills where the black paint is, they go here. Also check the bottom of the front wings where they meet the door, big rot spot (you should remove a couple of bolts and flex the wings to remove tons of leaves and mud on a regular basis). And as Hirst says, the UK 1.6 from 93L to 97R is rubbish, 89bhp. I sold one of these last year for a mate, nice enough but utterly gutless...

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#9 OFFLINE   Baz

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 10:55 AM

Thankyou all for Your input....My budget will be somewhere between £1000 and £2000, dependant upon whether I'm successful in recovering my money from then "Gentleman" who "Sold" me the R20! :( Best I base my buying decision solely on a prospective car's structural/mechanical integrity I think....Whether it's MX-5/Eunos, or 1.6/1.8 is largely irrelevant as at my advanced years I don't tend to drive that fast, and insurance comes pretty cheap nowadays too! :wink: I have driven one, and thoroughly enjoyed the drive....There were only two reasons that I didn't purchase that particular example: Knackered hood (unacceptable at the £5000 I was spending at the time, but won't be such a problem on a cheaper car - They're cheap enough on Ebay), and I really wanted an Alfa Spider!Having said all of that though, colour will be quite important....Ideally I want white, but would settle for silver, black or dark green....Don't like them in the bright reds, yellows, blues very much at all, so I'll probably have quite a search on my hands! :roll:

What's wrong with your 9, by the way?

It's in great condition, and basically it drives really well, but the engine has never run quite properly since I've had it....I had the inlet manifold gasket replaced, which has improved matters a lot, but it's still not right. Seems the problem now is a "leaky valve" on the No.1 cylinder, caused by over-tightening of the tappets by a previous muppet....Could be a relatively cheap fix, could be disasterously expensive, no way of knowing until it's in bits....Just need to make the decision as to whether I bite the bullet, and get it done, or get rid as it is! :?
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#10 OFFLINE   retrogeezer

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 10:58 AM

dependant upon whether I'm successful in recovering my money from then "Gentleman" who "Sold" me the R20!

Oh dear, what have I missed??
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#11 OFFLINE   AnthonyG

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 11:18 AM

Looked into this several times, no where to put it being the main reason why I haven't succumbed!I would steer clear of sub £1000 examples as they are likely to be very knackered. Indeed, in the £1-2000 price I would just have a very good check over and test drive of the car. Check for rust around the rear wheelarch, particularly where it meets the sill - water getting in through the hood/roof likes to rust out there. Also the front wings can get crumbly in the area R. Welfare indicated. Poorly repaired accident damage (particularly on the front nose) is also something to watch out for.

#12 OFFLINE   MrRegieRitmo

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 11:43 AM

dependant upon whether I'm successful in recovering my money from then "Gentleman" who "Sold" me the R20!

Oh dear, what have I missed??

I too was wondering that! :?

#13 OFFLINE   Baz

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 01:58 PM

dependant upon whether I'm successful in recovering my money from then "Gentleman" who "Sold" me the R20!

Oh dear, what have I missed??

I too was wondering that! :?

Well, after several weeks of ignored correspondence, and consultation with various employees of Norfolk Constabulary and Norwich Crown Court (to whom I happen to be related), I've kinda reached the same conclusion that everybody else probably reached about a year ago: That there's a good chance that I've been diddled! :roll:

The fact that he sent me the registration document, but "neglected" to sign it, is apparently a classic sign of vehicle fraud :x

I've given the "Vendor" until the end of February to respond, and assuming that I hear nothing by then, action will be taken to try and recover my money at least...It's a pity, I'd have prefered the CAR! :(
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#14 OFFLINE   wuvvum

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 04:44 PM

As I said before, if you feel like trying a more "direct" method of sorting out the situation, you're welcome to come for a ride when I go and collect the 4CV from Bolton, and we could stop off at the "vendor"'s house on the way back for a quick chat.

#15 OFFLINE   r.welfare

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 05:10 PM

The R20 story borders on the unbelievable - Baz, I'm pretty sure it was at least a year late when I discussed it with SL and yourself at SL's house about 15 months ago!Did you actually see the car in the metal, at the vendor's house/premises, at any point? Is the V5 in his name/address? I'd be tempted to send it off without his signature anyway...I know the guy sounds like a perfectionist alright (where on earth he got a wing from the Marreau Brother's Dakar-winning R20 is mind-boggling to me), and it's a rare old bus, but this is just farcical. Hopefully you can extricate yourself from the situation with either a mint R20 or your cash intact...I'd be contacting Mr Bickle who has, I believe, experience of the legal route.

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#16 OFFLINE   MrRegieRitmo

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 07:55 PM

I'm not sure why this guy would try to do the dirty on you, what has he got to gain if he was doing you some resto work to the car at his discretion & at no extra cost to you (unless that was discussed upfront)? I don't understand how money could have changed hands at this point if he was supposed to be doing the work first & if he didn't know how much work he was going to do or how long it would take, how could a price have been agreed? :? Unless it's like that case that was on R-R with somebody's VW 1600 fastback where a so called reputable restoration firm strung the guy along telling him time & again that more things needed to be done which were both costly & unnecessary! That resulted in a legal case if I remember right which was ongoing at the time.

#17 OFFLINE   Clevtrev

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 09:09 PM

I'm a huge fan of the MX-5 so would definitely recommend you go for one. I had one myself for a few years until last August when some dozy bint decided to write it off for me. Mine was a 1991 UK spec car and was totally standard as is the way that I prefer them. I absolutely loved my 5 and really miss it but as my first ankle biter has since arrived it won't be replaced for the time being. I think all the usual bits to look out for have been mentioned. I would say check rear accident damage as small rear drive cars on wet roads in the wrong hands have a habit of going into ditches backwards. Check for dampness on the boot carpet and corrosion around the battery tray (also in the boot). And rust at the base of the rear wings. The roof drain holes are located here and often get blocked with leaves and general crud so that the water cannot get away. Condition varies wildly so just be careful. Unmolested cars tend to have been looked after better than the scores of Barry'd up ones. Good luck!

#18 OFFLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 11:32 PM

lets find Bowker and chin him!

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#19 OFFLINE   Baz

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 02:18 PM

lets find Bowker and chin him!

That's plan C....Let's see how plan B works out first! :D
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#20 OFFLINE   andrewp

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 05:21 PM

I too have nothing bad to report on my past MX-5 ownership experiences, my cars were early ones costing about £2K 3 or 4 years ago and had no rust anywhere. All I can add is to be aware that Eunos badged models do seem more likely to have been modified while in Japan and may have firmer suspension / non standard wheels etc. I hope the finances get sorted soon Baz and perhaps try a wanted ad in http://www.mx5oc.co.uk/. I agree that they do look good in white. The pics show a couple of Mazdas I had in the past.

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#21 OFFLINE   r.welfare

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 07:39 PM

Lovely red one Andrewp, doesn't seem to have oxidised - or a tribute to your polishing skills! Early UK 1.6 would be my personal choice, love the alloys. Red is a bugger for going cloudy, but shouldn't be a problem with white Baz - and a lot of the Eunos imports seem to be British Racing Green.I'd also go for one with leather if you can (more popular on the imports) as the cloth trim can wear quite badly on the side bolsters where you are somewhat forced to slide in and out!

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#22 OFFLINE   andrewp

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 08:40 PM

The tan leather does look good but obviously you do slide about a bit!

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An alternative of which I’ve also had a few, and to be honest prefer, is the E30 BMW convertible, a 318 (fairly economical) or 325 (a beautifully burble sound, not too thirsty) are preferable to the slow yet thirsty 320.

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#23 OFFLINE   r.welfare

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:24 PM

Fantastic car cleaning skillz - worralorra beauties! Are you one of those 'detailing' types?Interesting that an E30 is a viable alternative to an MX-5, I was going to lob the offbeat Fiat Barchetta into the mix - LHD and FWD, but very good value for money.

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#24 OFFLINE   andrewp

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:45 PM

Thanks, no I'm certainly not a detailer, except when the cars are about to be photographed for selling on eBay as the above ones were. Presentation is all important which possibly explains some of my ebay buyers happily flying in from abroad. The last car I prepared and eBayed for a friend found a buyer from Bulgaria (a true English gent) who got a flight over and drove back. That was for a nice low mileage LHD MB 500SEC.

#25 OFFLINE   Baz

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 02:09 PM

Wow Andrewp, that's certainly a nice pair of MX-5s! 8) Summat along those lines would be ideal....Fiat Barchetta is a fine car too, but I reckon I'd really be scraping the bottom of the barrel on my measly budget! Prefer the RWD of the Mazda anyway....More fun potential! :wink: I love E30 BMWs....Particularly in convertible (or Baur Cabrio) form, but I'd really be looking for a two-seat sportscar....Guess the mid-life crisis must be kicking in a little early! :roll:
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