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There comes a time in life when one needs less hassle and that’s why we decided after 15 years to sell the MGRV8 ..................................

We had enjoyed extensive European travel mostly trouble free however we had a problem in Portugal when the fan failed . To cut a long story short she was repatriated using the excellent breakdown cover from my insurance with Peter Best.


On our return home I immediately purchased a new fan - took this to be fitted as my days of DIY have passed . I had only just returned home when the phone rang from the garage saying that it was fixed – there was a dead short in the wiring that was only spotted when the car was placed on the ramp . However, erecting the roof - zipping and unzipping the rear window not to mention the very heavy steering we had decided that it was time for us to part . Must say I was surprised that after a week advertised on the MGCC  V8 Register website in May there were no takers so I switched to the ‘Car and Classic’ website and she was sold immediately .


As a replacement I was initially heading for an MGB GT but unless one pays silly money that was not an option . Several friends have been in the same position and that’s what drew our attention to the Mazda MX5 . Nothing was going to replace that 4ltr V8 so a full review started .


The RV8 was in Nightfire Red with the fawn leather interior really - we could have purchased a new MX5 but that was completely out f character .

The MX5 has been imported since around 1990 – the appeal for us was certainly with the earlier versions and I was lucky to identify two specialist dealers one in the north and another north Devon . The north Devon specialist had taken over from his father and in fact had been involved in the marque for nearly twenty years. They had about ten cars available so I decided to pay them a visit whilst on my way to Cornwall .


On arrival there were three MX5’s awaiting my inspection – a 1995 MK ‘1’ , a 1998 MK ‘2 and an automatic MK ‘2’ . I drove the Mk ‘1’ which in many ways reminded me of my TR3A . Whilst I drove the other two cars none had the feel or taughtness of the MK ‘1’  . So a deal was done and a fortnight later I enjoyed a train journey to Barnstaple to collect the ‘pop up’ .   This was now 9 months ago .


 The little car is a 1995 Mazda MK’1’ V special 1.8ltr - 138 BHP fitted with Bilstein shocks that has covered 60,000 registered miles in BRG and full tan leather She was a direct private import with the the speedo registers in MPH but distance remains in KM !  There is an excellent specialist garage www.doctormx5.co.uk whom I have used in Botley and can recommend if anyone takes this route .


Talking insurance as the MX is 20 plus years Peter Best were able to offer me exactly the same cover I had with the RV8 and with an agreed value at a much  reduced premium .


Without doubt the MK ‘1’ is a modern day classic that we have already taken to Brittany and whilst I had concerns over those pop up headlights the mechanics were eventually adopted by Lotus and in the event of a malfunction have a manual back up system as a safeguard . Yes she is small as is the boot but so far we’ve managed a week without compromise .


For Christmas I had in my stocking a subscription to the MX5 Owners Club and we shall look forward to meeting other MX members in due course . Club wise I expect the big difference will be a younger generation of enthusiasts but I am advised that the older people are very keen on the earlier models – we shall see


Lifestyle ‘1’

Written by  Peter Wallis