2 Years ago my Mum got a text from an old school friend of hers asking "Does your son still mess about with cars? Does he want to buy a little Japanese convertible i have?" I replied with a low ball offer of £300 without even knowing what it was, because at the time the only information I'd been given was from my mum who said, I dont know what it is but its a drop top!
Well my £300 offer was turned down so I just said thats fine, il pass. A car that had been sat for 3 years (in a bush) I wouldnt pay more than £300, knowing it was either an MX5 or a Cappuccino !
Anyway 1 Year passes and mum got another text, "Does Adam still want this car for £300? I'll include the hardroof" So i just replied "Yes".
After picking up this little car, I was over the moon. I still hadnt even opened the bonnet to find out what engine it was, when i picked it up there was no paperwork as the lady couldnt find it but she assured me she would, so i just took it in good faith!
Little did I know, this was a 99' Mazda Mx5 1.8is with a Torsen LSD! What an absoulte result ! Match that fact with it coming with the hardtop in the same colour in PERFECT condition. I was over the moon with my purchase!
First port of call was to clean it up, it was mess. Squirrels had been using this as a home along with half of Essex's spider community.
A little time, elbow grease and an aching back later, this was the result! Just a basic wash - Snowfoam, Iron out and wash, but what a remarkable difference already! The inital plan was to just flip the car, make some money. But after I cleaned it up, i really started to like it.
Next things to takle were some maintenance. The powersteering line had corroded away so I replaced that, along with a full service on all engine fluids, spark plugs & filters that was kindly supplied by Jayar Car Parts! (service parts)
Also I bought & replaced the whole brake system. So new calipers all around, new brake pads & discs, i opted for the cheapest ones just to get the car back on the road.
Checking the brakes worked
The car was almost ready for its maiden voyage to the now deceased Rockingham Drift Days.... but first, to make it safe!
My friend Alex came over & helped me fit this TR Lane rollbar, i wanted the one with the Cross bars but they were out of stock & i was desperately trying to get this legal for the drift day haha. So managed to get the one you see in the photo, i actually really like how it looks now, so cant moan about that!
I borrowed a set of enkei fronts from my mate Charlie too (We actually supplied him these through 6two1!) gotthe car loaded up & was really excited for the day.
A borrowed set of Enkei wheels & clean! What a transformation!
I wont go as far to say the car was excellent on the drift day, but It was hilarious fun. I think going with a really low powered car with 2 broken springs & an exhaust that snapped in half, mid way through the day taught me how spoilt id been even using my E36 to learn in. Going back to a super basic car gave me a whole new appriciation for drifting, which humbled me a lot, and made me shut my mouth.
We put 70psi through the rear tyres and just went for it! I used the handbrake way to much to compensate for the terrible handling on 2 snapped springs, but nevermind, it was a great day non the less & made me fall head over heels with this little Mazda!
You can see in the above photo how bad the rust was on the rear Arch / Sill, this had to be tackled!
Loaded up and ready for home, a job well done little MX5 ! but most of all, I had so much fun, I laughed the whole day.
Now I should explain...During this whole time, my Nissan Silvia was in the care of a couple of different garages, who happily charged me an absolute fortune for Per Hour rates of work, without any actual results being given in return, bills mounting up but no working car getting returned really started to get me down on cars & the industry itself. This little MX5 owed me in reality nothing. But i was getting to drive this at events, mess around on it in the garage with friends. It was a breath of fresh air! Hopefully this gives some context to why I love this little car so much.
An after rust repair burnout for celebrations! Annoyingly I didnt take any photos at all of the work being done as I filmed a vlog on it for youtube.
Im inserting this photo here to show my paint job i did with rattle cans ordered from Amazon & some Halfords primer! incredible finish. especially after a polish!
Fast Forward to the hottest summer I can remember... & now you will see two big differences, I have fitted my work wheels normally found on my EG6 Civic....
Not only that, it was time to get rid of those terrible snapped springs on the OEM suspension.
Reason for spending some real life money on Yellowspeed coilovers & chucking my volks on was that I really wanted to get out on track with the boys!
A trackday! Finally, after so many years out, I was back trying to find the art of grip again! Snetterton was the desired track, but unforutnaly, I only managed to get 2 laps done. The exhaust had fell off properly the night before so I was running without a backbox, and this happened...
The heat from the backboxless exhaust and blow out the rear end of the car. I mean, I can laugh now but I cant pretendI wasnt a touch sad, I loved this little car by now & to see it like this made me gutted! Non the less, I ordered up a new rear light, found a new exhaust local with a Sports Cat already fitted & new side marker. But, at this point upon returning home. The car got tucked away and forgotten about for a few months as the Silvia was back and "Running" again so i could somewhat enjoy that for a few months before summer came to an end.
Which leads us to now...
I managed to get yet another bargain on these Work Emotions, yes, they look like something 6IX9INE Pooped out but, still legit wheels in nice sizes for the MX5!
Here's the Wheels fitted, Finn doesnt look too sure... and me neither to be honest haha but still it is just cheap fun!
I then set to fit another set of brake pads to the car with another track day looming! I opted for the most expensive ones a local motorfactors had on their shelf
Robsey and Zak both round whilst we bled the brakes, most of the amazing photos you see in this post are by Zak, I'll link his Instagram at the end!
Quick shoutout to one of my sponsors EINHELL these guys and girls have been amazing to me since joining up with them, their tools are excellent and have made my life so much easier down the garage! Grab some at your local tool stores or online! Support these companies who support small creators like myself. It means the world to us!
With my love for youtube slowly dwindelling, I wanted to just get back down into my garage and just tinker with the cars. I pulled the MX5 in early last week and bought a paint restoration kit for it & what an incredible difference it has made, I just cannot believe this is the same car I pulled out of a bush!
I wish this story ended here, all smiles & buzzing for my track day, but it doesnt lol, as I pulled the car out the garage, there was a really loud screaching sound, so i revved the car to try clear it and then BOOM! Smoke!
The Alternator belt snapped, luckily these arnt too expensive & hasnt caused any issues! Will be fitting new one tonight along with getting a custom alignment put on it ready for the track day I am attending! I cannot wait to just go have some fun without worrying about the world for a few hours, its going to be great
I have to give Credit to some of these beautiful photos to Zak Gallagher, who kindly let me use them on the blog, so go show him some love over on his instagram at @xtrathicc_papi & thank you to Robsey for the help, he has helped me at almost every stage with the MX5 as he has one too, hopefully be taking both cars down to the nurburgring
Hope youve enjoyed the blog post, its been a while I know but I have been so busy with work & trying my absolute best to build a youtube channel. But in reality im finding that really tough (mentally) now, on every level, I feel like i put so much effort into my videos but all i seem to get now is slapped back by youtube & im also getting ruined by old copyright claims on music i used that was marked as FREE. so I want to slow that down & just get back to enjoying cars again instead of being stuck in the Youtube Rat Race, wont stop youtube completely, I do really enjoy making videos. But just going to be more selective with what I post on there purely as i dont want to feel like im less than what I am based off of views.
Take it easy guys, any parts enquires or merchandise you need advice on, please drop me an email