I was in the mood for another convertible and I wanted one which was reliable and thrifty, it was time for a Japanese car. I looked at Mazda MX-5's and Toyota MR2's. I also looked at a TVR S2 with a 2.9 Ford engine. I thought the 2.9 litre engine would do about 25mpg in the light weight TVR, but after a drive of one, I found the suspension to be very harsh and the drive not that exhilarating.
So it was to be a Mazda. I started looking around for one and was surprised to find that £10,000 would only buy you a G reg. with rust (back in 1997). I noticed a J reg. Mazda, low mileage in red. It was selling for £11,000 but I was told I could have it for £10,500.
The Mazda had power steering, electric windows, a good 'pull-out' stereo, chrome kick plates, alloys, an alarm, remote locking doors and with only 35K on the clock and a full Mazda dealer service history it was a good buy.
A friend of mine, Colin Hathway, had a new MGF. Both the MGF and the MX-5 were very popular with the kids in the road. That's what I like about kids, they know the value of everything and the price of nothing (One of the kids expressing his approval, his mother owned £29,500 worth of new Saab 900i convertible).
The Mazda was a lot of fun to drive. It needed driving hard (at above 4000rpm) to get any sense of speed out of it but it did sound good. I wasn't impressed with 33 mpg from the car when driving it sensibly, my partner's Rover 216 GSi could manage 37 mpg and it had a quicker 0 to 60!
Motorway travel was surprisingly good for a high revving engine (5000rpm at 90mph). But compared to the luxury cars I had owned, it was too noisy.
I took the car to
I sold the car after that summer holiday, back to a Mazda dealer in the end as nobody replied to my advert in the Auto-Trader. I got the same price I bought it for, well I had only owned it for 6 months.
I felt I wanted an automatic box and a hardtop for the winter.
MX-5: Looks fantastic, but does everything else averagely. Try a BBS Turbo!