Mazda MX-5 1.8 (NA)

James Ralph ‘For the money I don't think there's anything that comes close to how much fun it is’

Year: 1994

Mileage: 57,000

Acquired: March 2019

Dream car: Nissan Skyline GT-R KPGC10

Worst car owned: Probably my 2006 Mercedes C-Class. But only because everything broke on it

Dad drove? Alfa Romeo GTV, Jaguar XK8 and a BMW 8 Series

Other hobbies: I play golf most weekends and love to ski when I get the chance


Why did you choose it?

For the money, I don’t think there's anything that comes close to how much fun it is to drive. I had to go for the MkI because it’s

the best looking and come on... pop up headlights. Do I need to say any more?

What’s the best bit?

The way it drives down a twisty back road. The gearshift is short and notchy, the engine loves to rev and it sounds fantastic. Combine that with some tight bends and a hot day and it’ll put a smile on anyone’s face. And if it rains you can enjoy a little sideways action.

What’s the worst bit?

It’s not the best cruiser as it’s pretty loud when you’re on the motorway with the roof up, but that’s pretty standard for an old convertible. It might not be as bad as a Lotus Elise on practicality, as I can fit my golf clubs in the boot… just.

Any modifications?

Not yet, although I think a nice stainless steel back box could be on the cards. It already sounds pretty good, but why settle for pretty good? Other than that I think I will try and keep the car original, as they hold their value much better than when they have been modified/ruined.

What’s it like to run?

It’s actually pretty good, parts are very cheap generally, and easy to find too as there are plenty of them on the road. Fuel economy isn’t that great, but it’s not terrible for an old sports car, which is what it is.

Any advice for buyers?

Always keep an eye on those rear arches and make sure you keep the drainage holes clear to avoid rust. Otherwise just chuck it into a bunch of corners and have some fun!

Any funny mishaps?

Yes actually, the first time I took it round to my girlfriend’s house, her family were all stood outside watching me pull up and checking out the car. For some reason though I couldn’t get the driver's door open, so I had to climb out of the passenger side. Probably didn’t look quite as cool as I thought I would. The most annoying part is that it’s never happened since.

Lewis Plumbmx-5, Mazda, 1.8