By Simon Bennett / 20th January 2018
mx5 rolling side shot

This month on our ‘Classic Cars to Watch’ feature, we talk about a car that is for sure ‘on the up’ not only for its popularity and current value point of view but also potential investment and return … It is no other than the Mk1 Mazda MX5.

The first generation MX5’s are very infectious simply because they are a cool looking car, the engine is strong, robust, reliable and loved to be revved. Parts are readily available with prices that are easy on the wallet, and there are some great period mods too. What more could you want from a retro classic?

These original Mk1 cars come with either a 114hp 1.6-litre unit or the more powerful 1.8, putting out 128hp and came with a five speed manual gearbox.

As expected, the 1.8 unit feels more punchy, but has lower fuel efficiency over the smaller, more economical 1.6 unit. However, who said saving petrol and economical driving is what the MX5 is all about, we think not because this stylish little road sniffer is just so well balanced it’s begs to be used and enjoyed to its limits.

At Vint-tro we feel the Mazda’s first generation two-seater sports car is a truly great proposition, so we’ve put together a few buying guide tips for this classic iconic Japanese roadster, detailing the most important things to check for which, will hopefully help you to make sure you bag a good one.

Like most retro and classic cars make sure any potential purchase has been properly serviced throughout its life, with all oil and filter changes carried out at the correct intervals, as well as recommended checks and new cam belts.

On the whole, Mk1 MX5’s have a strong build structure but like all cars that are over 25 years old it is important to perform regular checks and carry out maintenance jobs to keep them in the best condition possible. Ensure the body works drain holes aren’t blocked and are flowing freely, allowing any accumulated water to disperse easily. Items such as doors and sills can hold water, leading towards rusting and corrosion if the drain holes are blocked.

Ensure you inspect the chassis underneath, paying particular attention to the jacking points checking for any signs of wear or repair work which could lead to expensive work in the future!

It’s also worth checking areas such as wheel arches and subframe braces for signs of deterioration. This applies to both original UK spec cars and imports (Eunos)

Being a very popular car, there is of course still a number of incredibly well cared for examples out there and many of these are still close to pristine – It’s worth waiting, and paying a little more money for one of these prized little beauties.

So price wise where are we? Well as we write (March 2018) it was only less than three years ago you could bag a Mk1 with a reasonable average 10K mile a year example with good history for £600-£900. We ask you to do this now? … Surprised? What have you found? Prices now for the same example is probably more in the region of £2000-£2500, we’ve even seen them at £3500-£4000 for low mileage examples.

So the Mk1 MX5 is certainly on our wanted list because we predict in five years from now we’ll double our investment.

Worth the risk? … we’ll let you do the maths.

Until next time, Peace & Love


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