It must be the middle of my life or something….
After selling the Swift I had bit of a dilemma. Having owned so many cars in the past, what on earth is actually left worth buying and owning? I’ve doubled up a bit recently and wanted something new.
I test drove heaps of cars, and none of them quite felt right. I came very close to owning a Peugeot 207 GTI, but just couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger when push came to shove. A lot of the cars i viewed were also polished turds, with some of them more polished than others, but still turds. Clearly my idea of “excellent condition, great example” is far different to the average TM idiot.
So after much disappointment, I decided to try a car that I had an interest in but wasn’t sure I would like. An MX5.
The story goes, that over the years I have tried to get into an MX5 but just haven’t managed it. I have tried both NA and NB and I physically don’t fit either of them. In the NA im staring straight at the top of the windscreen frame, and the NB I drove I couldn’t fit a hand between the (non-adjustable) steering wheel and my legs. So it was kind of off the cards.
Then I saw a silver 2006 MX5 RS of the NC model come up for sale locally. I decided to take it for a spin.
It was manual, black cloth interior, soft top, had Bilsteins and a LSD. Getting in it I was immediately surprised by how well I fit. It was snug but comfortable. As soon as I took off and put it into second gear I began to realise why people love the MX5 so much. The shift was short, firm and like a bolt-action rifle. Very direct.
The engine was flexible, with plenty of torque to pull the somewhat light car around and had more than enough poke to have fun. But the engine isn’t really the star of the show, that’s left to the way it drives. Find some corners, knock it down a gear or two and you’re away laughing.
Of course I can’t talk about an MX5 without mentioning the soft top. What a great piece of engineering by Mazda. So easy to put up and down, and so quick. It’s also stupid how simple and quick the roof is to operate.
Sadly that’s the one thing I decided that I couldn’t live with, despite enjoying the rest of the car. I couldn’t take the risk of someone cutting the top or it getting damaged in the weather as it lives outside. It also didn’t offer anything in the way of insulation or comfort. Regardless, considering the condition of the car I made an offer which was rejected.
That night I went on Trademe with one goal in mind, see what a hard top was worth for an NC. Well, I never completed that task, but I did manage to find an NC with a hard top that was in my price range (and listed with no reference to MX5 which I think is why it didn’t sell earlier), albeit 600km away in Tauranga. The thing is though, it wasn’t a soft top with a removable hard top fitted. No no, it was the rare and desirable Power Retractable Hard Top model. Instead of a soft top roof it has a hard top which at the press of a button will fold its self up and retract into the space behind the seats.
Much like this,
These are the pictures that drew me to it.
After discussing with the seller, I decided to YOLO and pull the trigger. He offered to deliver the car at no extra charge, so once negotiations were done I paid a deposit and waited.
I didn’t have to wait long, two days later he made the bloody long drive down and dropped the car off. A quick check over of the car, handed over the rest of the money and away he went, heading for a plane that was to leave in and hour. A flying visit for sure.
So what did I end up with?
2007 Mazda Roadster (MX5) Vspec
Highland Green Mica
Tan heated leather
6 Speed Manual
2L 4 cylinder
Power Retractable Hard Top
Optional front and rear skirts
Boot lip spoiler
16×6 Weds Fang Razul wheels
Its got a couple of quirks, but overall considering it has just shy of 200,000km, it’s doing well.
The paint needs a good wax, the leather needs a damn good clean and condition, and it needs a general service. I’ll be looking to replace the shocks as they’re a bit on the soft side (standard shocks with Autoexe lowering springs), and fit some FD RX7 wheels.
The paint has quickly moved up to being one of my favourite colors. The amount of pearl and flake in the paint is just huge, and when it catches the light it is stunning.
So I ended up selling this to a gentleman from down south, that flew up and drove the car back. Unfortunately it looks like it didn’t get far, as 18 months after I sold it, it’s on Trademe for parts 🙁 It’s always interesting to know where my old cars end up, but it cuts deep seeing them written off.
RIP in pieces old friend.