1990 Mazda MX-5: Reader Ride

By: Peter Miller, Photography by: Peter Miller

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Peter Miller's 1990 Mazda MX-5 Peter Miller's 1990 Mazda MX-5 Peter Miller's 1990 Mazda MX-5
Peter Miller's 1990 Mazda MX-5 Peter Miller's 1990 Mazda MX-5 Peter Miller's 1990 Mazda MX-5

Peter Miller's 1990 Mazda MX-5...

I’ve always believed that a true sportscar must be a convertible and not expensive, as any convertible will inevitably be noisy and damp. The idea of an old MX-5 appealed.

I bought mine in 2008 and it’s an early limited edition one in British Racing Green with a few woodgrain accessories and leather seats. It was showing 99,000km, but as a cheap grey import it could have been driven any distance, anywhere.

Someone had tried to do some engine mods resulting in slightly less power. The suspension had been lowered and stiffened and it shook the gizzards out of the car on Kuring-gai’s traffic-calmers.

But it seemed to offer potential and little risk of depreciation. Initially it stalled when cold and sounded sick in the mornings.

I eventually took it to my local mechanic who is used to my frequent and bewildering procession of ‘classic’ cars.

He tested it for over a week and replaced a number of parts including the air meter, plugs and various filters .

Anyway, he made the most of the engine mods and was able to tune it properly and the result was a real surprise for which we each took the credit.

The body and interior were excellent for their age, so with the initial service completed for under $1000 I reckon it worked out pretty well.

It may not be the fastest car I have owned, but I realise that there is no lasting satisfaction in racing from the lights and a top speed of 230km/h is no longer practical.

However, when I escape the ’burbs and the road starts to wind, its brilliant handling and responsive performance makes it a great drive.

My three brothers (and even my wife) now admire it, I think I did uncover a bargain classic after all!

 

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