Mazda MX-5 track car: Our Shed

By: Paul Blank

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Our shed: Paul Blank finds a way to scratch a competitive itch

Mazda MX-5 track car: Our Shed
Mazda MX-5 track car

 

Mazda MX-5 track car

My last competition car was pretty different - a 1973 Cadillac Coupe De Ville which I used in the Grand Prix Rally, several Round the Houses historic race events and the odd motorkhana. It was brilliant fun, but I'd sold it several years ago and was getting the urge to compete in events again. Plus my wife thought she should get involved and learn to drive competitively. Bonus points for her!

What car to get? Always a favourite dilemma for a car enthusiast… Well, it had to be suitable for my wife and couldn't be too expensive, which ruled out the Ferrari Daytona Competizione I'd had in mind. After a false start with a Peugeot 205 GTI which stayed with us for a couple of months, a car came onto the horizon.

It's a Mazda MX-5 which I'd seen gradually developed over a few years. It began as a stock white Aussie-delivered 1990 MX-5. I organise lots of motorsport events and had watched as the owner developed the car and it became increasingly competitive. Ultimately it became a very quick little car, but then a V8-engine conversion beckoned so it was for sale.

The car had gained a Mazdaspeed short motor with a Jackson Racing supercharger, Wolf computer, RX-7 gearbox and LSD, some weight reduction and, to cope with 171kW (230bhp), brakes upgraded to a later MX-5 type. It's been completely reliable.

Gun driver Rod Willis, who built the car, is a spray painter with a sense of humour - hence the white MX-5 morphed into a Gulf Racing homage.

Many years ago I had a company modifying cars and I did up a new MX-5 for Mazda WA for the Perth Motor Show. I'd specially imported parts including a set of German alloy wheels - the only set to come to Australia. After the show I took them back into stock but couldn't shift them.

Eventually, years after I'd closed the shop, I sold them off. When I picked up the car from Rod he offered me various sets wheels to choose from. And what set was among them? You guessed it. I couldn't resist owning them for a second time.

Fun? Absolutely. In fact it's a bit hard for my wife as the clutch isn't ideal for her. But it's great for me, because such a light car with so much power can be a bit of a (delightful) handful. I've only done a few events in it so far and have yet to master the car. For my young son, it's his favourite for the school run. My wife has competed in it only once, then she got pregnant and the whole idea of her competing was put on hold - for a while.

 

*****

More reviews:

> Past Blast: Mazda MX-5 review by John Bowe here

> Road test: Mazda MX-5 (June 2013) review here

> Buyer's Guide: Mazda MX-5 (1989 - 98) review here

 

Search used:

>> Search for a used Mazda here

 

MX-5 Club:

* To find your nearest MX-5 club, follow the link here

 

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