Holiday Romance Mazda MX-5 - Our Shed

By: Glenn Torrens, Photography by: Glenn Torrens

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A mix-up with a date gives Glenn Torrens the excuse for another casual summer fling

Over the past few years, I’ve registered several cars on H plates as they become eligible on New Year’s Day of their 30th year.

That means I have a glut of car registration renewals arriving by mail during December.

But last year an oversight with shuffling all those rego papers from my mailbox to my ‘Things-To-Do’ pile meant I missed the also-due-in-December rego of my normal boring white daily-driver wagon.


But you know what? A suddenly unregistered daily-driver car wasn’t much of a hassle.

For summer, I was planning a few days cruising/camping in my ’89 Mitsubishi Pajero and I’d intended to drive my ‘Bombodore’ paddock-find green VB Holden Commodore V8 sedan to Canberra for my work at Summernats.


I also have my VW Bug which is ideal for nicking to the shops during the week, or to the pub on a sunny Sunday. 

Plus, I have a Mazda MX-5 tucked in my carport. I drove this iconic little drop-top roadster just six days last year so I was overdue for some relaxing summer bum-time in it.

Within minutes of dropping its top for the first time in months, I was in love again! It was a glorious feeling.

Instead of using the main highways around my area, I zipped along some of the back roads and rather than smash the ‘snooze’ button on my alarm on Saturdays, for a few weeks I got out of bed and went for a blue-sky summer sunrise drive to find a nice café for a yummy brekky.

However, there were a few things that needed attention on this now 33-year-old car.

It was due for a routine service – oil, filters and brake fluid, that I did one Saturday afternoon – but lately, the electric windows have been getting a bit lazy too.

I’d also noticed a couple of bubbles of rust inside the left door jamb.


One day, an under-bonnet squawk grabbed my attention. A fat stack of paperwork/history was provided with the car when I bought it seven years ago including confirmations the timing belt and water pump had been replaced at 100 and 200,000km.

So I hope it’s not the water pump that is squealing at 255k… but if it is, then I’ll simply have to deal with it.

More noise: driving to the shops one day I noticed a clang coming from somewhere in the rear suspension. There’s more age-related disappointment, too, with the paint.

Five years ago the paint began flaking off the driver’s door and the boot lid. Co-incidentally I was doing a TAFE course in body panel/paint at the time so the two damaged panels were stripped to bare metal and refinished as part of my training.

I knew, then, that it was only a matter of time before the rest of the paint began to fall off. It’s a known problem with white MX-5s (and I’ve had it happen with a white 1990s Nissan, too) and to be honest I’m surprised more paint hasn’t fallen off!

So, I reckon my Mazda will soon score a coat of fresh white paint… and I might also replace the drop-tops foggy back window and the tattier areas of interior trim.

It all goes to show, even the most loving relationships have their rough patches!

From Unique Cars #482, August 2023

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