What Car? An MX5 Of Course!

What Car magazine recently named our favourite sports car “Best buy under £25,000” in the open top category and has short listed the MX5 for their much coveted Car of the Year 2011 award. Pete Tullin, the magazine’s road test editor said, “We hate to use the word ‘affordable’ in relation to cars. They’re only affordable if you have the money. As roadsters go, though, the Mazda MX5 has very little competition in the affordability stakes – and none at all when it comes to capturing the spirit of a compact, light, soft-top two-seater. There are few greater or guiltier pleasures than whistling along a country lane with the roof down, listening to the rasp of a throaty exhaust bouncing off the scenery.”

“Few people are as devoted to their cars as MX5 owners, and if you’ve ever driven one you’ll understand exactly why. The MX5 gives you all the fun and style you’d want from a roadster. It’s well made and cheap to own, too.”

You can read the full article and their comprehensive review by clicking on the logo:

Get Stuff For Your Five

Brochure 2013

Sportscars are like beautiful women, you want to buy them stuff! And the best place to start looking for parts and accessories for your five is Portsmouth based  MX5parts.co.uk. The success story of this family-run business is quite amazing, they launched the MX5parts website 14 years ago with a commitment to bring the MX5 community the very best items from around the world at competitive prices, and with the best customer service. Since then the company’s growth has been truly phenomenal, from 1999 through 2004 they achieved 100% growth year on year, each year.

Every part they sell is the best in its class and is the best value for money available. They have four MX5s in daily use within the family, and every part they sell has been tested on their cars to ensure suitability and fit. To prove how confident they are, they also offer a full 30 day money back guarantee on every product. All orders placed before 3.00pm any week day are dispatched the same day and are delivered to your door within 1-2 days. With a minimum of £750,000 of  items in store, 98% of orders can be met from stock.

I have bought a number of items from MX5 Parts and always found their customer service exceptional. They no longer produce their  free colour catalogue but you can view the 2013 edition by clicking on the photo above, it is great for browsing, You can of course see their up to date range and order at any time on their secure website by clicking on the logo below:

California Dreaming

A friend of mine has just bought his wife a stunning 50th birthday present, an MX5 California limited edition. This is one of the most sought after LE cars in the history of the MX5, the Sunburst Yellow exterior had not been used on a UK car before and was introduced to mark the 5th anniversary of the MX5. The California model was based on a standard 1800cc MX5, only 300 units were made between May and October 1995 and they cost £15,795 to buy new.

A Clarion CRX601R radio cassette was fitted as standard as were 15 inch, 5 spoke unique alloy wheels. The car also featured a special plaque on the centre console denoting the build number, whilst the owner had a leather wallet to hold the owners manual. The California Mk1 is a very rare car in a striking colour and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find good examples.

The Sunburst yellow paintwork suggests that it was named after the sunshine state of California and such was the success of this limited edition that in the year 2000 Mazda decided to release a second, the California Mk 2:

This California was based on a standard model 1600cc MX-5. Only 500 units were made and cost £16,000 to buy new. Again, 15 inch alloys were fitted and interior mats were embroidered with the California logo.

You can learn more about the two models through the links on our limited edition page, or you can download the PDF brochures for free by clicking on the logos below:

California Mk 2

Haynes Under Strain

My copy of the latest Haynes MX5 Manual arrived this morning and I am afraid the concerns that have been expressed by other reviewers have proven to be true. Previous Haynes books I have owned were hardback, printed on quality paper and with bright, clear illustrations. This one is a paperback and is printed on the cheapest possible grey paper which results in poorly contrasted photographs that are very difficult to see.

The content appears to be the previous edition up to 1990 with perfunctory add-ons to cover models up to 2009 and with nothing on the latest 3.5 cars, although the manual was published a year after  the 3.5 launch. It really is a shame to see a prestigious company destroy its reputation by releasing a product that is so poorly made. There are getting on for a million MX5s around with a huge and enthusiastic following for maintenance, restoration and racing, and it seems to be financial suicide to launch a manual that entirely fails to recognise this huge market.

Having said that, beggars can’t be choosers. There are no other MX5 workshop manuals available and at least you can get some technical help from this book. The trouble is I feel that Haynes is showing a complete lack of respect for its customers and I gain no pleasure from using this publication. Sorry Haynes, we were really looking forward to this manual but you have let us all down.

And Then Two Come Along At Once!

A few months ago I complained about the lack of repair manuals for our favourite sports car and also the fact that the official Mazda MX5 documentation is not available to the public. Well I am still waiting for a response from Mazda UK on the latter point but after an eleven year gap Haynes have at last updated their book to take us up to 2009. Still nothing on the latest Mk3.5 but its better than what we had before.

I Am waiting for my copy to arrive but reviews so far are not great. This is a paperback manual printed on thin paper which might  not fair well in the workshop, unlike the old hardback versions. Also the information on the models released since the previous edition was published is pretty sketchy. You can get the manual on Amazon but they are in short supply so click on the cover above to check the stock.

At almost exactly the same time the Chilton manual appeared. This one specifically covers American and Canadian models and is also in paperback form. I haven’t seen a copy but I have a sneaky ( and entirely unfounded) feeling that the two manuals may be almost the same, there is certainly a link between Haynes and the Chilton author. If you know the truth let me know. Again it is for sale on Amazon, click on the cover.

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