I have an addiction, a lifelong one. Ever since the age of 4 months old I’ve loved cars, well old cars. Sadly, for me, modern ones just don’t hold that much interest… Except now at the age 46, yes really, how did that happen? I find myself driving cars that at were new when I was younger.
I’m writing this as the latest product of this expensive habit is being tested for it’s first MOT in my hands. The car in question is an 18-year-old Mazda MX 5 Isola. One of the lesser special additions of the most popular sports car ever made. For Ford fanatics, yes, I know the Mustang has sold millions and millions. But apart from perhaps one or two models have they ever really been a considered a sports car. A muscle car, pony car certainly but not a sports car.
Every petrolhead knows that back in the 1970’s and early 1980’s Mazda started looking at the small sports car market. They wondered if they could take the essence of the classic British sports car, front engine, rear wheel drive and joyful handling. This combined with just enough power to have fun, but not so much to become a handful. Let’s be honest just making it reliable would have been a major improvement…
This they did, and the result was the MX5 being launched in 1989 to much acclaim, with the affordable two-seater sports car was back after almost a decade. Now I should make a confession here, about 12 years ago I borrowed an MX5 to picked up a fuel pump for a friend’s MG MGB. I had the chance to drive it alone… And despite trying to like it, I just couldn’t. In fact, a month later I went and bought Triumph Spitfire 1500. A car that I loved very dearly for 5 years, but certainly was a classic British sports car with both rust and the ongoing personal development program that is such an essential part of the experience.
I always said that I should have bought an MX5, but never could. Until last week that is. After being asked to start a car for a friend, an MOT failure, one that she was trying to get rid of, but not get ripped off with. I duly started the car, drove it around the car park and felt that there was a good car just waiting to get back on the road.
A couple of days later I found myself handing over not that much for the car and taking it to a safe place where I could work on it. The half-mile drive was so much fun, a grin was on my face.
I’ve just driven the car far further than have since buying it (about 4 miles) to the place I always take my cars to. The garage is firm but fair and are all petrolheads.
The heat wave has gone, it is the finest Cornish mizzle. So of course, I had the roof down as I threaded her through the winding back lanes.
From being a hater, or perhaps not fully appreciating just how much fun an MX5 can, I think I might have been converted, no pun intended.
I now await nervously for the result… How much more will I need to do to get her back on the road…