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Mk1 Mazda MX5 (aka Mindy!)

This is the latest addition to our modern classic family! A Mk1 Mazda MX5 1.6 (UK car). I've wanted one of these since the day they were launched back in 1989. Was at the Car show in Glasgow seeing all the new cars, when they pulled the cover off to reveal this gorgeous little red sports car. Was love at first sight, and said there an then I have to have one of these one day! Only taken me nigh on 30 years to realize that dream, but I was a skint teenager back then (now I'm a skint oldie! lol).
As I've been down lately, Gayle my Mrs suggested I needed a new project to help pick me up. She also loves the mx5's, so initial plan was to get a total rust bucket without mot and do a full restoration. After looking at prospective cars, realized that the £1000 budget really did just buy cars that were totally gone. So we upped the budget and came up with plan B! This plan was to buy a decent enough car to start with that just needed TLC, so we spent ages viewing lots of cars that appeared decent but once we arrived to view found they too needed too much work rust wise. Finally found this one which was in Stirling.
So, she's a 1997 UK car (so one of the last mk1's) with 90K on the clock, came with almost a years mot and the chap selling really didn't want to sell her! As everyone knows, all MX5's rot in the rear inner/outer sills and the rear arches. Mindy still has her original arches, but has had the very lower outer sills replaced on both sides. Not the prettiest repair, but look to be a very solid one. Underneath she's solid, and the previous owner has spent a fair bit on her with the welding and also replacing both rear brake calipers. There wasn't a service book which was disappointing, but there are receipts and old MOT's so some history of what she's had done.
Faults we noticed that needed dealing with first were the hood. It was completely shot, and had temp gaffa tape repairs. There was also a really bad vibration when at 65-70mph. These repairs are detailed in later posts.
So here she is the day we arrived home!

We'd literally just arrived home 5 mins before, and I thought I'd get a couple of pics but as I did, Gayle and my step daughter promptly jumped in and off they went for a wee run!! lol
My plan is to restore her to as close to new as I can get, along with some subtle mods. So planning the following:
Replace all suspension including shocks/springs, all wishbones etc then laser 4 wheel alignment Stainless steel exhaust Replace hood fully strip underneath and apply new underseal plus having chassis wax injected. New brakes Rear sills to be replaced by BorderMX5 so done professionally and will be undetactable once done Full respray (in either the original classic red or possibly the new Mazda "Soul red" metallic red.) Custom leather Interior retrim including replacing the seats with tombstone ones New wheels and tyres (Cades Enos with a bit of dish) Fully detailed engine bay Follow her progress in "Members Cars" in the forum.
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  • Dave

    1995 - 2000 Honda Civic 5 door hatch/Aerodeck

      Engine Size: 1797cc
      Engine type: 2 cylinder
      Fuel type: Petrol
      Power: 167 bhp
      0 - 60 MPH: 8.3secs
      Top Speed: 139mph
      Fuel economy (average): 32.1mpg
      Specs based on: 1.8
      Review: Coming Soon!

    Specs above are for 1.8 VTi/VTiS models.



    Honda Launched the Civic 5 door range (model codes MA, MB and MC for the Aerodecks) in 1995. In 1996/7, Honda carried out a mild facelift which consisted of different front headlights/front wings and bonnet design, and different bumpers. Here was a stylish, practical car with a range of engines and trim levels from 1.4cc to 1.5cc, 1.6cc and 1.8cc. Equipment levels were good (especially for the time) with even entry level models (Designated "S") getting a decent spec. All models featured dual front airbags, side impact beams seat belt height adjustment, rev counter, radio cassette player (CD changer as an option), electric windows (except the base 1.4 S model, although that was available with an "Electric pack" option) and electric mirrors.  Most models also featured an electric sliding/tilting glass sunroof. Models with disc brakes all round also featured ABS. The range proved very popular, and with Honda's excellent reliability and build quality, sales were high. At the time, British manufacturer Rover were looking for another marque to join forces with (they had already approached Nissan but were turned down) to develop a new model jointly. Honda agreed, and Rover then began producing it's own Rover badged 400 and 45 versions of the Civic. The 5 Door Aerodeck (pictured below) arrived in 1997. Due to costs, Rover opted not to produce it's own version of this although there are photos of 2 Rover badged Civic Aerodecks, but Rover never officially launched an Aerodeck version! The brief for the Aerodeck was to design a compact executive estate/tourer and it was pitched to compete against the BMW 3 series tourer.honcivicaerodeck.jpg.1fc893b6d7f370cecc11ebc035b0e478.jpg


    Both the Civic 5 door and Civic 5 door Aerodeck models feature plastic side skirts and (except early pre-facelift MA8 & MA9 models) colour coded bumpers and mirrors. Vti models also feature a front spoiler/lip, and VTiS models feature a deeper front spoiler along with deeper side skirts and rear lip.The VTiS kit was available in the accessory brochure for other models. A boot spoiler was also standard on VTi hatchbacks, but again was also on the options list for other models. Base spec models and LS models came with standard 14inch steel wheels (alloys available on any variant as an option) SE upwards coming with alloys as standard.

    Rust wise, the Civic 5 door range has proved to be pretty decent at resisting rust, although that doesn't mean there won't be any! Pay attention to the rear wheel arches and rear sills. These can be either really good or really bad! Honda did try to protect them by fitting a rubber trim all the way round the rear arch to protect the paint from stones thrown up by the wheels etc. Some people remove them, their reasoning being that they trap water/dirt causing rust. DON'T! These trims do protect the arch, all that's required is to remove them every so often to clean them out/clean the arch. The plastic side skirts also go some way to protect the sills, although they also hide any rust that may be there! Not easy to remove without breaking the clips, so try and check the area as best you can. The state of the rear sill ends/inner wheel arch will be a good indication of the condition behind the skirt. Front floor pans can also attract rust. Reason being is usually due to the underseal coming off due to age or more likely blocked sunroof drains. These allow water to ingress into the car, and end up soaking the front footwells. Left alone, this will rot out the floor. Other causes can be the bonding around the windscreen has failed. The front jacking points can also rust, so check these as you would do on any other car. Other than the bonnet on pre-facelift models, these Civics are pretty good rust wise.





    Engine and Chassis




    Edited by Dave

    Performance: 1 Handling: 1 Comfort: 1 Value for money: 1 Our Rating: 9/20


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