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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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  • Future Classic Cars
  • for all modern classic cars from the 80's onwards
  • Dave

    Dave's 2008 MINI Cooper 2nd gen

      Make: MINI
      Model: Cooper
      Modifications: 17inch ZCW alloys
      Bonnet stripes (from BMW, oem)
      Rear "Aero" boot spoiler
      DAB/USB system (to be fitted)
      Space saver kit

    Traded in my TypeR Civic for a MINI Cooper 08 plate (now known as Carly Cooper!) a while back as the running costs were just too much (as was the over stiff suspension!). Been running this around 2 years now and have to admit it's a great wee car! Mega fun on twisty back roads as it handles like a go kart, enough power to have fun with and cheap as chips to run.

    So this is what she was like when bought, just totally standard apart from being optioned with the chrome line kit for the exterior and interior wise she has the optional mood lighting.

    20160618_115857Juliet MINI Cooper.jpg

    First thing to be done was to replace the timing chain, guides and tensioner as these are a known weak spot of the 1.6 engine in these. Next up, we go her racing stripes from BMW and Gayle and me fitted them ourselves. We were quite proud, managed to get them bob on straight both sides!

    DSCF0809Carly Cooper bonnet stripes fittedFuture_classic_cars_mini_cooper.jpgDSCF0820Carly Cooper bonnet stripes fittedFuture_classic_cars_mini_cooper.jpg


    Next up, decided to beef up her rump! Was originally looking for a MINI Cooper S rear spoiler, but found a rare "Aero spoiler" which are hard to come by so bought that and fitted it. Luckily, it was already in the same colour as her roof, so bolted straight on.

    Nice bit of kit, and went well with the black/sparkling silver theme.

    20170129_180113Carly Cooper march 2017Future_classic_cars_mini_cooper.jpg

    20170129_180205Carly Cooper march 2017Future_classic_cars_mini_cooper.jpg

    20170305_163402Carly Cooper march 2017Future_classic_cars_mini_cooper.jpg


    One thing I really didn't like were the 15 inch alloys that came standard on her. Really wanted a set of Cade alloys same as i have on the civic Aerodeck, so after a bit of searching eventually find a nice set of 17's which had the spokes in black (which is what I was going to paint them) and polished rims. Not Cades but ZCW alloys, which look almost identical. Got them 2nd hand for the bargain price of £100!

    Had to get special wheel nuts for them as the standards were too short, so got tuner spec ones which fitted a treat. Think the wheels really changed the look of her and go so well with the black/chrome that's on her.





    A quick shot of the interior



    Next up, decided I didn't want to get stranded with a puncture (previous escapade on a club run in my typeR prompted this!) so searched again and found the full space saver wheel fitment kit (including the wheel). Bit of a faff to fit but got it done and don't have to worry now If we get a puncture (although where we put the wheels that comes off is a different story!)



    Future plan is to fit the Pure DAB kit to her (identical to the Alpine kit) so I can have USB/DAB/Aux inputs etc. Looking at possibly an induction kit and if the exhaust ever goes, that'll be replaced with a stainless steel one. No plans to lower this as it's my daily.




    Follow Carly's progress in the Members Cars area of the forum.

    Edited by Dave

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    So I've gone and done it. Sold Carly tonight cry.gif1 Know there aren't many here who rate/like the MINI, but I can honestly say, hand on heart she was one of the best cars I've ever owned. Didn't want to sell here, but I'm  thread for various reasons I'm having to cut back on my collection of cars due to trying to find a new house in the country. We can't find one that can house all my cars so I'm having to sell off Carly, and possibly Mindy my mk1 mx5. DD (my Honda Civic Aerodeck and the car I love the most) has now been put into service full time as my daily car for now. Plan is (Hopefully) I'll buy a newer MX5 as a daily runner (with folding har top)with the money I get from selling Carly and Mindy and then DD will then return to snooze in a garage of which I don't actually know what type of garage it will be!

    If plans change, I may keep Mindy and just use DD as the permanent daily, although I really don't want to drive her all year round.


    Can't believe wee Carly Cooper is gone (sold to a guy at my work for his wife). As a daily she was perfect, cheap to tax, cheap to insure, great on fuel, mega fun to drive with enough power to have a blast. And dare I say it, the absolute best handling car I've ever driven. Driving home from work today for the last time (I always come home on the back roads which are great fun!) I really thought to myself why the hell am I selling this!!! Then leaving her at my workmates and going home was really hard. Can't believe I've worked up a similar relationship with her that I had with Ruby. Got DD all ready for her daily duties, but just know I'm gonna miss Carly so much.


    So, time to bring her thread to a close....... bye bye Carly, love ya and miss ya x

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    Sad to learn Carly has left your stable Dave 😲

    I've never been an original Mini lover but I do like the BMW Mini's excepting the Cooper-S (it's too choppy and uncomfortable at low speed).....tis an age thing...lol

    I recently tried out a Mini Cooper and the Cooper-S.....loved the Cooper but disliked the bone shaker S.

    Next time you raise a glass of Scotland's finest....think how Carly enriched your life.

    Bye Carly



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    Yes Cooper is deffo the best of all worlds, ride, handling, just enough power to have fun but still be cheap as chips to run.

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