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3 May 2014

Mazda MX-5 VS

Mazda MX-5

The summer is here, let's have fun

Text: David Murphy
Photos:ReinisB Photography

When Dave decided that it was ultimately time to re-scratch the 'MX5 itch' that he had been feeling for about the last three months of his RX8 ownership he knew it was time to send the rotary up the road. He was presently surprised when his example of Mazda's last mass produced rotary sold relating easily, but at the same time he was left with every Autolifers' nightmare... No car!

After a few months of searching local and mainland forums and spending endless hours browsing car sales sites he headed off with a pocket full of Euros down south, and brought home his latest project; a 1998 MK2 Eunos Roadster VS. Dave had previously owned an immaculate mk1 roadster and had decided early on that he wanted to try the revised shape and younger model of the mk2 rather than to return to the mk1 shape, as much as the thought of pop up lights tempted him, he knew he wanted to try something different.
A lot of members of owners clubs will argue that the mk1 mx5 (the original shape) is still the purest drivers car, best handling car and the 'proper' mx5... Dave has now owned both and has a very different opinion. The MX5 Dave bought was one of the few 'limited editions' that Mazda actually made that carried any significant structural, mechanical and performance differences. The Eunos Roadster VS was a run of 350 (in their respective colours) and shared the same mechanical differences to the rest of the mk2 line as the MK2 RS Edition. The VS and RS came with uprated cams, changed ratio diff, uprated ecu (increased redline to 7.5k), lightened flywheel, 6 speed box and heavily uprated undercar stiffening and bracing. 
The VS & RS models differ only in interior colour, the RS came with a subtle black on black, and the VS came with a more unusual tanned interior. Dave is quickly hoarding together parts for a full interior change as he prefers the subtle look over the tanned. Although the VS came out of the factory with a decent advantage over the standard MK2 MX5 that hasn't stopped Dave (and it's previous Japanese owners) adding some nice mechanical and ascetically pleasing touches to the car of their own.
The car was treated to Mazdaspeed coilovers and skirts, some ultra rare SSR Lightweight wheels and the rear spoiler was also changed whilst in Japan. And since taking ownership Dave has added a TR Lane Roll cage, OMP wheel, harness bar, spacers, alloy shifter, handbrake and a front aero lip. His future plans are as mentioned already, to change out the interior, and add the rally seats that are currently being retrimmed with the safety harnesses also. Mechanically the car has been treated to a full fluid, seal, belt and gasket service.
Although the car looked as if it had been sympathetically treated in its past Dave wanted to take no chances. His long term plans are a few trackdays and to enjoy this cars go kart like handling. With every sunny day the roof is dropped, the engine started and the horizon chased. For a relatively small outlay Dave has the perfect summer car in his drive, and after secretly always regretting selling his first MK1 Roadster, he guarantees this is one MX5 that will not be up for sale anytime soon.

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