If you’re like me you’ll sometimes look back at the early days of your interest in cars – maybe its a facebook memory coming up on your feed or you get carried away looking for an old photo and end up taking trip down memory lane and flicking through your old posts, getting lost in the depths of embarrassing early teenage years and forgetting what you started looking for in the first place.
I’ve often been reminded of the first car that really sparked off my addiction to modifying cars. It was a MK1 MX5 that I bought when I’d sold my E46 320d after completing one open diff lap of a roundabout and deciding I needed something less expensive to fix. A decent E46 still fetched a fair price back then compared to now.
With limited knowledge and even more limited patience I picked up the second MX5 I went to look at. I remember viewing a much better condition MK1 earlier in the day but stupidly opted for the second one because it was ‘already modified’. Of course now I know that more likely means you’ll have to un-modify a car before you can start making it your own.
Here it is: Goldie Lookin Chain
The car came with TA Teknix (however you spell it) ebay budget coilovers, OZ Route Alloy wheels which I still have to this day, a bunch of absolutely butchered wiring and a weird rare number plate cover that kept falling off.
I soon acquired a second MX5 that came with Rokkor coilovers (EBAY AF), A hard-top and some Rota RB’s which I was super proud of at the time.
The car also came with a blown engine and a turbo kit which actually turned out to be more like half a turbo kit. It was enough to get me started on doing a turbo conversion on the black MX5 that I had been enjoying. I say enjoying but really it was more like learning how to re-wire all the lights bit by bit as it had all been butchered for some unknown reason.
Given that I had limited mechanics experience back then it would only make sense to undergo a job such as forced induction. Naturally…
After a lot of wasted money on a low wage and even lower budget the car actually came out ok. It never ran for long without something going wrong and I refused to accept that it was down to my own failings.
That said, this car firmly cemented my love for MX5’s. MK1’s in particular – The simplicity and low running costs makes them a perfect car to learn to do your own mechanics work. To anyone that enjoys the parts I supply via destroyordie.com – you can thank this car for starting me on that path!
I took the term ‘dildo’ gear shifter quite literally. There’s a funny story as to how I acquired this but that’s for another time. (No it wasn’t used)
After finally completing the initial turbo conversion I had an amazing summer blasting around in it and making some truly awesome memories – despite the engine eventually dying due to my own incompetence. I then spent far too long re-doing it only slightly better to have a stupid mistake write off another engine. Nowadays I’d just pick up another engine for cheap and go again but I’d had enough at that point and parted the car out in a strop. Never to see the road again.
Once my resentment had passed I realised I should’ve just shut it away in the garage and focused on other things until I was ready to pick up where I left off. The shell had been scrapped though and a lot of the parts sold off to make way for a new car but I knew I’d build one again some day. I still had a few parts lying around that are now being utilised in the current turbo conversion. These utterly normal basic parts like the intercooler and water gauge have sentimental value because of their history with my first MX5, so I’m glad I can make them part of the new build.
Part 2 of this story coming soon. Maybe…