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Thread: MX5 on a budget (below £3k)

  1. #1

    MX5 on a budget (below £3k)

    I fancy a motorized toy, my heart says a motorbike but my wife and body/mind say no so looking at a car to play with and enjoy.

    For starters could I get a decent motor under £3k ? (got to sell a few watches :) ) if so what do I need to look for ? even though a convertible would be nice I think I would prefer a hard top.

    What year and model would I be best looking for.

    Is the MX5 a reasonably trouble free car and not a money pit.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Master
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    Youíll get a TT for that.

    Jim

  3. #3
    Master
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    Mk2 RUST

    Might get a mk3 for £3K

  4. #4
    Master
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    £3K will get you a half decent Mk1.
    Not much thatíll provide the same thrills for the money.

  5. #5
    Lol 3K, rusty shed John.

  6. #6
    Journeyman Hattori Hanzo's Avatar
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    3k is a healthy little budget for an MX5. Sold mine last year for that.

    MK 2.5
    Arches had been fully rewelded
    Soft top and came with a hard top for winter.
    66k with full service history
    Sold for 2.8k


    The 2.5 are the best of the bunch for me. Mk3 onwards start to get a bit fat and round and miss the point of what the MX5 is supposed to be.

    Just watch for rusting around the arches and sills, they're notorious for going there.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmcb View Post
    Youíll get a TT for that.

    Jim
    Thanks I hadent considered a TT as I thought they would be way out of budget and do like the look of them.

    I am not a car guy as such, I just like a car thats decent and reliable and does what I need it to do but know next to nothing about them and to be honest don't really want to know, as long as it runs well and is safe.

    But I suppose I should try a do a little research on the TT.

    When the first TTs came out I thought they looked ugly but over time the look grew on me and I do like them.

    Any TT recommendation ? thanks.

  8. #8
    I've had 4 Mk1 MX5s going all the way back to when they were launched and although I love them to bits you really do need to look out for rust problems. Great, cheap fun though if you can find a decent one! Does it have to be a 2 seater? Or even a convertible?

  9. #9
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmcb View Post
    Youíll get a TT for that.

    Jim
    If you donít want a sports car!


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  10. #10
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hattori Hanzo View Post
    3k is a healthy little budget for an MX5. Sold mine last year
    What was the name of this limited edition?

    My wife had the same years ago & we always loved the seat colour. Paint used to look amazing when polished up like yours.


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  11. #11
    Journeyman Hattori Hanzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mj2k View Post
    What was the name of this limited edition?

    My wife had the same years ago & we always loved the seat colour. Paint used to look amazing when polished up like yours.


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    It's a Phoenix edition. They've done lots of nice editions over the years.

  12. #12
    Master yumma's Avatar
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    When I sold my motorbikes I bought a mk2.5 MX5 1.8 VT Sport. It was superb. I run it for 9 years. I undersealed it myself and regularly cleared the drainage holes for the hood. Other than yearly servicing, new tyres, new battery and a refurbishment of the alloy wheels it didnít cause any trouble at all. It was a superb car and the most reliable car I have owned.

    For driving pleasure; the VT Sport comes with LSD, the only thing I have driven which is more engaging was a Lotus Elise or the current ND MX5 that I bought to replace my old MX5.

    They are superb. I sold mine for £2k and it was still in brilliant condition with no rust and still very low mileage. It had developed a little leak from the hood which was its only fault.

    Buy a good one and you will not regret it.




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  13. #13
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hattori Hanzo View Post
    It's a Phoenix edition. They've done lots of nice editions over the years.
    Thatís the one!

    My brother in law bought a snotter mk2 for £800 recently, did it up with his neighbour, sorted all the mechanicals and paint. Now doing the NC500 in it - made it to Scotland already.

    More skill than I have, but if you are handy, lots of things can be sorted very cheaply.


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  14. #14
    Craftsman
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    An mx5 for 3k is doable
    They're easy to work on and parts are relatively cheap..
    The only issue is RUST RUST AND MORE RUST!!!
    most cars will have been bodged at some point, do your research and look in the problem areas before you buy.
    You won't regret buying a good one and they are really fun to drive.

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  15. #15
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmcb View Post
    Youíll get a TT for that.

    Jim
    Good cars. Good all-rounder. But terrible as a toy. Joyless.

    I went though a similar process several years ago. Spoke to a couple of motoring journalists, and there was a clear consensus.

    It was one of the best cars I've owned from a purely fun perspective. I'm firmly in the Chris Harris camp where the mx5 is concerned.

  16. #16
    Master
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    I bought a TT V6 after Christmas for not much more than that I couldnít get comfy in an mx5 and having the tiny back seats of the TT means I can on occasion pick my kids up from school without having to go home and swap cars. Itís not a sports car but itís good fun on the country lanes and semi practical that I never feel caught out in a 2 seater which has happened to me years back with a mk2 Mr2 buying a bbq on impulse forgetting which car I was in lol.

  17. #17
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenVrs View Post
    Good cars. Good all-rounder. But terrible as a toy. Joyless.

    I went though a similar process several years ago. Spoke to a couple of motoring journalists, and there was a clear consensus.

    It was one of the best cars I've owned from a purely fun perspective. I'm firmly in the Chris Harris camp where the mx5 is concerned.
    Loads of fun for very little money

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bootneck View Post
    I bought a TT V6 after Christmas for not much more than that I couldnít get comfy in an mx5 and having the tiny back seats of the TT means I can on occasion pick my kids up from school without having to go home and swap cars. Itís not a sports car but itís good fun on the country lanes and semi practical that I never feel caught out in a 2 seater which has happened to me years back with a mk2 Mr2 buying a bbq on impulse forgetting which car I was in lol.
    MK2 or MK1 TT? We had an early MK1, before they realised the slight handling issues. It was a real shame they had to dull it down (understandable given that they were throwing people off the road).

  19. #19
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenVrs View Post
    MK2 or MK1 TT? We had an early MK1, before they realised the slight handling issues. It was a real shame they had to dull it down (understandable given that they were throwing people off the road).
    Mk1 mate classic imo design wise, the handling isnít too bad itís not pin point like some other cars Iíve driven but itís certainly enough fun for not a lot of money added to the v6 noise Ive been really pleased with it. Parts are cheap servicing simple enough hard to fault really, touch wood aside from a service and replacing a number plate light itís been brilliant using it 2-3 days a week at the moment.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerUK View Post
    Thanks I hadent considered a TT as I thought they would be way out of budget and do like the look of them.

    I am not a car guy as such, I just like a car thats decent and reliable and does what I need it to do but know next to nothing about them and to be honest don't really want to know, as long as it runs well and is safe.

    But I suppose I should try a do a little research on the TT.

    When the first TTs came out I thought they looked ugly but over time the look grew on me and I do like them.

    Any TT recommendation ? thanks.
    Buy a TT 225 bhp - donít worry too much about miles as long as cam belt a d water pump have been done, or factor that into the haggle

    Good signs are if the pic rod on the dash al read properly or has had it fixed - says the owner gives a toss

    Iíd avoid the smaller 180bhp as donít sell so well

    Rust? News to me and Iíve had 4
    £3000 will get you something that will put a smile on your face

    Youíll pay a little less for the rag top - if you find one with ďbaseball leatherĒ (looks like a baseball glove stitching) - theyíre worth extra

    Tyres - each axel should match as itís a Quattro

    Other than that - check the old mot history on the gov website - hpi or equivalent check - youíll always resell fairly well - they are becoming sought after in I messed with condition


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  21. #21
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerUK View Post
    Thanks I hadent considered a TT as I thought they would be way out of budget and do like the look of them.

    I am not a car guy as such, I just like a car thats decent and reliable and does what I need it to do but know next to nothing about them and to be honest don't really want to know, as long as it runs well and is safe.

    But I suppose I should try a do a little research on the TT.

    When the first TTs came out I thought they looked ugly but over time the look grew on me and I do like them.

    Any TT recommendation ? thanks.
    I would drive a tt, and an mx5 or MR2 for comparison. As a drivers car, they really are on a different planet. The MK4 golf chassis that the MK1 TT is based on, is a bit of a pig.

    But, not everyone wants a drivers car and the compromises they bring. As a daily, a TT would work for someone that wants to cruise.

    As a weekend toy? Not for me. Fastish, good looking, great interior. But dull to drive. If you want something that's more a daily than a weekend toy, an E46 330 is far more entertaining. And there's several hot hatches within budget.

  22. #22
    Grand Master Foxy100's Avatar
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    Do not buy a Mk2 (NB) MX-5. The chassis rusts where it goes into the engine bay, something I think to do with crash protection rules changing and the chassis rails having to be double skinned when they weren't designed to be. The rails there rust from the inside out and it's either an MOT failure or likely a couple of grand of work to replace the metal with some that won't rust. The Mk2 is also targeted for catalytic converters.

    You can get a very good Mk1 for £3k, have a look on here (they're a friendly bunch too): https://www.mx5nutz.com/forum/index.php?act=idx

    And ignore what Chris Harris says, he's a miserable old fart and when it comes to MX-5s, wrong.
    "A man of little significance"

  23. #23
    Thanks for all the above, having now spent quite a few hours reading, researching and looking at photo', specs etc I am reminded why I am not a car guy, its so confusing and a pain in the rear.

    I am now tempted to take my wifes advice, forget the car and either buy an electric bike or a watch :)

    Thanks again I think the "urge" is now out of my system.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerUK View Post
    Thanks for all the above, having now spent quite a few hours reading, researching and looking at photo', specs etc I am reminded why I am not a car guy, its so confusing and a pain in the rear.

    I am now tempted to take my wifes advice, forget the car and either buy an electric bike or a watch :)

    Thanks again I think the "urge" is now out of my system.
    I get that, buying a MK1 or 2 is all about rust and finding a good one is getting harder particularly unmolested Mk1s.

    Mk3s or NC aren't as sought after bit the revised NC called the NC2 or 3.5 is gaining in popularity and as such proces have shot up this year. Dealers asking silly money .

    You can get a low mile 2012 for 3 to 4k, most are Sport versions, with lowered springs and leather and Bose etc. The 2.Oltrs have the LSD

    Thing is they are a bit of a shock if you are used to modern sound deadened quiet cars, they are rattly little sporty cars and great fun, not so much for your passenger though .

    Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk

  25. #25
    Compared to an MX5 or the Toyota the TT is a barge, We had an MX5 mk3.5, it was a good car, I know a couple of people who love their MR2's both had them supercharged, which seems to be a common thing.

  26. #26
    TT different proposition altogether, maybe suit people who like a few more creature comforts , security of fwd and less rattles

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  27. #27
    Whats your thoughts on a 1977 Triumph Spitfire, 100% rust free (none) yellow, way over budget.

  28. #28
    Master reggie747's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerUK View Post
    Whats your thoughts on a 1977 Triumph Spitfire, 100% rust free (none) yellow, way over budget.
    My thoughts are......how long would it take to start rusting ?

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by reggie747 View Post
    My thoughts are......how long would it take to start rusting ?
    Don't know but if it hasent rusted in 44 years why should it start now ? (serious question).

  30. #30
    Master reggie747's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerUK View Post
    Don't know but if it hasent rusted in 44 years why should it start now ? (serious question).
    Fair comment but unless it's had an aluminium body tacked onto it, they were renowned for major tin worm issues.

  31. #31
    Master
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    Definitely the MR2 Roadster, cheap as chips, loads of parts available, had one for 15 years now.

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  32. #32
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerUK View Post
    Don't know but if it hasent rusted in 44 years why should it start now ? (serious question).
    If itís rust free itís most likely recently re-built or has been dry stored and only used in the dry, if you plan to do the same it might just stay rust free. But then again...

  33. #33
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerUK View Post
    Whats your thoughts on a 1977 Triumph Spitfire, 100% rust free (none) yellow, way over budget.
    If as you say you're not a car guy, I'd avoid something even older. You'll be forever getting someone to do jobs which with a little bit of knowledge you could do yourself.

    Also, IME those who have a lot of knowledge are less worried about driving something older as they can recognise any strange sounds the car makes and decide whether it's something inconsequential or terminal.

  34. #34
    My MX5 is only 11yrs old and I'm spending 1k I'm having it undersealed

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  35. #35
    Apprentice
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    Some years ago my wife wanted a car with pop up headlights, either an MR5 or a MX2. After I had explained that one was a MX5 and one was a MR2, I eventually found her a very nice Mazda Eunos (MX5) direct from Japan. It had a few extras compared to the MX5 and was a hoot to drive throughout our ownership. Fault free apart from arriving with a cracked washer bottle, which the dealer quickly replaced. I'd highly recommend one.

  36. #36
    MX5s being priced very keenly by dealers this year and if you can find a rust free MK1 then expect to pay serious money

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