'Jester' : mk1 Eunos Roadster 1.6i - 1999 - 2001
'Jester II' : mk1 Eunos
Roadster VR Limited Combination A - 2001 - 2005
'Tic Tac' : 2005 >
Friday 11th November 2005 I became the
very proud owner of a MX-5 2.0 Sport in Winning
Blue, with Eibach Lowered Suspension and Winning
Blue dash panel.
I collected it on Friday 11th November and have now
covered about 650 thoroughly enjoyable miles.
There's a couple of tiny niggles I could go into,
but they're tiny niggles and don't detract from the
fact that this really is a superb car. Kind of an
evolved mk1 in my opinion (drove a mk2 and didn’t
like it, so this is miles better). If you’ve not
spent any time with a mk3 in the flesh, or driven
one for any length of time, then all I can say is do
so, it is much better for having spent time with.
So the story of my
For those of you that
don’t know me from the UK national MX-5 email list
I've had MX-5's for 6 years now, since November 1999
in fact. I had a red 1990 mk1 Roadster from November
1999 to July 2001, then a 1996 mk1 1.8 VR Limited
till late September 2005 (that’s right I’ve been
without an MX-5 for almost 2 months!!!) so you could
call me a bit of a mk1 die hard fan. Could never
imagine not having a Roadster.
I was very much
looking forward to the launch of the mk3. Not
necessarily in the hope that it might be a
replacement for my much-loved mk1 as I wasn’t
seriously considering a change. Just interested in
how the car would evolve. Even when the mk3/NC was
launched I can honestly say it wasn’t love at first
sight - certainly when having only seen it in
photo’s (which is why the comment above stresses to
spend time with one in the flesh).
So the car was
launched way back in August and I’ve tentatively
lurked on the mk3 section of the
Miata list seeing opinions, reviews and
everything else I could digest about the new car. I
watched the live launch from the Geneva motorshow
and read every review the car magazines published.
99% of the reviews liked it. OK lots said its still
girly, its still too slow, its not a mk1 any more
blah blah blah but overall opinion was very good.
Then the clincher - I
get an email from my bank saying they’ve already
approved a preferential rate for a loan. So I did a
bit of loan hunting, just with the possible prospect
of a change. Turns out I could just about afford to
borrow enough to get me a new car, depending on how
much I got for my current car.
So having established
the loan was pretty much sorted I began looking more
seriously. I had seen the us cars were available in
a colour known as
Copper Red. This colour was as near as I could
get to my existing
Art Vin Rouge VR Ltd. I
wasn’t sure if the colour was available in the UK,
and at least two dealerships told me it wasn’t.
JCT 600 Wakefield, said, "Yes" if you want that
colour, you can have it, a 2.0 Sport with black hood
and black leather". Oh my god, I could have a Copper
Red 2.0 MX-5 - just needed to commit and make the
decision. I was excited at the prospect of having a
pretty rare Copper Red car. Most people didn’t seem
aware that this colour could be ordered in the UK,
and knowing how I like to be a one off I very nearly
signed on the dotted line…..very nearly....
That was until I
got someone in the US to email me
some photo’s of his Copper Red mk3. Now my Art
Vin Rouge car looks brilliant in full sunshine,
however on overcast and grey days it can look a
totally different animal. The previous link shows
the car in sun, shade, and on a dull day. Again it
was three different cars. The full sun one looked
fabulous a real copper orangey red colour and how
I’d hoped it would look. The shade and dull day
photos he sent totally ruined it for me...back to
the drawing board.
So that threw my plan
into disarray. I then considered the Launch Edition
car. I liked the red seats, and sort of liked the
red paint. But decided after going to see an RX-8 in
Velocity red, that again its great on a sunny day
when you’re stood a foot away from the car. It’s a
stunning colour. Some fantastic shades in the
metallic flecks. However, if you walk a few steps
away, even on a sunny day, it just looks like flat
red. That combined with the awful chrome windscreen
surround (sorry an Launch Edition Owners reading
this) turned me off the Velocity Red.
I never thought
colour would be such an influence, but I knew if I
chose wrongly I’d spend every minute hating the
colour I’d chosen.
The decision process went on.
One day on the way
home from work I called in to see the local dealer
that I pass on my commute, he said they were getting
a mk3 in the next day. Superb! I could finally get
to see a mk3 in the flesh (this was September). So I
called round the next day and I was gutted to see no
car in the showroom. Spoke to the salesman and he
said it wouldn’t be ready till the next day.
Frustrated I set off to get back into my car and saw
the mk3 sat in the workshop ready to go into the
showroom! I peered through the frosted glass and the
salesman beckoned me in. The car was Winning Blue
1.8 with option pack. The colour and car combination
just looked fabulous. Even under the dim early
evening workshop light it sort of sparkled l like a
sort of electric blue. I got to sit in it and have a
play with the hood, look under the bonnet and in the
boot. I was sold. Even without driving it, I knew I
had to have it, in that colour.
That evening I rushed
home and arranged the loan with the bank, and next
day I was straight to my friendly dealer, JCT 600
Wakefield, and placed the order for my car. I paid
my deposit and left shaking with nerves over the
most expensive purchase I’ve ever made.
So over the next few
weeks I pestered the dealership for a delivery date.
They were a bit vague but told me it would be late
November, early December. Far too long as far as I
I then decided I
wanted it lowering as it sits way too high as
standard. A bit 4 x 4. The springs lower it about an
inch all round and make it look how it should look,
like a sports car. Check
out the modifications page for more info.
interior is great, a vast improvement over the mk1
in terms of quality - but to me just seemed a bit
too dark. A bit too much black going on. So I
winning blue dash panel
too. I also ordered some
luxury carpet mats.
I was going to order mud flaps, but they wanted £318
for 4 – whereas they’re half that price INCLUDING
delivery to have them sent from the US.
So that's in the pipeline as we speak.
So the spec was
sorted, and now I had to wait. While all this was
going I had to sell my current MX-5, and in order to
do that I had to buy a replacement run-around till
the new car arrived. I found a 1991 VW Golf via ebay
and bought it for the princely sum of £255! I
collected the Golf on the Sunday, advertised the old
MX-5 on the Monday and it had been sold by Tuesday!
I advertised it at work on our intranet and a guy
came along to look at it and offered my £4700 for it
(I had it advertised for £5000). I know this sounds
a lot for a 1996 mk1, but it was in great condition
and quite rare being a VR Ltd. The guy that came to
see it had a black Roadster already, and knew what
the VR Ltd was, he’d always wanted one in this
colour so snapped at the opportunity to own a good
A week later and the
MX-5 went, I was extremely sad to see it go. But
equally really happy that it had gone to a local
couple who were as passionate about their MX-5s as I
So I waited, and
waited, and waited. Knowing it was coming anytime
soon and that I was not able to blab to anyone in
the club that I was getting it was extremely hard. I
had to avoid going to any of the club events
throughout the end of September and all of October,
yet still maintained my presence on the email lists
and signed my emails with my usual signature.
My final indulgence
in getting a new car was to invest in a new private
registration. I already had one on the current MX-5;
‘PAZ 3293’ and everyone has known me as having this
plate. I use it for my email address, ebay ID and
other things, so it seemed a shame to lose it. But I
had the opportunity to get a reg that I considered
to be that bit special. So, I have now the
1 OFF”. I bought the plate direct from the DVLA,
and was quite surprised that no-one had already
Once I had the plates
made up I took the documentation and the plates down
to the dealership ready for the car’s arrival. Then,
amazing news, the car was coming early! It had a due
date of the end of October, a whole month early. I
was so excited. Sadly though, it didn’t arrive in
late October and finally arrived Friday 4th
November. I shot down to the dealership as soon as I
knew it was there, just so I could take a look at
it, and see it finally, in the flesh (before getting
its suspension lowered and the dash panel fitted).
So a week later, the
car was ready. It had all the mods done and a Pre
Delivery Inspection and the reg plate all sorted.
I had to do was collect the car. I even managed to
keep the imminent arrival secret from my partner and
my family. I managed to get to the dealership
without the Golf and brought the car home to
surprise everyone. I was greeted with various
expletives that I can't repeat here. Everyone loves
it. I also surprised the local club members on a
now everyone knows I can chill out and enjoy the