Wakey-wakey, Mazda!

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Living With Classics - DAVID SIMIS­TER ED­I­TOR


The Mazda is en­joy­ing its re­cu­per­a­tive stay at the Nick Larkin Rest Home for Poorly Clas­sics in the Cam­bridgeshire fens, await­ing some long over­due TLC. In the mean­time it’s trad­ing tales with the in­creas­ingly odd se­lec­tion of clas­sic house­mates that re­side there.

Its near­est and dear­est is our ed­i­torat-large’s 1964 Rover 2000, which looks like it was last washed when Tony Blair was at Num­ber 10 and has picked up a sus­pi­cious-look­ing dent on its off­side front wing. There’s also his 1963 Rover P4, which still wears the scuffs and scratches from an eter­nity of Our Clas­sics ad­ven­tures, in­clud­ing one of­fice out­ing years ago when I re­call it leav­ing a trail of leaked flu­ids over Rut­land.

Then there’s the John Deere trac­tor the site’s farmer owner has parked up nearby, and all the buses Nick has plans to move in with our as­sorted clas­sics. I can just imag­ine the con­ver­sa­tions they all have once the shut­ters go down.

But H521 NRX might have to face the win­ter weather again rather sooner than I ex­pected, be­cause I rather fool­ishly ar­ranged an­other CCW ad­ven­ture with­out re­al­is­ing that the Mazda, with its er­rant electrics and freshly ex­pired MoT, was the only can­di­date for the trip. With both the MGB GT and Range Rover up north be­ing fet­tled, it’s a race against the clock to get the Mazda run­ning again.

The first job is go­ing to be fit­ting the fresh bat­tery that’s on or­der – and this time I’m look­ing to fit an iso­la­tor switch, a com­mon add-on among MX-5 own­ers who run their cars in dry weather and keep them tucked away the rest of the time. Hope­fully this will mean that the sight of it be­ing res­cued by a beige Rover 75 ( CCW, 1 Fe­bru­ary) won’t be hap­pen­ing again any time soon. I’m also look­ing to treat it to a fresh set of rub­ber, change the trans­mis­sion fluid on its three-speed auto and give its un­der­pin­nings a good help­ing of rust­proof­ing.

So it’s go­ing to be an expensive few weeks be­fore H521 NRX checks out of Nick’s au­to­mo­tive rest home – but it’s go­ing to be worth it when spring fi­nally ar­rives. Look­ing for­ward to it!

Nick Larkin looks long­ingly at the dent­free Mazda. Swap?

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