Mazda Eunos Roadster
It’s a race against the clock for the Eunos’s MoT – has it earned another year’s ticket?
’Various people pried around its undersides and stuck things up its bottom’
1990 MAZDA EUNOS ROADSTER
No amount of coffee, old car magazines with frayed covers or flatscreen TVs beaming cheery BBC Breakfast presenters and their primary-coloured sofas was going to distract me.
Even having an endless source of classic car Facebook chatter on my smartphone’s screen was failing to keep the stress levels down. An MoT tester was expecting my Mazda in for its annual test in less than five minutes’ time – but it was currently in the air in a completely different workshop, minus two of its wheels.
I’d always known that it was going to be tight. Having realised that I’d arranged an Our Classics adventure involving H521 NRX, I had to make sure that it picked up a fresh MoT. But that also meant sorting its poorly battery and ordering a fresh set of tyres.
Sourcing the requisite rubber was the easy bit. The Mazda’s been wearing Dunlop BluResponses for the past three years, but rather than skimp on a set of replacements I stumped up for a set of Yokohamas. One of the old Minis I had a couple of years ago handled and stopped beautifully on them, so I’m looking forward to finding out what they’ll do for the Mazda’s handling and razor-sharp steering. But the only day available for getting them fitted was the same morning as the MoT itself, so I booked it in to have all four boots swapped and a new battery fitted. One quick jump-start from my Toyota Avensis-shaped automotive defibrillator later and the Mazda was revving eagerly and on its way to the first of two workshops. The battery went on without a hitch and solved the poor starting issue instantly – but the Eunos was still sitting there sans wheels after more than an hour, looking rather sorry for itself. Rather nervously I pondered whether it would end up missing its MoT slot altogether, but the last of the fresh tyres went on just in the nick of time, leaving me to hurriedly stump up for the damage and race off to the MoT station in a flurry of wheelspin.
I nosed the Mazda’s pointy snout in to Ellingworth’s Garage in deepest Peterborough with literally minutes to spare and headed straight into the inspection area. It wasn’t the only
CCW patient checked in that morning; Nick Larkin’s Hillman Minx was there too, and I distracted myself from the inevitable MoT-related tension by checking out its rather crusty wheelarches and faded paintwork.
But after what felt like an eternity the Mazda was lowered from the fourpost ramp, fired up and backed out of the garage. After watching various people prying around the Eunos’ undersides and sticking things up its bottom, the results were in.
The bad news was that it had failed. The good news was that it had only failed on two relatively minor faults – a split rubber suspension boot and an insecure nearside headlight unit. I ended up leaving the car with the garage’s team of car saviours, and it emerged two days later sounding healthier than ever, proudly carrying a freshly-printed MoT certificate.
Right on cue the sun emerged from behind the clouds for what felt like the first time in six months, but I have to admit that the roof stayed up. It was a freezing morning and I wasn’t wearing the special big coat I keep especially for driving draughty old roadsters on CCW shoots. Or maybe I’m going a bit soft with age.
I’ll have to toughen up, though – those new tyres will need bedding in pretty soon, and I know just the place to do it…
other hidden issues are lurking… Mazda passes the brake tests, but The Mazda is reunited with its wheels with minutes to spare. But is it enough for a pass? The Eunos Roadster awaits its verdict. Simister paces nervously outside.