Mazda Eunos Road­ster

It’s a race against the clock for the Eunos’s MoT – has it earned an­other year’s ticket?

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

’Var­i­ous peo­ple pried around its un­der­sides and stuck things up its bot­tom’


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.

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