Mazda Eunos Road­ster

The edi­tor heads to North Wales for some driv­ing fun – but the Mazda isn’t be­hav­ing

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

1990 MAZDA EUNOS ROAD­STER

The news crack­ling over the walkie-talkie head­set from Mod­ern Clas­sics man­ag­ing edi­tor, Nathan Chad­wick, was wor­ry­ing: ‘Erm, there’s some­thing hang­ing down at the back,’ he an­nounced from the van­tage point of his newly-ac­quired Alfa Romeo 147 GTA. ‘It’s def­i­nitely lower down than I re­mem­ber – I’m sure it wasn’t like that be­fore.’

I would have blithely dis­missed the up­date, but for the fact that he had friend – and fel­low Mazda devo­tee – Danny Mor­gan with him. I was start­ing to worry that NRX’s usu­ally unim­peach­able re­li­a­bil­ity had taken a knock, but it was still driv­ing nor­mally and wasn’t mak­ing any strange noises.

But what wor­ried me even more was the fact that we weren’t just down the road from CCW’s busy of­fices in Peter­bor­ough – we were scal­ing the sum­mit of the Llan­beris Pass, which snakes its

way across a par­tic­u­larly re­mote stretch of Snow­do­nia not ex­actly known for its pro­fu­sion of Mazda spe­cial­ists on ev­ery cor­ner. Oh, and it was the Easter Bank Hol­i­day week­end too, so even if there had been one, chances are it would have been closed any­way.

I pressed on to the near­est town, parked up, and hopped out to check the un­der­pin­nings, ex­pect­ing the worst. What I dis­cov­ered was… noth­ing.

It all looked and sounded fine, so the three of us de­cided to re­turn to the rea­son we were in this cor­ner of North Wales in the first place – driv­ing, and lots of it. Some of you might re­mem­ber that I or­gan­ised a run into Scot­land for my stag week­end last year, where my MGB GT was joined by a Mercedes-Benz 280E that Nathan had bor­rowed. Mr Chad­wick had re­turned the favour by putting to­gether an­other out­ing – and I reck­oned that the Eunos had a bet­ter chance of keep­ing up with 3.2 litres of Ital­ian hot hatch­ery.

I needn’t have wor­ried, be­cause a po­tent mix of in­clement con­di­tions and Bank Hol­i­day traf­fic kept the GTA in check, so I was more in­ter­ested in find­ing out about Danny’s Mazda. De­spite shar­ing my car’s Bri­tish Rac­ing Green paint, his R-plate NA is a UK-spec MX-5 – so it has a big­ger en­gine and a ri­fle­bolt five-speed man­ual gear­box, but cloth seats and wind-up win­dows com­pared to NRX’s tan leather, elec­tric win­dows and three-spoke Nardi steer­ing wheel. It makes you won­der why we Brits weren’t treated to the Eunos’ niceties when both were new.

Both were huge fun on North Wales’ won­der­ful roads – and we couldn’t re­sist ask­ing Nathan whether he’d be pop­ping the roof down on his GTA when­ever the sun came out! The Eunos felt com­pletely in its el­e­ment all the way from the Shrop­shire bor­der to Caernar­fon Cas­tle, and the quicker stretches of de­serted A-roads re­vealed that the re­cently fit­ted Yoko­hamas have en­dowed it with ex­tra grip when I need it and a lit­tle bit more in the way of com­mu­nica­tive, feel-good han­dling when I don’t. On the tight, twisty roads zig-zag­ging their way up Llan­dudno’s Great Orme, I be­gan to won­der why any­one would want any­thing else – the MX-5 in this, its ear­li­est, sharpest it­er­a­tion, is as ad­dic­tively edgy as any­thing Tri­umph or MG ever made – and it doesn’t break. Only… it does. No, the mys­te­ri­ous low-hang­ing com­po­nent didn’t re­turn, but the boot re­lease de­cided to stop work­ing. With no room to bring the sort of tools to fix it, I de­cided to ig­nore it un­til I reached Simister HQ in South­port, a two-hour drive away. The glitch wasn’t as big a worry as I’d thought – the but­ton in­side the cen­tre con­sole op­er­ates a tiny elec­tric mo­tor to un­lock the boot sans key, and my lug­gage had ob­vi­ously knocked out the wires con­nect­ing it all up at some point over the week­end.

It’s an easy fix – just un­clip the trim, lengthen the wire to pre­vent it hap­pen­ing again and then reat­tach to suit. Within ten min­utes the boot mech­a­nism was work­ing again.

I’m sure that Alfa GTA needs an­other run with­out the Bank Hol­i­day traf­fic hold­ing it up. Whad­dya reckon, Mr Chad­wick? Keep an eye out for Nathan’s Alfa Romeo 147 GTA in our sis­ter mag­a­zine, Mod­ern Clas­sics.

OWNED SINCE Jan­uary 2014 // MILEAGE SINCE LAST RE­PORT 1935 // TO­TAL MILEAGE 72,856 // LAT­EST COSTS None Edi­tor’s Eunos Road­ster (left) was joined by Danny Mor­gan’s Nathan Chad­wick’s po­tent Alfa UK-spec MX-5 and 147 GTA on the Easter out­ing in North Wales.

Simister tries – and fails – to mend the Mazda’s fritzed elec­tric boot re­lease.

Loose wires caused elec­tric bootlid re­lease mal­adies.

DAVID SIMISTER EDI­TOR

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