NEW­TON COM­MER­CIAL

Total MX-5 - - NEWS -

Out and about near the Suf­folk coast re­cently, we took the time to stop in at New­ton Com­mer­cial. Though it sounds a bit like a haulage firm, in fact it’s one of the coun­try’s lead­ing mak­ers of trim for the clas­sic car mar­ket. In­clud­ing, in more re­cent times, the mk1 and mk2 Mazda MX-5.

Ac­cord­ing to man­ag­ing direc­tor, Jonny New­ton, it was de­mand from mem­bers of the east­ern re­gion of the MX-5 Own­ers Club that in­spired the com­pany to look be­yond its tra­di­tional mar­ket of pri­mar­ily clas­sic Bri­tish cars, in­clud­ing the Mor­ris Mi­nor, Mini, and as­sorted MGS, Fords, Lo­tuses and more. ‘We did a great deal of re­search,’ ex­plains Jonny, ‘and then de­cided to de­velop all of the MX-5’S trim, ex­cept for the seats. The seat up­hol­stery is tricky, but we will re­visit it.’

Jonny took us to watch moulded car­pet sets for the MX-5 (which in­clude the boot and are made for both righ­tand left-hand drive cars, in a small se­lec­tion of dif­fer­ent colours) be­ing made us­ing heat, pres­sure, and a good deal of old-fash­ioned crafts­man­ship. New­ton makes door cards, too, and also a natty car­peted spare wheel cover.

New­ton’s Leis­ton-based fac­tory is much larger than we were ex­pect­ing and mixes tra­di­tional man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­niques – lots of sewing ma­chines and plenty of big scis­sors – with the very lat­est com­puter-con­trolled cut­ting ta­bles. And while the choice of fab­rics and colours can some­times stray from stan­dard spec­i­fi­ca­tion, New­ton’s pat­terns are all taken from each car’s orig­i­nals. Tra­di­tional con­struc­tion meth­ods are also used to recre­ate, say, com­plete MG Mid­get seats: New­ton now makes its own seats for VW campers and a low-vol­ume sports car: we think that the lat­ter – a fixed-back bucket – would work well in an MX-5.

Mx-5parts and Moss now stock New­ton’s MX-5 line, and you can buy items di­rect from the fac­tory, too. Hav­ing wit­nessed the qual­ity, we may soon be shop­ping there.

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