Iwas maybe half an hour away from having a drive of the BBR turbos you see on the cover of this issue of
Total MX-5. But then a phone call told of a family emergency that desperately required my presence at home.what I should do was a nobrainer, of course – get in my car and screech back – and yet there was a brief moment of internal, selfish struggle when I wondered if things were as bad as described…
Thing is, I really, really wanted a go in those BBR cars, because I remember fondly the MX-5 BBR Turbo from when it first came out back in 1990, and it was superb. The new Heritage Collection kits with their modern mapping and another 28 years of turbocharging development, promise to be even better, and that was a tempting prospect. By complete fluke, a friend of Total MX-5, Dan Trent, was dropping off his mk1 at BBR HQ at the very moment I was taking the phone from my ear – he immediately stepped into the breech, sparing me any further soul-searching, and bringing you some excellent first impressions of the Heritage Collection. You can read them on p34.
As Dan points out in his story, one of the interesting factors for motivating BBR to get back into the early MX-5 turbocharging game is the rising values of mk1s and clean examples of the mk2. Redeveloping and engineering the turbo kits to satisfy a far more sophisticated modern audience has not been cheap, and customers are unlikely to spend in excess of £5k with BBR if their car is worth a fifth of that.with high quality mk1s now often sailing past the £7k mark, owners are more willing to sink a little capital into their cars in the expectation of getting a reasonable chunk of it back again one day. And having the name of the original exponent of turbocharged MX-5S stuck to the cam cover should further give them the confidence to invest in making their car go – much – quicker.
Do you wave at other MX-5S? I don’t mean on the way to club meets or trackdays, just generally, out on the road, when you’re nipping down to Tesco and such. I’ve found it to be a bit hit and miss in terms of response from MX-5 drivers, much more so than when I’m in my VW bay window camper and every other Dubber gives a friendly hand gesture. Guess you have to blame the car’s popularity and, until recently, cheapness, meaning that plenty of non-enthusiasts own them merely as interesting transport. I’m not giving up, so if you see me waving, please wave back…
Brett Fraser, editor email@example.com