OUR CARS The To­tal MX-5 fleet

Here at To­tal MX-5 we’re MX-5 own­ers – frankly, why wouldn’t we be? So we share your own­er­ship plea­sure, and your (oc­ca­sional) pain. This is­sue we wel­come a V6-en­gined mk1 Rock­e­teer to our fleet of MX-5S

Total MX-5 - - CONTENTS -

A V6-en­gined Rock­e­teer joins the line-up, while fickle Ben­nett’s re­cently ac­quired mk2 makes way for a mk3


My friend Si­mon Wor­land isn’t given to im­pulse pur­chases

(writes John Simis­ter). But when he heard about the Rock­e­teer con­ver­sion and how it could make an MX-5 go like (and sound re­mark­ably like) a Porsche Boxster, he had an im­pulse suf­fi­ciently large to put down the first de­posit for Bruce Southey’s Jaguar Ajv6-based kit. That was be­fore any press re­ports of the re­sult had ap­peared, and be­fore Southey had even fin­ished de­vel­op­ing it.

Si­mon loves his MX-5. It’s a 1995 1.8 is, found via an MX-5 Own­ers’ Club ad in 2011. He paid what some re­garded as a high price, but he and I re­garded it as re­mark­able value for a car which had done just 10,400 miles and was prac­ti­cally like new. Then, far from hid­ing it away as a time-warp, he used it as his daily driver, en­joy­ing that nearly-new sen­sa­tion 15 years later than nor­mal.

Now it has over 50,000 miles on the odome­ter, is still in pris­tine con­di­tion – and it has just be­come the first cus­tomer Rock­e­teer to take to the road. Si­mon is a dab hand at car me­chan­ics, hav­ing re­stored a cou­ple of clas­sics and spend­ing a day ev­ery week at the work­shop of a re­storer friend, Adam Red­ding, as an an­ti­dote to the bank man­ager day job. Re-engi­neer­ing his MX-5 into a Porsche-wor­rier was ex­actly his sort of project.

The neat­ness, com­plete­ness and pre­ci­sion of the Rock­e­teer kit, and the way it has been ac­cu­rately de­signed on com­puter, sealed the deal. Si­mon’s de­posit went to Bruce Southey in De­cem­ber 2016, the idea be­ing that it would help fund the kit’s de­vel­op­ment.

On 23 Oc­to­ber 2017, Si­mon texted me: ‘Spoke to Bruce on Fri­day. A one square me­tre box on a pal­let will be head­ing my way early next week. Very much look­ing for­ward to open­ing it!’

I replied: ‘In­ter­est­ing that it’s a flat-pack. I’d feel hap­pier if it were a me­tre cubed… Have fun.’

A cu­bic-me­tre box duly ar­rived con­tain­ing ev­ery­thing apart from the ECU, as well as a clutch cover fin­ished in a shock­ing ma­genta.

The stan­dard of fin­ish was just de­li­cious, in­clud­ing that of the alu­minium sump whose in­tri­cate de­sign – and the poros­ity of early pro­to­type cast­ings – was one of the rea­sons for the project’s de­lay. All the steel parts were pow­der-coated, the nuts and bolts were stain­less steel, ev­ery clip, clamp and bolt was bagged, and de­tailed in­struc­tions re­vealed what went where.

In mid-novem­ber the en­gine was de­liv­ered, a new-old-stock ‘crate’ unit from Jaguar orig­i­nally in­tended for an S-type and promis­ing a use­ful 260bhp. That’s ex­actly twice the power of the Mazda 1.8, even though the en­gine weighs about the same thanks to its alu­minium con­struc­tion. Be­fore mat­ing it to the MX-5, though, the V6 had to be pre­pared for its new role. That meant re­mov­ing the knock sen­sor be­cause it gets in the way of the in­stal­la­tion process, chang­ing the sump, fit­ting the man­i­folds and bell-hous­ing spacer plate – and check­ing that ev­ery­thing was go­ing to work prop­erly in the clutch.

‘It’s a good thing I did,’ says Si­mon, ‘be­cause the splined hub of the driven plate was very close to the spigot bear­ing in the fly­wheel.

‘There was less than half a mil­lime­tre of clear­ance, so I ground off 1.5mm and pushed the spigot bear­ing fur­ther in so they wouldn’t touch when the plate has worn a bit. It turned out that the fly­wheel [Rock­e­teer-unique] had been in­cor­rectly ma­chined.’

It was one of sev­eral bits of feed­back that Si­mon would be giv­ing to Bruce, en­sur­ing that the next Rock­e­teer kits were prob­lem-free.

Now the en­gine could be lifted onto the new sub­frame, to which it was an­chored us­ing new en­gine mounts. These were stan­dard Mazda items, but not the car’s orig­i­nal ones, which were still sup­port­ing the orig­i­nal en­gine. Now, Si­mon had to tear the heart out his beloved MX-5, ready for the trans­plant with a big­ger, more pow­er­ful one.

Deep breath time… But he had to hold that breath for a while, be­cause there was still no sign of the all-im­por­tant ECU with­out which there could be no Rock­e­teer launch. Si­mon needed a func­tional Mazda – it’s his daily driver, re­mem­ber – so he didn’t want to take it apart un­til he was sure he could fin­ish the job with­out de­lays.

So it wasn’t un­til Fe­bru­ary 2018, with the ECU’S im­mi­nent ar­rival promised, that the MX-5’S last drive un­der four­cylin­der power ended on Adam Red­ding’s two-post lift.

Si­mon quickly got to work. Out came the ra­di­a­tor, an alu­minium one big­ger than stan­dard, bought and fit­ted a while ago in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the Rock­e­teer con­ver­sion. Next, he dis­con­nected the steer­ing col­umn and de­tached the sus­pen­sion and steer­ing rack from the old sub­frame, leav­ing the whole lot still at­tached to the hubs and hang­ing on the dampers. Then he dis­con­nected all hoses, pipes, wires and the pow­er­plant frame’s con­nec­tion to the gearbox.

Now the sub­frame, suit­ably sup­ported, could be un­bolted and the body lifted up and away, with the en­gine and gearbox still sit­ting in the sub­frame as it parted from the prop­shaft. Oh, the joys of a work­shop lift… The job would have been trick­ier in a home garage, but not im­pos­si­ble.

The gearbox was parted from the en­gine, which was then con­signed with its sub­frame to the role of use­ful spare. The Jaguar en­gine was wear­ing an adap­tor plate ready to meet the Mazda gearbox, but the po­si­tion of the starter mo­tor meant that Si­mon had to cut a small piece out of the gearbox’s bell­hous­ing to ac­com­mo­date it. That done, it was time to lower the MX-5 over its new powertrain.

It looked quite a tight squeeze. Just how tight, I’ll tell you next time.


‘Your brake fluid reser­voir is al­most empty,’ ob­serves Vince from Clev­er­ley Re­paired Cars, ‘did you know?’ Ac­tu­ally, it comes as a bit of a sur­prise, be­cause while I’m not a reg­u­lar main­te­nance fa­natic, a lack of brake fluid is some­thing likely to catch my eye even with just a cur­sory glance un­der the bon­net.

Still, the bon­net is open be­cause boss, Michael

Clev­er­ley, is about to drain some of the brake fluid out as part of the pro­ce­dure to fit new front brake pads – I have in­ad­ver­tently saved him the bother, how lucky is that? The frown wrin­kling Michael’s fore­head sug­gests that he doesn’t see much hu­mour in the sit­u­a­tion, as the only way to lose that much brake fluid is from a leak, and Michael doesn’t like leaks. Es­pe­cially where stop­ping com­po­nents are con­cerned.

My mk1 is in at Clev­er­ley’s to­day be­cause we’re do­ing the photography for To­tal MX-5’S reg­u­lar How To fea­ture: for this is­sue it’s all about fit­ting re­place­ment high per­for­mance brake pads. I’ve never fit­ted my own brake pads be­fore and fig­ured that many of you guys may not have done ei­ther, and Michael is the ideal chap to ex­plain how to do it your­self.

But apart from need­ing pho­to­graphs for our How To pages, I also want to im­prove the brak­ing per­for­mance of my car with a set of bet­ter pads. I don’t do any track driv­ing but do chunter along quite quickly on the pub­lic road and brake late and hard – I’ve never been sat­is­fied with the ini­tial bite of the stan­dard pads nor their rate of re­tar­da­tion, so some high per­for­mance al­ter­na­tives seem like a good idea. The de­fault choice for MX-5S in re­cent times ap­pears to be EBC, but the blokes at Ferodo sug­gested I try a pair of DSPF pads, and as Michael is also in­ter­ested in what they be­have like, that’s what I’ve gone for.

The DSPFS have a sin­tered pad fric­tion ma­te­rial, packed with lit­tle strands of goldy­coloured metal and rough to the touch. How will the discs cope with that, I won­der to my­self, yet the Ferodo Rac­ing

web­site prom­ises ‘ex­cel­lent disc life’ as well as ‘low wheel dust’ and ‘rac­ing “feel”’ and ‘high fric­tion co­ef­fi­cient’. We’ll see about all those claims in the full­ness of time, but first let’s just get them fit­ted.

Only it’s not go­ing to be that sim­ple… As Michael pulls off the near­side caliper he notes that it’s a bit damp and slip­pery around the main seal. ‘This could well be the rea­son you’re so low on brake fluid,’ he sur­mises. When the off­side caliper is also re­moved and is in the same con­di­tion, the di­ag­no­sis is con­firmed. A quick look through the Clev­er­ley Re­paired Cars his­tory file on my car shows that the calipers are only a lit­tle more than a year old. ‘We’ve never had any trou­ble with these calipers in the past,’ in­sists Michael, ‘but clearly there’s a ma­jor prob­lem with these ones.’ He’s straight on the phone to the sup­plier and re­place­ments are despatched.

Michael re­turns to my car and is soon wear­ing an­other an­guished ex­pres­sion. ‘These discs…’ he be­gins, but doesn’t re­ally need to fin­ish the sen­tence. Even I can see that they’re gonners. The pads have been grip­ping them on only a very small sur­face area and in places the cor­ro­sion is chronic. ‘I’ve got some EBC discs in stock that will fit your car,’ Michael ven­tures. He’s al­ready off to get them be­fore my mouth has formed the words, ‘oh, go on, then, I bet­ter had.’

EBC discs are sup­plied with an anti-cor­ro­sion coat­ing that’s a bit of a swine to get off. Michael first tries some paint strip­per but when that makes no dif­fer­ence re­sorts to a light abra­sive at­tach­ment on his drill to get through to the shin­ing metal be­neath. Clearly now on a bit of a roll with the clean­ing up sur­faces rou­tine, he next at­tacks the hub onto which the new disc will be mounted – ap­par­ently if you don’t get rid of the sur­face rust then the disc doesn’t seat uni­formly and will shud­der when you brake hard. I of­fer to help with the wet ‘n’ dry, but Michael’s so in the groove with the clean­ing that I don’t think he even hears me.

Even­tu­ally the (re­con­di­tioned) re­place­ment calipers show up and Michael’s quick to re­assem­ble ev­ery­thing. For his own amuse­ment – but I think also a lit­tle bit to shame me – he dips a brake fluid wa­ter con­tent mea­sure­ment de­vice into the pal­try re­mains in my reser­voir. ‘Blimey,’ shouts ap­pren­tice Ja­cob from the back­ground, ‘I’ve never heard the warn­ing buzzer go off be­fore!’ ‘Think we might re­place the fluid,’ re­torts Michael.

As all this is tak­ing place the day be­fore To­tal MX-5 goes to press, I haven’t yet had the chance to prop­erly test the Ferodo pads, as they’re still bed­ding in. One thing I can re­port, though, is that I al­ready have the ini­tial bite and im­proved pedal feel that I was after – tell you more next is­sue.

Brake fluid isn’t the only es­sen­tial that my MX-5 has been short of in re­cent times – tyre pres­sures have been down, too. Not by much, just 3psi or so. But enough to im­pact the han­dling. I’ve heard in the past that mk1s – all MX-5S, re­ally – are very sen­si­tive to tyre pres­sures, but I never re­ally be­lieved that it could make that much dif­fer­ence.

Not in any ma­jor ‘I must do some­thing about this’ way, but I’d felt that the han­dling had lost its edge, that the car wasn’t mov­ing with the agility that de­fines the MX-5. I had my foot pump out any­way one day, so thought I may as well check out the Mazda, too. And dis­cov­ered that the pres­sures of the Yoko­hamas were down.

They’re now back to where they should be, and the car’s back to be­hav­ing like the nim­ble lit­tle fun­ster of leg­end. For the fu­ture I will be a lot more dili­gent in check­ing the tyre pres­sures on a fre­quent ba­sis.

In the last is­sue we ran a news item on some Pow­er­flex doorstop bushes: I’ve now had the time to try them out. And yes, that is Pow­er­flex the sus­pen­sion bush com­pany. The claims in the press re­lease for the bushes in­cluded less rat­tling and buzzing through the doors on the move, bet­ter door speaker per­for­mance, and re­duced clang­ing when you slam the door.

Turns out that all those claims are true. My teenage son is a night­mare for slam­ming the doors closed on my car, and the Pow­er­flex bushes mean that there’s no longer a re­sound­ing crash as he does so. The speak­ers can now han­dle ex­tra vol­ume from the head unit, and there’s less res­o­nance zizzing out of the doors when the car’s mov­ing – it’s a lit­tle hard to tell, though, be­cause there’s so much racket from just about ev­ery­thing else! The only (very mi­nor) down­side is that the doors need a big­ger tug from the in­side to get them to shut prop­erly, but I’m sure that could be sorted if I could be both­ered to sub­tly ad­just the po­si­tion of the bushes – at the mo­ment I’m too un­con­cerned about it to care.

One fi­nal thing I should men­tion in this re­port is that when he fin­ished fit­ting the Ferodo pads, Michael Clev­er­ley took my car for a short test drive, to check ev­ery­thing was fine and dandy.

When he re­turned he de­clared with bru­tal hon­esty, ‘Your sus­pen­sion is bloody aw­ful.’ With which I whole­heart­edly agree.

But then he con­tin­ued: ‘And I can’t get on with that Dave­fab in­duc­tion kit. It’s like hav­ing some­one blow a trum­pet right in my ear.’

I bow to Mr Clev­er­ley’s su­pe­rior knowl­edge on most mat­ters MX-5, but I take is­sue with this ap­praisal – I ab­so­lutely love the sound that the in­duc­tion kit makes: I reckon he’s just get­ting old…


I de­serve a bit of car buy­ing luck. Reg­u­lar read­ers might think that I’ve been lucky enough al­ready, what with my re­cent £600 Red Road­ster mk2, but I would con­test that it doesn’t even come close to mak­ing up for the buy­ing faux pas that is my Porsche 911. Sorry for that shock ref­er­ence, but my day job is edit­ing To­tal MX-5’S sis­ter mag,

911 & Porsche World, and not sur­pris­ingly I run a Porsche for that ti­tle in the ‘Projects’ pages. My 911 is of the 996 va­ri­ety and if you know any­thing about mod­ern 911s (or Boxsters for that mat­ter), then you will know that the 996 can be a whole lot of me­chan­i­cal trou­ble, with com­plete en­gine melt­downs not un­com­mon, plus all sorts of other 996-spe­cific is­sues, of which my car has many.

What the 996 isn’t renowned for, how­ever, is body­work is­sues. It’s a mod­ern gal­vanised car and only a botched re­pair job would per­haps man­i­fest it­self in rust and other nas­ti­ness. You can prob­a­bly see where this is go­ing. My 996 has been in­volved in a smash, which I didn’t pick up on when I bought it over three years ago, but now the truth is bub­bling un­der and out, on the near­side rear quar­ter, and it’s go­ing to cost many, many thou­sands of pounds to re­pair.

With that in mind, I don’t have much spare to throw at an ev­ery­day car as I di­vert funds into the Porsche pot. A £600 MX-5 seemed like a sys­tem­beat­ing so­lu­tion and I thor­oughly en­joyed tidy­ing it up and press­ing it into ev­ery­day ac­tion. I was happy as Larry (who­ever, Larry may be), but then out of the blue, I re­ally hit the jack­pot.

Over a curry with some old school pals, chum Paul asked me what I reck­oned about a 2007 Mk3 MX-5 that could well be com­ing his way for a mere £1000? ‘What’s wrong with it,’ was my im­me­di­ate re­sponse, but apart from a leggy 135,000 miles, he reck­oned it was in fine shape. The story? Well, the car be­longed to a friend of his, who was em­i­grat­ing to Aus­tralia. She needed the car up un­til the last minute and was happy to sell it to Paul for him to do with as he pleased, for a bag of sand!

‘Thing is,’ he said, ‘I don’t think I’ve re­ally got any use for it. Do you want it?’ Do I? For a grand, you bet I do...

The car wasn’t a to­tal mys­tery to me. I had seen it be­fore, when Paul and owner Michelle had come to visit my East Anglian out­post a few years ago. It was Cop­per Red and, as far as I could re­mem­ber, a 1.8. That was about it re­ally and

Paul didn’t know much more ei­ther, ex­cept that it had a hard­top. How­ever, at the money I wasn’t in any po­si­tion to be fussy, and be­sides, I kept ex­pect­ing Paul to change his mind. But, no, he stuck to his guns and all that was stand­ing be­tween me and a bar­gain MX-5 was the Aus­tralian Em­bassy, which was drag­ging out is­su­ing a visa to Michelle. But even­tu­ally out it popped and a de­par­ture date was set.

There was the small mat­ter of find­ing the money, but I reasoned that the ti­died up red mk2 was worth £1k of any­one’s heard-earned. In fact, so con­vinced was I that I hap­pily sold it to friend of

Char­lie Robin­son. Char­lie has the dis­tinc­tion of be­ing our first ever sub­scriber and starred on the front cover of is­sue no1 in his sil­ver mk2. Sadly he wrote that off in a nasty ac­ci­dent a year or so ago, so it was good to be able to get him back in an MX-5. Wheeler-deal­er­ing done, all that re­mained was to go south and col­lect the mk3.

Still not quite know­ing what to ex­pect, a mini ‘Beast from the East’ didn’t help much ei­ther, as a week­end snow­fall meant that when I ar­rived at

Paul’s gaff my ‘new’ MX-5 was largely hid­den un­der a drift. Over a cuppa I pe­rused the pa­per­work and was more than pleas­antly sur­prised to dis­cover that it wasn’t a 1.8, but a 2.0litre, al­beit a five-speed. But hey, I wasn’t com­plain­ing. We were too busy gos­sip­ing to get any fur­ther with the his­tory file and even­tu­ally we braved the el­e­ments and dug it out. A cur­sory glance in­side re­vealed leather, heated seats, Michelle’s sat­nav (pre­sum­ably it didn’t have Aussie map­ping) and a hands-free kit and then it was time to hit the road and get back home via the M25, M11 and A14, be­fore an­other dump of snow. Ini­tial im­pres­sions were that it felt rather odd, but then as soon as I got off the mo­tor­way, I checked the tyre pres­sures, which were all over the place. Cor­rectly in­flated it felt a lot bet­ter.

Back home and straight into the garage it went, cov­ered in salt and win­ter grime. A full week of work and more bad weather meant that is where it stayed, but I did at least have a chance to check out all the pa­per­work. So how jammy had I been? Well, pretty bloomin’ jammy ac­tu­ally. This MX’S first owner – a Mrs Drab­ble from Northamp­ton – hadn’t spared on the spec, giv­ing it the full Op­tion Pack, plus leather, cli­mate con­trol and heated seats and the hard­top too, which adds a cer­tain level of ex­tra com­fort. The ser­vice his­tory was all there – plus in­voices for any other work – and I was now the third owner. Down­sides? Only the high mileage re­ally, but hey it’s a Mazda and mostly MX-5S don’t rack up big miles, be­cause they are largely used as sec­ond cars. That they are ca­pa­ble of go­ing the dis­tance, though, goes with­out say­ing.

While the pa­per­work made for good read­ing, I was itch­ing to get a bit more in­ti­mate with my bar­gain mk3. Fi­nally a break in the weather and the work sched­ule meant I could spend a bit of time driv­ing and tidy­ing. You learn a lot with a bucket and sponge and even more with a good pol­ish and some wax. With a bit of ef­fort, the paint­work came up a treat, but the wheels were past their best. With new car en­thu­si­asm in my sails, I picked up a sec­ond­hand set of stan­dard 16in rims on ebay (the orig­i­nals can be pressed into ac­tion as win­ter wheels, with suit­able tyres) for £80 and sent them to my lo­cal re­furb spe­cial­ists, BA Wheels in Nor­wich, for an an­thracite makeover, to com­ple­ment the Cop­per Red. A new set of tyres seemed like a good plan, too, so I or­dered four Da­vanti DX390S. I’ve run these on both my mk2 MX-5S and while no­tion­ally a bud­get tyre, I’ve been very im­pressed with their per­for­mance. New black wheel studs and cen­tre caps came via ebay, to com­plete the makeover.

Not that I was fin­ished there. The early mk3s come com­plete with stilts in­stead of springs and dampers, so I knew be­fore I had even picked it up, that I would

be go­ing for Eibach springs to bring the ride height down by 30mm. And it so hap­pened that my friends at Eibach sug­gested some anti-roll bars, too. Well, why not. I de­liv­ered my new pur­chase to our tech ex­pert, Michael Clev­er­ley, with To­tal

MX-5 art girl, Ali­son, fol­low­ing in the house­hold Ber­lingo, laden with wheels, tyres, springs and roll bars. On top of that lit­tle lot, I also tasked Michael with a ser­vice (it was about due) and asked him to change the gearbox and dif­fer­en­tial oil, plus the brake fluid and to give it a gen­eral once-over, plus an al­limpor­tant sus­pen­sion ge­om­e­try set-up on his su­per-duper, laser­guided rig.

And what a dif­fer­ence, when I ar­rived a cou­ple of days later to pick it up. Slammed and on the new wheels, it looked the busi­ness. Michael reck­oned it was in fine fet­tle, too. And to drive? Trans­formed. Stiffer, but not too stiff, less roll, bet­ter turn-in, great steer­ing feel. Just bloomin’ great re­ally. Oh, and re­ally quite fast, what with the 2.0-litre, 160bhp lump. Yes, I’m still pinch­ing my­self and it cer­tainly doesn’t feel any the worse for its high mileage.

With sum­mer loom­ing, there re­mained one more task, which was to get the roof off. Peer­ing over the seats, I could see the top sec­tion of the hood, which looked in good shape, but re­ally it’s all the fold­ing bits that you have to worry about. That said, I had a feel­ing that the hard­top hadn’t been off very of­ten. It took a lib­eral squirt of WD-40 and the as­sis­tance of one of my burlier mates to help shift the rear latches. Mo­ment of truth time, then. Phew, one soft-top hood in great con­di­tion. Sum­mer here we come. Have to say, though, stor­ing the hard­top is some­thing of a has­sle. It’s a rare op­tion too, but then the coupe ver­sion of the mk3 pretty much negated the need for the soft-top/hard­top combo.

A cou­ple of months into own­er­ship and the mk3 MX-5 is a very dif­fer­ent MX to my pre­vi­ous mk1 and the two mk2s. It is quite the mod­ern car in terms of build, fix­tures and fit­tings. It is the MX-5 that I’ve had the least ex­pe­ri­ence with, and while not quite as im­me­di­ately en­gag­ing as the ear­lier cars, it is much more suited to my daily driver re­quire­ments – which can in­volve some se­ri­ous mileage – and 90% as much fun.

I’m en­joy­ing the ex­tra space, pace and re­fine­ment (par­tic­u­larly with the hard­top on), lov­ing the posh leather and heated seats, when chilly, and the air con when it’s hot and I’m on a long mo­tor­way drive. I can cer­tainly see why the mk3 has such a strong fan base, al­though Mazda was right not to let the MX-5 get any big­ger and ef­fec­tively down­siz­ing with the fourth gen­er­a­tion car.

So, there you go. A case of right place, right time and a bit of car buy­ing luck, which never goes amiss. And bet­ter than a Porsche? Well, bet­ter than my Porsche. But then, that’s not dif­fi­cult...

Yes, that’s right, there are six cylin­ders housed in this mk1’s en­gine bay, so it must be a Rock­e­teer con­ver­sion. Duct tape on plenums is now gone

The out­go­ing four-cylin­der 1.8

MK1 ‘ROCK­E­TEER’ Run by: Si­mon Wor­land Owned since: 2011 To­tal mileage: 50,000+ Lat­est costs: tba

As well as the V6, these are the other parts needed to make a Rock­e­teer

A work­shop lift isn’t es­sen­tial, but it sure does help with the in­stal­la­tion

Re­ally, he just wants the box…

Ma­genta clutch is part of the kit

Effy ‘as­sists’ Michael Clev­er­ley in the change of discs, pads and calipers on the front of Fraser’s mk1

Frankly, can’t re­ally see what was wrong with the old discs…

MK1 1.8 Run by: Brett Fraser Owned since: 2016 To­tal Mileage: 120,591 Lat­est costs: £234

Pro­tec­tive paint be gone!

Ferodo’s high per­for­mance pads

New discs and new (re­con­di­tioned) calipers to go with the new pads

Ferodo Rac­ing DSPF pads in situ: Fraser now needs to bed them in

Brake fluid stained pad car­rier

MK3 2.0 Run by: Steve Ben­nett Owned since: De­cem­ber To­tal Mileage: 137,450 Lat­est costs: £500 (sus­pen­sion)

Ben­nett’s bar­gain mk3 came com­plete with a rare hard­top, but while the sun’s shin­ing it has been con­signed to the back of the garage

Gleam­ing with that ‘just got a new car’ shini­ness. Give it a month or two…

New Eibach springs lower the mk3’s ride height by about 30mm. The splash of red here is the Eibach anti-roll bar

Hav­ing said he can barely af­ford the car, Ben­nett buys this lit­tle lot

New Eibach spring is a fair bit shorter than the stan­dard Mazda item

Re­furbed wheels and new tyres

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