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the roadster

Back in late 1999, I started playing with the idea of buying a second car. Something to drive into the city and keep the k's off the Fairmont Ghia.

Being a "car freak" from such a young age I would never own something plain, so it had to be a sports car. I was looking at the newly released Honda Integra Type R but the front-wheel drive thing wasn't that attractive to me. Then Mazda announced an update to the MX-5, with a 6-speed manual, variable valve timing and a redesigned nose.

Soon as they were released I was on the phone to all the Mazda dealers around Melbourne to see if they had one for a test drive. I also wanted to see what this new colour "Crystal Blue" looked like. Soon as I saw the colour, I loved it. It was different to any other blue I'd seen and really stood out. A head turner for sure, so it had to be mine.

Then on Friday the 3rd of November 2000, my Crystal Blue MX-5 was delivered. I went straight to Brighton Mazda after work to pick it up, then drove straight down to the Peninsula, with the roof down of course!

The updated MX-5 (mark 2.5 as they were calling them) featured a 113kW engine with VVT, which Mazda later detuned, a 6-speed gearbox, 16-inch wheels, white-faced gauges including red instrumentation (when the lights are turned on), extra body strength for the extra power and a few other little bits and pieces over it's replacement.

If you've never driven a MX-5 before, head down to your local Mazda dealer and take one for a test drive on your favourite piece of twisty road. It's simply the best handling car this side of a Porsche! It's so neutral with it's almost prefect 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution and even though it's just a 4 cylinder, there's enough power there for the weight of the car to drag almost anything off at the lights.

I didn't bother ordering mine with air conditioning (which was an option) as I didn't believe it was worth it - afterall it's a convertible. It's only on those really, really hot days when there's no wind around that you need it. But I did option the scuff plates, which look a treat when you open the doors.

I sold the car back in early 2003, as I was going into business on my own. I dearly miss it though, it's just the best car for any occasion especially on a nice sunny day. There's nothing better then having the roof down on a coastal road and changing gears with what must be the best gearbox in the world!

November 2004