Wednesday August 23, 2017
This month’s club of the month features one of my favourite ‘modern classic’ 2-seater roadsters. Whilst Lancaster Insurance can usually arrange specialist insurance for all models of MX-5, even the newer ones, the Car of the Month looks back at where it all began with the MK1.
In February 1989, the Mazda MX-5 made its debut at the Chicago Motor Show and took the world by storm. The press and public loved it and demand initially outstripped production and it’s easy to see why these cars were loved so much! The combination of the nippy twin cam engine coupled to a fantastic gearbox with rear wheel drive and an amazingly able chassis, put the fun back into driving again. Initially launched in Japan and badged as the Eunos Roadster the UK had to wait until March 1990 before customer vehicles orders could be fulfilled.
The original MX-5 came with a 1.6 L double overhead cam inline four-cylinder engine, producing 115 bhp at 6500 rpm which would power the car from 0-60mph in 8.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 126 mph! From 1994, the MX-5 engine was replaced with a larger 1.8 litre unit which increased the power to 130bhp. There is much debate about which is the best engine to go for, with some fans preferring the smaller 1.6 due to its free revving engine and shorter gearing. To add to the confusion Mazda made another 1.6 engine available from 1995 with just 88bhp.
The MK1 sold over 400,000 units from May 1989 to 1997 and continues to be the best-selling two-seat convertible sports car in history and by April 2016, over one million MX-5s had been built and sold around the world.
The Mazda MX-5 Owners Club national event is always a favourite for the Lancaster team with the MX-5 being the chosen daily driver of a number of our staff.