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2000 Mazda MX-5 1.8

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2000 Mazda MX-5 1.8


The multi-generational Mazda MX-5 might just be the perfect classic car, melding as it does a perfectly balanced rear-wheel-drive chassis, rev-happy bulletproof engine, rifle-bolt gear change, inspired handling, and the most user-friendly soft-top of any car, no matter what the price.

That it boasts only modest power is to misunderstand its purpose: this is a stripped-to-the-bones roadster with enough comfort for it to be a commuter car during the week yet enough performance to make it a track day hero at the weekend. An MX-5 should be cheap to run too: 30+mpg is easily attainable and the cost of the annual service can usually be met using the change you find down the back of the sofa.

Because Mazda dispelled the notion that owning a convertible sportscar had to be a Sisyphean trial: the MX-5 more fun than Kylie at a foam party while still managing to be as reliable as the Bank of England. A good one won’t leave you stranded at the side of the road in a cloud of steam, heartbroken and a hostage to the fortunes of Lucas, the Prince of Darkness.

If the VW Beetle, the original Mini and the Citroen 2CV brought transport to those that might not otherwise have been able to afford it, the Mazda MX-5 brought the sportscar to those who might not have otherwise bothered.

The Vehicle

First registered on the 23rd of November 2000, this lovely little MKII Mazda MX-5 is being offered for sale by John-Joe Vollans, the editor of Modern Classics magazine. Having been run recently as a project car in the magazine, it has been the subject of a comprehensive recommissioning programme by Doncaster-based MX5 City, experts in the model with more than 20 years' experience in fettling, restoring and improving them.

The work, which comprised both mechanical components and bodywork, has a retail value of around £2,700, which, given the low reserve, means you may well get the car itself for free!

On the Outside

The chaps at MX5 City assessed the overall condition of the car’s bodywork and structure as ‘above average’. However, even this encouraging report still identified the need to replace both rear arches and sill ends, followed by a respray of the rear half of the car. Enthusiasts will recognise this as one of the MX-5’s few weak spots; the drain holes in the sills get blocked, which allows water to collect in there, rotting the sills from the inside out …

However, given that MX5 City has been repairing these cars for longer than almost anyone else, they’ve got the process down to a fine art. Their expertise and approach to the work allows potential owners to place their bids for this example with complete confidence in the knowledge that it should now be structurally sound for another couple of decades.

The car now looks fabulous in its original black, as can be seen from the professional photographs that accompany the listing. Both flanks are even and free of ripples, and the shutlines are as good as we’ve come to expect from Mazda.

The black fabric roof is in similarly good condition being free of rips and tears. It also still fits like a glove, furling and unfurling as easily as it did when it left the Mazda factory almost twenty years ago. It is also fitted with a glass rear window, complete with demisting element.

The only problem areas remaining are a small patch of bubbling to the bottom of the driver's front wing, a smattering of small stone chips to the front end and a few light scratches to the boot lock surround. If you wish to address these minor problems, the car will be in pristine condition and ready to gain top marks on the summer show circuit. Note that there is a new badge to fill the one missing on the rear in the photos.

On the Inside

The black interior is still in very good condition for its age, and is much more sophisticated and, dare we say it, better quality than that of the original MKI MX-5. Everything, both mechanical and electrical, works as it should, including the electric windows.

The leather seats show only the lightest patination to the side bolsters and are both as supportive and comfortable as ever. The car has been fitted with a modern head-unit, the face of which can be removed for security.

The only problems of note we can see are that a small section of carpet is missing from the area under the passenger footwell at the bottom of the A pillar and the ashtray lid in the centre console has been resprayed gloss black rather than satin. Pretty small beer.


The car has had a recent full service, including fresh filters and fluids throughout, including the gearbox and differential oil. New high-quality spark plugs and HT leads were fitted at 85,000 miles, and a rough idle was traced to the throttle body, which was duly replaced at the same time. Replacement rear brake calipers and pads were also fitted recently, and the cam-belt was replaced in November 2010 at 61,438 miles.

As might be expected after all this mechanical work, the MX-5 is now purring beautifully and ready for some summer road or track fun. The engine bay is really clean and tidy and looks as good as the rest of the vehicle. We are told the rear tyres will need replacing within the next year.

History Highlights

The car comes with Mazda main dealer history up to 33,000 miles, with MX-5 specialists continuing the strict servicing regimen up to 69,000 miles. The recent work undertaken by MX-5 City at 82,000 miles brings the service history bang up to date.

The MX-5’s MOT runs until January 2019, which means you’ll have little to worry about for the rest of the year. If it were ours, we’d feel pretty confident that it'll fly straight through the next MOT test after Christmas, too.

The car comes with old invoices and bills (also seen in the Gallery below), along with three keys, the service history book, security register information, certificate of conformity, and the original owner’s handbook.

What We Think

The supply of good MkII Mazda MX-5s is starting to dry up; while mechanically strong, their Achilles heel has always been rust, especially along the sills, a flaw they share with the original MKI cars - but to an even greater extent. Needless to say, this is not a concern with this example as it has already had the appropriate repairs carried out by one of the most experienced and skilled experts in the business.

Yet, this dwindling supply still hasn’t yet translated to high values, with even the very best cars advertised for well under £5,000. Acknowledging the small amount of work needed to bring this car up to show standard, we think it should sell for around £2,000, at which point it offers more fun for the money than just about anything else on sale today.

This Mazda should hold its value well and might even start to appreciate slowly over the next few years, a situation helped by its provenance and appearance in print over the past few months! If all goes as we predict, the lucky new owner might even find they manage to enjoy ultra-low cost motoring over the years they own it…

Viewing is always encouraged, and this car can be seen in Peterborough; to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Thames Valley Car Storage for storing your car, AnyVan for transporting it, and Footman James for classic car insurance.

If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance Thames Valley Car Storage for storing your car and an array of regional providers for transporting it.

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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  • Location: Peterborough
  • Odometer Reading: 85506
  • Chassis Number: JMZNB18P200152017
  • Engine: 1840cc
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Color: Black
  • Interior: Black/leather

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