The MX5 Miata may be one of the most hated and loved cars in the world. What I mean by that is this: It's not a cool car. You don't look cool while you drive it, but at the same time it's a Roadster so you're out in the open. It's not a fast car either, even in top spec. The bottom spec models have about as much precision as a broken limb, as well. It's only when you go for the higher spec models with the better suspension, bracing, and LSDs where you start to feel the car working with you.
But before you start to complain that I'm just putting the car down because I don't like it or I've never driven it, let me tell you this. I owned a Mk2 MX5. I drove the hell out of it and I loved it. But I still stand by the fact that it's not a great car. That's until you modify it.
The MX5 Miata Mk1 (pictured above) is my kind of car. David Woolery tells us that there isn't a system on this car that hasn't been modified, changed, or upgraded, and that it's been a slow labour of love since it was bought from new in 1989. The most potent modification was the swap to a 1.7-litre, turbocharged 4-cylinder which with a little tuning produces 250hp. That may seem like a small number, but when coupled with a total weight of less than 1000kg it makes for a nippy machine.
0-60mph is therefore under 5 seconds, and the quarter mile has been timed at 13.1 seconds. Not bad for a Miata, eh? But the one change that does it for me is the hardtop. The custom fastback roof and Targa top gives it British muscle-esque feel - exactly what the MX5 needed.
Would you buy an MX5 Miata if it looked and performed like this? I would, and I'm pretty sure you would too.