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Bit of a dilemma


Twinspark
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I washed the MX5 today. It's starting to get a little rusty around the rear arches. It has also done nearly 140k miles.

So, to the dilemma.

I have a fair old bonus coming to me, plus cashing in around £1.5k worth of 'save as you earn' accounts - and only need a couple of grand to clear everything I owe to everyone, plus bump up my savings to my usual 6 month buffer.

In theory, I could have around £3k which I'm willing to spunk on a weekend / track / Euro tour car.

Some options...

A decent spec. Mk2 MX5. Possibly with VVT engine, air-con and LSD.

Fiat Barchetta. FWD, I know, but I've always wanted one. Galvanised, so won't rust - but cursed with the Alfa derived 1.8 VVT lump.

Send my Mk1 MX5 off to have the rot fixed and a full repaint. Cost around £800. (already looked into this) - then sort the suspension and get LongLife to build me a nice stainless exhaust.

Final option would be an Alfa GTV Spider with the 2.0TSpark lump. Especially if I can land one on Zoe Yellow with black leather.

Any thoughts or other suggestions?

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I guess it depends what you want from it, do you want the fun of RWD or is that not an issue?

Obviously if it is, that rules out the Barchetta and GTV, which otherwise are great cars, personally I think i'd opt for the Barchetta of those two, the GTV is just way too understeery for my liking, especially with the V6, which you'd need for the soundtrack.

If looking at mk2 MX5's, i'd try and find one in the exact spec I had, Mk2.5 Sport VT, it had the LSD, A/C, heated leather, fog lights, 17" wheels, heated glass rear screen etc, and I think the facelift of the mk2.5 makes a huge difference and smartens it right up.

Problem with the MX5 as always, and as you know, is rust, and they all suffer, mine had already had the sills done and a full protection by a specialist, even the mk3 is poor.

With regard to your own car, I guess it depends if you want to change it or not, and if you're bothered about spending more on the car than it's worth?

If cost/return on investment isn't the issue them perhaps getting it sorted is the way to go?

Me? I get bored of cars very quickly, and I enjoy the searching/buying process, so i'd be looking for something else, even if it was a newer version of the same car, and the MX5 still remains the king of it's sector.

What about a classic Alfa Spider? Something to cherish that might appreciate a bit, generally reliable, stunning to look at, no rustier than an MX5!

Edited by Tipex
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Well, looking at it - £1.5k spent on mine would get the rot sorted, new paint, a new hood and suspension. Probably an exhaust, too, if I buy off the shelf rather than custom.

At which point it would be worth... about what I'd spent on it.

I can see the logic in doing that - be worth saving up the bodywork for the winter, but it might be worth doing the roof, at least, before this summer's holidays.

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I see what you're saying - and I'm split on it.

If I get it sorted and keep it - it'll become an appreciating classic, as all the dross and 'stanced' examples get scrapped.

I also like it - but what turned my head this week was a lift in a Mk3.5 2.0. Much quicker and must more refined... but on the other hand, not as raw and characterful.

Mk1s are a styling masterpiece, in my eyes... so perhaps keeping and upgrading is the answer.

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I can't honestly see the MX5 ever being an appreciating classic, certainly not in our lifetime, there are hundreds and hundreds of them for sale at any one time, there are just too many of them.

It doesn't help that yours is the wrong spec either, it'd need to be a sport with LSD etc, sure you could add an LSD but it still won't be a sport.

The only ones I cam ever see appreciating are the limited edition ones, and they already command a premium, I saw a mint one yesterday, can't remember what it was, maybe 'sprint' or something, but it was red over white with a gold stripe separating.

Personally I'd be looking to buy one in the right spec with low miles if I wanted a long term keeper.

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Not too long ago, people said the same about the Midget / MGB and Spitfire...

Yes but all those people are now dead, hence 'not in our lifetime'.

If you keep hold of anything for long enough, it will eventually be worth something, but a mass produced japanese car isn't going to be worth much any time soon.

Like I say, if you want an MX5 (and clearly they are a good choice, no ones denying that), for what you would spend on yours, you could get a nice one in the right spec that would make a 'better' long term investment, and that way, whilst I don't think you'd make any money, it should at least hold it's value.

Even fully sorted, with 140k+ on it, I doubt you'd get much more than £1k for yours.

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Not too long ago, people said the same about the Midget / MGB and Spitfire...

The MGB has always been totally retro cool and considering only ca.500,000 were built between 1962-80, even in the 1980's collectors were raving over them. My old mans MGB was featured on a 'Mens and Motors' TV series, where they carried out a bare metal restoration.

As for the MX5, ca.1m have been built since 1989 so think you'll have to wait a looooong time to see a big increase in values.

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Final option would be an Alfa GTV Spider with the 2.0TSpark lump. Especially if I can land one on Zoe Yellow with black leather.

Not overly sure of the engine thats in it but I'm pretty sure my brother in law has a GTV spider in Zoe Yellow with black leather interior sat on his drive - might be for sale - should I have a gentle word?

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I can't honestly see the MX5 ever being an appreciating classic, certainly not in our lifetime, there are hundreds and hundreds of them for sale at any one time, there are just too many of them.
Not too long ago, people said the same about the Midget / MGB and Spitfire...

There were over 300,000 Peugeot 205 GTis built (1.6 and 1.9 combined) but prices have started to shoot up over the last few years. Loads of cars being broken for parts, parts are available, lots of pieces even new from Peugeot for not mental money, but almost all of a sudden decent cars become hard to find, even more so if you want an original one that has not been modified and resprayed....

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