Getting started

OK – I’ve bought an unfinished car what happens now. It took me ages to get going. The car had a 2.0litre ford Pinto engine in it which although not really what I wanted would be ok. It had a 4 speed gearbox and that was something I wouldn’t be able to live with. I remember driving long distances 30 years ago with a four speed box and it was really annoying having high engine revs all the time. That WOULD be changed. Small petrol tank as well, less than 5 gallons, that would limit my range a bit. The solution is easy. Fit a 5 speed gearbox. I tried to find one. I phoned or visited every scrapyard in Norfolk. None. I looked around various web sites but those available were expensive. It took me a while but I decided to put a Mazda MX5 1.6 engine in it with the 5 speed box. All I had to do now was find an MX5.

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I found a couple. Google street-view showed both these cars in the same position 4 years previously. I spoke to owners who suddenly found they couldn’t part with them, a bit of polish and they would be ok.

OK what next? Ebay – harder than you would think to find a car to be taken apart. Gumtree similar. Then I found Car Transplants, an online auction site for crash damaged cars. I bid on a 1999 Mk 2 with no damage and won it for £360. Problem was it was in Oxford. I hired a car transporter (£100) and picked it up and brought it back to my hired pig shed to take it apart.

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Gosh it looked too good. Very clean interior. Looked good outside. No damage. Newish set of tyres on undamaged rims. Super sound system fitted. Service history – but the breakers lost that. It was awful weather on the way home. Rain, floods. I tried to get the car off the transporter and it wouldn’t start. Pushed it and it wouldn’t move very well but eventually got it in the shed. The next day, tapped the fuel injection relay and off it went. drove it round the yard and the brakes freed up, all the gears worked and everything ok. I thought about restoring it but eventually decided to strip it.

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What a mess when you got all the plastics off. Very rotten front chassis rails. Non existent sill back-plates, and a few other areas of rot. I’m glad I didn’t try and put this one on the road. Its tax disc was only a few months out of date, it would have been a problem in a crash.

You who can do maths, you’ve worked out what it cost to buy. I started advertising things on Guntree and ebay and with lesser success on facebook – MX5 buy and sell. At the moment I have sold £481.00 worth of parts. I still have some to sell. I have an engine, gearbox, prop shaft, wiring loom, all instruments and switches as well as heater  and a few other smaller parts that I will use on the car. If I can sell the rest another £100 is possible. I have sold cheap – a complete door with wing mirror, interior trim, glass, speakers etc was £25, not a big price really. I could have made more but at least I have helped some others along the way. And I’m still waiting for the money from the scrap to come in as well.

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