From the 1970s to the 80s, fun, affordable sports cars were dying a slow death. The fun European convertibles had a reputation for being unreliable, and the Americans were obsessed with stuffing low powered V8s into their muscle cars with ancient suspension. On one hand, the Japanese were gung ho with continuous releases of their turbocharged, rear wheel drive coupes, but they were mostly priced outside of people’s reach.
Enter the Mazda MX-5. Released in 1989, the MX-5 won the hearts and minds of those who enjoyed pure driving, without breaking down and at a reasonable price. While the spec sheet won’t set any records on fire, the tiny convertible was rear wheel drive with exquisite 50-50 weight balance.
Once you get behind the wheel, you’ll understand why it became the best selling sports car in the world, with over 900,000 sold through its generations. The steering wheel, pedals and gear shifter is placed exactly where you need them to be. You sit really low in the car, with your bum mere inches off the ground. Drive out with the roof down and it feels like a go kart, instantly responding to your inputs.
The MX-5 featured here has the later 1.8L engine. While you may scoff at the sub 100kW output, it is more than enough for a car that weighs less than a ton. The beautifully balanced chassis meant every turn of the steering was responsive and joyous.
The topless classic is so much fun to drive, but we feel that it can be improved even more, with a little bit of Bendix magic. The Bendix Ultimate brake pads are a perfect match for the MX-5, providing high performance braking, with a strong resistance to brake fade. It also provides better brake pedal feel, so you can dive deep into corners without fear.
The special fibre impregnated rubber steel shims help prevent noise and heat transmission to the brake caliper and brake fluid. This means you can enjoy your MX-5 on winding roads or the track without fear of brake fade.
Brake Part Numbers
Mazda MX-5 1.8L 1993-2001 Front: DB1282 Ultimate
Mazda MX-5 1.8L 1993-2001 Rear: DB1283 GCT
For more Mazda MX-5 brake pads, click HERE.
Find out more about the Bendix Ultimate brake pad HERE.
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