So i'm not sure anyone whether you guys read my previous article. It was my coverage for the autocross events that take place in sunny Singapore, and in that article i mentioned about my friend Hutch, who at that time drove a Toyota Starlet (EP70). Well, Hutch has always wanted to get something rear-wheel drive, he had two options, a Nissan S-chassis car (S13 or S14) or a Mazda MX5 Miata (NA).
As you can see from the pictures above, MX5 it was. There are a couple reasons behind it, Hutch had a little trouble selling the Starlet and with that, he had a tight budget for his next car. The S-chassis' were out of the equation due to their price. If you're reading this and have no idea about Singapore's car prices, let me introduce you to the struggles of being a petrolhead in sunny Singapore.
If you want a super clean, stock S14 kouki, in Singapore that would be around 70k-80k SGD, which is around 50k-57k USD. yea... expensive is an understatement. Even an S13 would cost you around 50k-60k. MX5 prices are slightly cheaper but you can get around 3-4 NA MX5s in the states for the price of 1 here. So with the tight budget Hutch had, Miata was the answer, and parts are everywhere for the MX5 so if something DOES go wrong (knock on wood) it'll be relatively simple to fix.
so, what's under the hood? Well it is still running the stock BZ6E DOHC 1.6 litre inline 4. Which produces around 120hp at the crank and 90hp at the wheels, doesn't sound like much but it gets the job done. This is Hutch's only car so he dailies this, he takes it to work and according to him merging onto the highway with 90WHP, "it's not that bad hahaha". So engine modifications will happen but later on.
1 tyre fire
First thing to sort is the rust. It being a car that's over 20 years old, the effects of rust is quite severe but thankfully the chassis is fine, so rust treatment is needed for the panels, especially on the left fender and the panel under the door. Next on the list is a Limited Slip Differential, currently it's running an open diff, which is not.. ideal for sliding around, all the smoke from the photo above comes from 1 tyre! To fix that Hutch is getting a 1.5 way LSD from Cusco. I went for a short run with Hutch in the autocross track and the MX5 was sliding about but when he dumped the clutch, only the inside wheel was spinning so the car didn't rotate as much as Hutch wanted to. Another issue is the suspension, it's currently running Koni absorbers with lowered springs, which are extremely soft, again, not ideal for autocross so he's getting proper fully adjustable coilovers from Ohlins which will definitely be better.
Just a fun little story, when Hutch got the car, he checked the boot and was puzzled why the battery was located in the boot which was funny because the owner said MX5s all came with batteries in the rear, that's how they achieve 50/50 front/rear weight balance.
The car is currently running a set of Hankooks wrapped around Rota 7JJ ET35s which does give the car a really nice stance, especially with the lowered springs. Hutch kept the watanabes from his Starlet but the offset is 10mm off so it does not stick out as much as he would've liked it to.
So if you are in Singapore and would like to check out this car, you can come down to the autocross events in around the island and JDM meets, you'll probably find us there. also stay tuned for more of this in the future, there is going to be a lot of of miata content coming up