23-01-2018 – Laurie Southern
Introducing: Project Yata

All my friends drive MX5s. Or Miatas. Or Roadsters. Whatever you want to call them, they’re all over the place in my day to day life. It was only a matter of time until I bought one for myself then, right? Allow me to introduce Project Yata.

I’ve always admired the shape of Mazda’s functional little roadster. There’s distinct memories at the back of my mind of coming across a MK2 in Need For Speed: Underground 2 as a kid and I fell in love. I find the simple lines of the NA (Or MK1) particularly beautiful, not to mention those pop up headlights. I stand by the notion that it’s impossible to be unhappy in a car with pop up headlights. A friend of mine pointed me in the direction of this (relatively) rust free UK-spec model it was love at first sight. I just had to have it.

People on the internet will argue for the rest of time about the fact that an MX5 is the most fun you can have on the road for a relatively low price tag. They’re not wrong. There’s nothing there that doesn’t need to be there meaning the weight is kept low. This of course is important in a car with rather ‘humble’ power figures. Another thing I love about the car is the interior. It’s basic. There’s a new rattle every time you get in it. It feels like a race car.

A reminder of which I keep on the dash. Yes I know it’s an ND but until I find a suitable NA it’s staying!

It would be rude not to represent the cause, too.

I searched for standard car on purpose to serve as a clean slate to modify and work on. Truth is, it’s still painfully standard. I just can’t seem to stop driving the thing. A few months after buying the car it took Tomm and I on a 2300 mile round trip to Monaco and back without skipping a beat. There’s a slowly growing pile of parts sitting in my garage waiting to go on the car whenever I get the chance, something I definitely need to get started on before summer comes around.

An OEM lip went on at the earliest opportunity to sharpen up the front of the car and give it a little more aggression . I’ll be keeping you up to date with how the car changes during my ownership as it slowly becomes the back road killer it’s intended to be.

First step however; coilovers and wheels. The current moster-truck ride height and jaded BBS-inspired wheels leave much to be desired.

It’s been perfect for late night top down falafel runs, but now it’s time to get to work. There’ll be updates on my progress in the near future.

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Laurie Southern