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219 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
New Zealand based Laguna Blue

Hi, I'm Joel, been a lurker on CR for a while but never bothered to do a build thread but seeing many of you with frequent updates and logs makes me want to have something to look back upon in the future.

In looking for an MX5 I only had one requirement which was it had to be an NA8.

April 4th 2013 is the day that I picked up my very first car, a New Zealand new MX5 in Laguna Blue. It had 179,000kms on the clock and was mechanically sound without anything that needed to be attended to urgently but many changed needed to be made for my personal satisfaction.
4.5k was exchanged after

Good Points:

Healthy 1.8l and running gear
No rust or any structural damage
Factory leather Nardi steering wheel and shift knob
Aftermarket exhaust
Original Black Tonnaeu cover
Ex nz MX5 club member car, old manuals, service history, tool kit included

Bad Points:

Roof leaked a bit around the parcel shelf
Lowering springs fitted made the car bouncy
Coupled with the balloon 195/60s on 14x6 made the car very rolley polley
Paint was pretty good but there were a couple places touch up paint was used and looked pretty bad
Tail Lights were ugly (for now)
Style bars
No Air conditioning, only heater.

Dusty first day

After a clean

First de-modification was the remove the style bars and the tail lights, prefer the clean look

Had to then remove the old suspension setup. I went with OZ Racing Coilovers, Identical to BC Golds apparently



They went lower but the tyre setup did it no favors.
So the search for wheels and tyres began, I take a big influence in old japanese cars that take after 'Shakotan' (very low car) and Kaido (road racer) styles so I knew I wanted a wheel choice to reflect that. Big problem is that the 4x100 limits wheel selection so I got some quality hubcentric 4x114.3 15mm adapters and picked up these babies.

Advan A3As 14x6 +6

Had the paint removed and gave it an amateur polish then wrapped it in some 185/55 tyes

After that some interior love was needed as my steering wheel and shift knob was in bad shape. I bought a second hand 325mm Nardi that was in great condition and coupled it with Garage5's Type 99 Shift knob and a 90mm shift extender. The gear and handbrake gaters were also replaced.

I was always under the impression that all 1.8 NAs had a Torsen LSD, I learnt the hard way that it wasn't true when I power overed out of a slippery road and nearly smashed into the curb. So mine didn't have one. Luckily I found a cheap one from upgarage and had it shipped over for $130.

Type 1 and It has definitely made a difference

My next mechanical change came in the form of a clogged thermostat which made a leak in the original radiator, which is something I probably would have changed anyway because it's so displeasing to the eye.
An alloy one twice the size went in

A quarter of a year went by and I had gotten more and more influenced by old British roadsters and I lusted after some Runabout M2 mirrors but after speaking with Rod about bringing a pair over that dream was extinguished (I was lookin at 350 shipped). Instead I sourced some generic ones from a company in NZ, they warned me about the poor visibility they would provide given the MX5s door shape. I bought them anyway

Not only were they ugly on the car but the visibility was indeed terrible, so I got rid of them and started saving for runabouts!


219 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Fog lights in check, R-Package installed.
The Fog Lights were my favourite part of the car, I loved the menacing yellow PIAA bulbs that came factory. Unfortunately they both blew shortly after installing these and I had to settle for crap bulbs until I can muster the courage to spend $40 per bulb on genuine replacements. :(

Shortly after my roof sprung a leak bigger than before basically forcing me to replace my soft top.
A hard top was never an option for me for two reasons; 1. They go for at least $900 here 2. I wanted the ability to drop the top whenever and where ever without having to worry about sudden change of weather (New Zealand loves to do this.
I tossed up between a tan top and a black one since I love Te look of Laguna blue with tan interior. I got the black and played it safe, biggest regret of the build so far.

One piece HAARTZ soft top. Also sprayed my old Altezza tail lights red, looked great but I planned to move onto something better


219 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thank you for the wheel compliments, A3As are my all time favourite wheel and only available in 4x114 which I feel makes the car somewhat more unique. Especially since plenty of drivers are scared away from adapters.
I've run the wheels for about a year now and as much as I love them I need a new look and have a gigantic list of Kyusha (old car - Japanese) wheels to aquire I started hunting on Yahoo auctions.

I sourced a pair in great sizes for cheap but needed serious repairs, by then I also had enough in my mirrors savings account to pick up some Runabout mirrors!

Ultimately I went for S800s instead of M2s. A main reason being I didn't think the blue tinted mirror would compliment a blue car.
Also went for Impul Hoshinos, a favourite, to run on the rear.

The front pair of wheels would soon follow


219 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah! That's pretty much the only picture of my car I've ever shared anywhere past my own facebook page.

A subtle touch, Garage5 OEM Mazda sticker



I had my pair of Hoshinos sitting in my shed for a couple months while I searched for the right pair to match them. It isn't an easy task since I'd need to go with something fairly plain, the plan was either SSR Mk1s or SSR Formula Mesh but searching wasn't fruitful and instead I went with SSR Longchamps that I got for a steal.

After the wheels were sorted I went ahead and finally bought my favourite MX5 aftermarket part

A genuine Garage Vary nostalgic panel with all three lights! There is a bit of a back story to this piece that makes it a little more special. First of all it is second hand bought from a friend who had it fitted to his car, originally sourced from Japan through Rod the panel from Garage Vary and the lights from various part suppliers in Japan. It was then fitted to a BRG with so many different JDM parts it just needed to be pulled together with paint really, then this happened

Thankfully he survived, ended up buying another MX5 but didn't fit the panel back. I told him to let me know if he ever wanted to sell it and after months and months we finally made the exchange (mostly on my part, I was first in line for the panel but never had the money).

Given that it's been in a crash it has sustained some damage. There are very small chips missing from the top of the panel near where it meets with the boot and one of the lens has a couple small chips missing from it too but apart from that I'm happy with it.

Even though the GV Tail is a unique item there are still a number of miatas with it so I wanted to do something a little different. The Kyusha, Kaido, Shakotan and Zokusha scenes of Japan use Porter Cab tail lights sometimes and I wanted to emulate the way they do it



219 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you guys, the positive feedback is very humbling. :)

Front and rears are in a repair shop, the Hoshinos were in very bad shape in particular and I'm looking at paying about as much to repair them as it cost to bring them over.
They should be done Friday so hopefully over the weekend I'll have a new wheel setup to show off around here!

My toilet water goes the other way.
2,313 Posts
Maad - I don't think I've found you on the book of face.

But planning to host a car meet shortly, add me up if you see me posting, and I'll invite you.
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