Between myself and my girlfriend, we now have two Japanese cars – two mk1 MX5s. Before these I had a number of MGs so have the ability to compare the two quite happily. The MGs were great fun, fairly simple to maintain albeit the headgasket failed on the TF which is common for this model.
For years I had hounded those who drove Japanese cars, and called them “jap scrap”, mainly ‘cos it rhymed. But then I didn’t really have the right to. The build quality of a 26 year old MX5 is much better than that of a much newer British build car. Everything about it is as if it has been well thought out and planned. The later MGs before the company’s demise just seems rushed and ill thought. So now, with much irony, I love Japanese cars! I went to Japfest 1 and 2 last year, and now that the first has moved to Silverstone for 2016 (which is just up the road from me in Northampton) I’m already looking forward to seeing what’s on show. My turbo MX5 will probably still be waiting on it’s second life so the girlfriend’s Mk1 1.8 will probably be used… so watch this space!
Then of course, with Japanese engines also being more efficient, and fairly compact, many have been used for engine swaps etc. Who doesn’t like the 2JZ block, turbo charge it and you have a lot of power. Put that into a smaller car and you have much epic-ness!