Nathan - MK1 1997 Mazda MX-5

Power figures are still unknown to me, but I’d say it’s good for at least 190hp.

Nathan - MK1 1997 Mazda MX-5
Nathan - MK1 1997 Mazda MX-5
Nathan - MK1 1997 Mazda MX-5
Nathan - MK1 1997 Mazda MX-5

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Name’s Nathan

I work as a smoke detector assembly worker (nothing that interesting at all, but it pays the bills ) and I’m 23 years young! I love all things cars and photography, maybe a little star gazing here and there whenever we get a break in the clouds down here in Kent.

Instagram: @tezz_zilla 

More to the point, I drive a 1.8 MK1 1997 Mazda MX-5. I say ‘drive’ but 50% of the time I’ve owned it’s been sat on axle stands… Just MX-5 things am I right? The car came with ITBs and an ECU, I guess it saved me the hassle of setting those up!

Ever since I was at college I had always had a secret soft spot for the NA’s and always daydreamed about the day I’d finally own one. Since first owning it, the car has almost gone under constant maintenance and repairs, alongside some pretty tasty modifications which include the following; (some of which were on the car when I bought it)


  • Jenvey ITBs
  • Shaved and ported cylinder head
  • Piper Camshafts 
  • ME221 ECU
  • 2002 VVT Bottom End
  • I.L Motorsport Tensioner and Idler pulleys
  • I.L Motorsport engine mounts
  • Piper 4-2-1 Manifold
  • Cobalt Exhaust system
  • Competition Clutch Stage 2 Clutch kit + Flywheel
  • HSD Monopro Coilovers
  • Superpro Full Polybush kit
  • Torsen Type 2 Differential with FC RX7 casing
  • TR Lane roll bar
  • Motamec MRX Bucket seats on Skidnation side mounts
  • BCW Alloys

 And some other little trinkets here and there!

I initially bought this car with intentions of using it for a turbo project, but over time I seemed to get more attached to the ITBs which lead me to see how far I can actually go whilst still keeping it N/A. Power figures are still unknown to me, but I’d say it’s good for at least 190hp. A dyno run in the near future will give the answer, but as for now, I’m just going to enjoy it, being my first proper hands-on project and all. 

And enjoy it I have! Participating in a Rockingham drift day back in February (also being my very first experience drifting) proved that. Really allowed me to open it up without restrictions and boy did she exceed my expectations. Not a single mechanical issue during the entire day, including the 2, 90-mile journeys to and back. For a 23-year-old car… she did pretty well!

In future, I do plan on maybe entering Hill Climb and some track days here and there, absolutely. Its current state needs a little more work to satisfy me. It seems buying cheap Valve Seals isn’t exactly a good idea, but I guess you live and learn! Any future updates of the car will be posted to my Instagram so be sure to give us a follow if you're interested in this build as there's plenty more to come for this little motor, and I thank you for reading!

What do you think? leave your comments in the comments section at the bottom of the page


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