So, I haven't posted in quite a while but I thought I should bring stuff up to date and also create seperate threads for seperate cars.
This one is a 97 MX-5 with the 90hp 1,6 liter engine. Even before I bought my X1/9 back in 2005 I helped a friend buying this car in southern Germany. So I went down the Fiat route back then and even bought myself another MX-5 but when she came to sell it to make place for a later model I couldn't not buy it.
The good thing is that she had regular services done, it wasn't in great shape but it wasn't neglected either. I helped her change the roof back in 2008 but that is sadly due again as we got a cheap one back then. The thing she didn't do was cleaning it, she daily drove it through the winter and hardly ever took it to a car wash so the body was a bit tired.
The first pictures when I took custody of it. It's quite complete, I have the tonneau cover and the wind deflector, manual and so on.
signs of age here and there...
and a bit of trouble brewing:
Work to come...
Anyways, inspection was still valid and so I took it around the snowy alps for a start:
As inspection was overdue and the rust was serious I took it off the road for over a year until I found the time and motivation to go through with the reapairs. Mechanics wise there wasn't much to do, rear brakes needed a service as the rubber sleeves were perished and the pistons didn't move at all, one headlight was corroded and swapped and the headlight range adjusters needed a stern talking to. Catalytic converter was also due...this is when I found out the very last 1.6 models had a bespoke one, twice as expensive as the others.
Anyhow, back to welding. I'm no expert and it shows. For a long time I lost motivation as I wasn't happy with my work but then I decided to just go through with it, my next repairs will be better and I just have to learn by doing. Also I brought the car to a friend's garage and used his welder as I didn't get mine to work properly.
But let's start with the poking...
The right hand side was the better one. Still quite grim if no surprise to anyone I guess.
I have no poking pictures from the left side...probably due to shock...let's say this was the result of cutting all that rot out:
So on I went, piece by piece, with the crappy welder...far from perfect:
The first hole was turned back into metal...
And here's a new inner fender...not great, next one will be better!
Right hand side still had the inner fender mostly intact and so it was only patches...
First of all we needed a start...
And then patches to connect it with the next layer...
Alright, now the outer repair panel could be cut to measure and go on the car:
Not very neat but hey, solid metal from the outside!
There was still a large gap on the inner side though, some creativity was needed as nothing was left on either side.
And welded in...doesn't look great but it's solid.
Eagle eyes readers might have spotted a little hole on the back...
Lost my patience with taking photos for the left hand side...but eventually that was metal again too:
All the superficial rust on the underside was treated and later painted!
And so it was ready to go back on it's on wheels again and have some filler applied
After which the coveted seal of approval was handed over!
Felt good to have it back on the road, if I want it to look like new I might have to redo some of the work...but that's not really my aim at the moment, it's just about driving it!
I've been contemplating getting a rollover jig from www.rolloverjigs.com/, that would do just that but I'm put off by having to strip the car and store everything. Space is already a bit of an issue for me.
I just realized I promised roadtrips and then never followed it up...
...this is from back in December 16/January 17 and a trip with the MX-5 down from Germany to Gibraltar and back.
A friend and I started early under a full moon down south towards Milan:
It was quite hard to find open mountain passes in Switzerland even though there wasn't a lot of snow. Since they have highways and tunnels everywhere they seem to close most of them by default when Winter comes. This is on top of Lukmanierjoch:
On the way in Switzerland there was some architecure that needed to be looked at:
And then the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese that was well worth the visit for the Disco Volante and Carabo alone:
With a picnic along the road we progressed towards Turin:
Where the old Lingotto Fiat factory with the test-track on the roof needed looking at:
There was more to see in Turin but we only had one evening there:
As we then drove on to France via the highways and b-roads:
In France we took some great roads to Millau, sadly it was quite dark so no pictures until the next morning:
Mostly famous for that bridge I guess, the town was old and scenic too though:
Another problem of Winter road trips...fog! A few hours of dense fog in France and Spain during day and nighttime.
But bright sunshine at the coast in Spain. It looks quite summerly but these were the last days of December and hence it wasn't. Still warm compared to central Europe of course.
This needs some more work...:
Along the way we passed Benidorm and that weird unfinished highrise of which the newspapers reported that the architect forgot the lifts...doesn't seem to be true but it was a ruin still whilst more houses are built alongside:
We reached Alicante and I swapped co-drivers, my girlfriend joined me for the remainder of the trip. From Alicante we went west to the Tabernas desert, location of many italo-westerns amongst which is Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West:
Oh, and some good roads too...
We left the desert to the west, Spain was wonderfully green there in early January...time for another picnic:
And then a quick visit to Ronda, famous for the Seat Ronda of course:
Remnants of the golden age of motoring in a corner of a petrol station:
And then another great road down to the coast near Malaga:
And onwards to Gibraltar:
With an interesting mix of cultures, a runway crossing plus monkeys, caves and tunnels:
Definitely worth a visit, if for the petrol alone:
After two days and a final runway crossing we said goodbye to Gib again:
And went to the southernmost point of the continent:
Where the water was cold:
And after a quick picnic at a hippie camp thing:
We turned north and stopped in Seville:
And further north in Merida, where it was cold and damp and the cats preferred the MX-5 to the ground:
We passed Bilbao and finally turned east again, spending two nights in Biarritz with the aim to have a rest...but it was soo cold and no one knew what a heater was...
As it unsurprisingly was warmer at the mediterranean coast we hit the road to Marseille...this was the boot situation over the trip. Full.
It was much more pleasant in the south...so we headed to the Col de Turini to see the rally stages a few days before the Monte Carlo:
The next day we did a quick slow lap on the F1 track in Monaco:
And then spent another night in Genova:
To drive back to Frankfurt/Germany via Switzerland and Austria the next day:
That was it, about three weeks and quite a lot of miles. The MX-5 did it with no faults apart from a stuck low-wiper-fluid sensor...
I have another eastern-turkey roadtrip I think I never posted in case anyone can be arsed to read through all of it!
Fantastic road trip. Love the look of car, I personally wouldn't change a thing. I love a well used looking car!!
Whilst I do like the look it needs some paint because the filler and primer draw water and eventually get a bit flakey (as is visible on some of the pictures). Since the car will have to live on the streets here it'll just rust again no time.