1993 Mazda MX-5
Name: Daniel Heaphy // Age: 24
Location: Auckland // Occupation: Sales at BNT
NZ Performance Car: Hi, Daniel. How did you wind up owning the MX-5, and what led to modifying it?
Daniel: Hey. I got into cars when I was 16 or 17, did a couple of track days, and kept wanting to go a little bit faster. My first car was a ’98 nana-spec Toyota Starlet, which barely had a stock part left on it. I saw an MX-5 and wanted to get my hands on one, which I did, and, within two weeks, I [had taken] … it to a beginners drift day to see what it could do — that led me to buying an upgraded clutch and proper LSD [limited-slip differential]. This is technically the second shell this car has had, which I rescued from a paddock after crashing my first MX-5 at Meremere.
Sounds like an all-rounder. What’s it like as a daily-driver?
Being honest, as a daily-driver, it’s not the most comfortable thing to drive. The suspension is quite stiff, the lumpy idle rattles everything in the car, the clutch is really annoying in traffic, and I keep forgetting to install a radio. But I still enjoy it.
Does it draw a lot of attention with its loud livery?
Yeah, since I put the livery on, it seems to get lots of looks, and I’ll quite often catch people taking pictures of it while I’m driving.
Is there anything else you’re looking to do to it in future?
I’m always buying more wheels for it [laughs]. I’ve got an aftermarket front end that does away with the pop-up lights, which I also need to get around to fitting, probably a six-speed box and ITBs [individual throttle bodies], and, like most MX-5 owners, I am looking to turbo it at some point.
Cheers for sharing it with us, Daniel.
Engine: Mazda B6ZE, 1600cc, four-cylinder, Franklin Cams 240/272-degree reground cams, Maxim Works exhaust manifold, 2.25-inch exhaust system, Fenix radiator
Drivetrain: Mazda five-speed, six-puck clutch, FC RX-7 LSD (4.778)
Interior: Nardi deep-dish steering wheel, Sparco Sprint driver’s seat, KG Works cluster surround, roll bar, carpet removed
Exterior: CarbonMiata hardtop spoiler, Dcuatro rear bumper, SSR livery, PRD chassis-rail protectors
Wheels/tyres: (F) 14x7.5-inch (-6) SSR MK1, 185/60R14 Dunlop Direzza ZII; (R) 14x8.5-inch (-7) SSR MK1, 185/60R14 Dunlop Direzza ZII
Suspension: ACRE coilovers, urethane bushes,
Whiteline rear sway bar, Keto knuckles
This article appeared in NZ Performance Car issue No. 250 — you can get your grubby mitts on a print copy by clicking on the cover below