Late September is a good time to buy a convertible. Demand slows and so prices soften, yet there’s still ample opportunity to drop the hood and enjoy some sunshine. Among the best buys is a Mk2 Mazda MX-5.
Mazda MX-5 1.8 Nevada £4995: Prices start at less than £1000 for runners, but we’ve been drawn to a privately advertised 2003 example for £4995. That’s big money for an 18-year-old Mk2, but on the upside it has done only 58,000 miles and is apparently free of rust.
Being a Nevada edition, it has front foglights and heated leather seats, too. Still, we will admit that there are a few MX-5s around that almost fit the same description at lower prices. What’s the appeal of this one?
Simply, the seller is not only a dyed-in-the-wool MX-5 enthusiast (they’ve owned a few) but is also obsessive about preservation and maintenance. One photo among the many in the ad is of a neatly arranged ‘valeting trolley’ loaded with cloths, brushes, touch-up paints, polishes and sundry other cleaning agents. This is a driver who loves their car so much that it ‘lives’ (their word) in their garage and has never been driven on winter roads. Correction: it was driven to its last MOT in winter, but only after the weather forecast had been consulted.
There’s more… The hood was re-waterproofed on 26 June 2020. That’s precision. Plus, the seats have been moisturised and the wheels removed and waxed. And the best bit? Pretty much every service has been a full one, while the timing belt, gearbox and differential oils and all four sets of brake discs and pads have recently been changed. When it sells, as it surely must, we hope they take a nice long rest.
BMW Z3 2.8 auto, £9250: It’s not often we recommend an auto over a manual, but it’s the ’box to have in the Z3 2.8, as it suits the smooth straight six perfectly, making this a relaxed GT with teeth. Our find has done 64,000 miles and has 13 BMW workshop stamps in its service book.