The MX-5 Miata of the Month from

October 2001

Alan Tang


Congratulations to Alan Tang on the selection of his MX-5 as our October MX-5 of the Month!

Ever sine the MX5, as it is called in the UK, was released in 1990 in the UK, I have wanted one. I nearly bought a brand new white one in 1991 with a hard top, but due to the lack of rear seats and the danger of the roof being slashed, I could not talk my parents around to the idea.

Well, 10 years later, I now run a Tuning and Styling business for automobiles and can afford to buy what I want without the parents permission or finances! (must thank my parents for keeping me in reliable cars during my school and college years!). No sucking up to parents anymore, but even bigger challenge, the wife! Luckily for me, she also likes the MX5 and was all up for us getting one. My day to day car is a Honda CRV, so the MX5 would have to be a company demo. We had so many to choose from but decided on importing one from Japan as they tended to be better value and better spec. My Japanese friend Asuka, spent weeks emailing me pictures of cars that he could buy for me in Japan and we finally decided on a lightly modified 1990 Silverstone. From the time we got the ball rolling to the time when the Roadster was finally in my hands was 6 months! It had to be the right car, and as the saying goes, 'it comes to those who wait'....

Well, the car arrived in June and we had 7 days before it had to front our stand at the Japanese Auto Performance show. Although a very clean car as it was, it was no show car. So in 5 days (however in retrospect, wish we had worked on Saturday and Sunday!) and with zero experience of the car and not even a workshop manual to hand, we set about modifying the Roadster. First thing was to strip the car ready for a total re- spray. As we were painting the car silver (albeit different silver), we had no need to paint the engine bay or inside the trunk which saved a lot of work. All the areas that can be seen in normal usage are painted the new colour.

To show off the custom silver paint, we decided to fit one of our body kits which consisted of front and rear bumpers, side skirts and a rear wing. We had 3 rear wings to choose from, but settled on the least in your face one cause it just suits the MX5 so well. The fitting was relatively straight forward and within 48hours, we had the car stripped and fitted with the body kit ready to go into the paint booth. During the painting we had the hood frame off and re-placed the hood and built up the lo-pro headlights. We put on the new 17" rims and rolled the car out of the paint booth. It looked HOT! Re-building the car however was a nightmare! Although we had bagged all the screws and fittings into separate bags, we could not for the life of us figure out which went where! I think that needing the car to leave for a show on Saturday at 6am and still re-building it at 11pm on Friday night overloaded our brains with adrenalin and frustration... However, by midnight, the car looked like a show car, although many bits hidden from peoples view were still missing! :)

So to the show we went, and luckily the morning was relatively quiet, which gave us some time to detail the interior, the exterior was fine as it had all new paint work and wheels. The show was great and some people did not even recognize it as a MX5. Many commented on how good the car looked... if only they knew.....

It was 5 weeks till the next show, and by then we finished the job 100%. The car has been sold but don't be alarmed.... It will be re- placed by a Mk2 which will get our personal attention also, but this time it will be for ourselves and not just a company demo car and hopefully be modified at a more sedate pace.

Get the air in your hair!

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