The result is a joint venture between Goodwood Sportscars and leading MX5 specialists AK Automotive and we are now importing a small number of wonderful rust-free cars direct from Japan. Each car is hand-picked by us and as both Anthony (AK Automotive) and myself are genuine car enthusiasts at heart, we try and buy cars that very simply get us excited. I know some importers ship a car here to the UK, pump up the tyres and give it a quick wipe over and then re-sell it as fast as possible, leaving you to sort out the registration paperwork and pay the taxes due. Others go a step further and will MOT the car, take care of registration and then sell the car on. We do rather more than this. Read on...
More Than Just An Imported Car
Our starting point is a car with a superb rust-free body and underside. Our chosen car is then carefully checked over by us and any necessary repairs carried out. The sun in Japan can take its toll on bodywork so we often find that we need to carry out a fair bit of paint rectification and we nearly always fit a new soft top. Its the same with various bits of plastic trim, interior fittings and even seats: if we need to replace, refurbish or re-trim, we will do so. This can be expensive and time-consuming for us but the results are well worth it and the finished car always look superb. Its the same with the drivetrain and suspension. If we think the car is due for a cambelt change, we will do this and we often fit a new cat back exhaust system. In fact to give you some idea of the lengths we go to, we spent many, many hours fitting and checking exhaust systems provided by many different manufacturers until we found one that replicated the sound and build quality of the original item. Every car is serviced properly with new filters, spark plugs and fluids.
The suspension system is checked over and is often replaced. The reason here is simply that the Japanese are great fans of car modifications and some of the suspension set-ups they use (on roads that are substantially better than ours) are simply not appropriate for UK roads. Then each car has a full four wheel alignment to ensure it handles properly. Finally its given 12 months MOT and each car is test driven by either Anthony, Dan or myself - or as is more likely, by all three of us. We know how a good MX5 or RX7 is supposed to perform and handle (having driven many thousands of examples) so our aim is to end up with a car that meets our high standards.
We pay all import duties, taxes, registration fees and we take care of all required paperwork. We supply and fit new registration plates and the car will be ready to drive away and be enjoyed but under 2014's new car tax law, you will need to tax the car. We are so confident of our work that we will include 3 months no quibble warranty on each car.
As you can see, we spend a lot of time, money and effort on our cars and I'm really proud to say that we supply some very nice cars indeed. We are happy to work with you to achieve the specification you need.
Why Buy A New Import?
Its all about condition. By British standards, the Japanese simply look after their cars so well. Japan’s equivalent of our MOT is particularly strict which means their standards of maintenance are so much higher than those in the UK. The Japanese are often very enthusiastic car owners and take great pride in preparing their cars for show rather for driving fast - Japanese speed limits and road conditions mean fast driving is just not practical. The final - and perhaps most important - factor are the weather conditions in Japan. For a start it’s a lot drier than here and crucially, they don’t use salt on roads in the winter and this results in wonderfully rust free bodywork. The underside of these cars really has to been seen to be believed – they genuinely look as though they rolled off the production line last week. In fact look at the photo below: this is the underside of a 20 year old Eunos S-Special. I'll just say that again - this car is 20 years old. Its cleaner than my wife's 4 year old Mercedes!
As ever, I'm not claiming that our imported cars are perfect but the bits that really matter are just right. As an MX5 enthusiast, the stuff that gets me excited are ultra clean sills, perfect wheel arches and a clean, solid underside. Finding this on a car thats been in the UK for for a few years is very difficult. Our new imports are fantastically clean, rust free and usually of a much higher standard and specification than UK cars. The usual problem areas of rusty sills, wheel aches and worn out suspension components simply don’t occur on our cars. The photos shown on this page are all of cars recently imported by us and illustrate the condition of a typical car.
Occasionally we are asked about any potential difficulties with running an imported car in the UK. In fact DVLA records now show that there are more ‘imported’ MX5s on British roads than cars originally sold new by Mazda’s UK dealers. For this reason, spare parts are as easy to obtain as they are for a UK car and insurance is equally straightforward - we can recommend a number of reputable insurers if required.
One final point is value: MX5 prices are on the increase. I’ve noticed this over the last year or so and this move is gathering pace. Consequently good cars that are well looked after are at least holding their value and models of a desirable specification are increasing in price. We expect this situation to strengthen in the coming months and years as the rusty cars disappear from our roads and the good examples become even more scarce. Right now, a typically good newly imported MX5 will cost £3900-£5500; now look at the price of a reasonable MGB, Midget or Spitfire and then take into consideration how much better an MX5 is to actually drive and there really is no comparison.
Why Buy a New Import from Us?
Between my team at Goodwood Sportscars and the chaps at AK Automotive, we have many years selling, repairing, modifying and racing MX5s. Anthony and Dan at AK Automotive are highly respected throughout the MX5 world and their 420+bhp turbo-charged MX5 Mk1 has to be seen to be believed. Their race-prepared Mazdas have successfully competed in various championships throughout the UK including the Ma5da MX5 series and the BRSCC Mazda MX5 championship and in 2015, they won the Mazda MX5 Mk3 Supercup championship. No-one knows MX5s as well as these guys. As for me, I’m a self-professed MX5 nut and live, sleep and breath quick cars. I’ve been involved with cars sales for 30+ years and have owned literally thousands of MX5s. I also compete in the Scottish Hillclimb Championship (in an MX5 of course!). So between us the three of us, we’re pretty good at spotting a good MX5 and at making one work to the best of its ability.
Buying An MX5 to Order
While we always like to have a few newly imported cars in stock, the lead time on a new import is quite lengthy (perhaps 8-12 weeks) and most of our cars sell before they actually arrive. Consequently many people prefer to buy a car to order or to reserve a car. We’re happy to let you know what we have on its way over or can even try and find a car to your specification. We always ask for a deposit which will reserve the car for you and the balance is payable once the car arrives and has been prepared.
Cars Due In
Its best to take a look at my ‘Cars For Sale’ page for more details but cars currently on their way over to us include:
1992 Eunos 1.6 S-Special in Brilliant Black with BBS alloys.
1994 Eunos 1.8 V-Special in British Racing Green with tan leather.
1997 Eunos 1.8 Type II in British Racing Green with black cloth
1998 Roadster S Mk2 1.8 with automatic gearbox, in green with tan leather
1997 Eunos 1.8 SR Ltd Edition in Sparkle Green
1997 Eunos 1.8 SR Ltd Edition in Sparkle Green with automatic gearbox
1995 Eunos 1.8 G-Ltd in Satellite Blue
1993 Eunos 1.6 S-Ltd in Black with red leather
1993 Eunos 1.6 in Stone Silver with black cloth
1996 Eunos 1.8 S-Special Type II in Montego Blue
1989 Mercedes 190E 2.6 in Grey with black leather.
1998 Subaru Impreza Turbo WRX Sti in white
All will be fully prepared before sale including UK registration and MOT. Please contact me directly for more details.