NO RESERVE - 1996 Mazda MX-5 MK1 “Merlot” Special Edition


  • 1 owner from new
  • Only 40,938 miles
  • Valid MOT until May 2024
  • Highly original

The Appeal

Perhaps the last of the great retro-style Roadsters, the MX-5 is, pure and simple, a legend. One of the - if not the - bestselling sports cars in history, the winning combination of a rear-wheel-drive, twin-cam and the sheer bliss of top-down motoring all make these iconic cars a legend of Japanese manufacturing. 

This example, purchased by the vendor in 1996, has stayed with him for its entire life, and during that time has been very well cared for. It’s now ready and waiting for a new owner - whether it be to restore it to Concours condition, or to keep it as is for a summer’s day, when the allure of that fold-down roof is just too strong.

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The History and Paperwork

  • Purchased by the vendor in 1996
  • Based in the Isle of Man for a period, during which time there is no MOT history
  • Car has reportedly not been used on public roads for the past five years
  • During this time the vendor informs us that it’s been started and run regularly
  • The car carries a current MOT until May 2024
  • Recently fitted with new brake pads to the front and rear

Enormous paperwork file includes:

    • All original sales booklets and manuals
    • Original paperwork for the GT Auto alarm, CD changer and Hardtop
    • A collection of Tax discs
    • Isle of Man registration paperwork
    • Impressive collection of MOT certificates
    • A huge selection of invoices for maintenance, services and more
    • Original Mazda wallet
    • V5c document

The Interior

  • Charming luxury interior with grey leather and burgundy piping
  • Leather seats appear soft and supple with no cracks, rips or tears
  • Door cards are well presented with no rips or tears
  • Carpets have been protected by mats and look to be in good order
  • Walnut trim in the centre console has delaminated in places
  • The car’s dashboard looks in good order with all instruments clean and well-presented
  • The fuel gauge is apparently intermittent but no other faults have been reported
  • No known modification
  • Period CD player is still in situ
  • Boot is well kept, with brackets for the hard top, a Haynes manual and spare wheel kept there

The Exterior 

  • Unusual Merlot colourway, chosen specifically for this edition
  • Merlot nameplate fitted to the bodywork
  • The car’s bodywork is largely in good order with some dents and dings
  • Paintwork is somewhat worn with some chips and scuffs, and bubbling on the bonnet edge
  • A scuff on the offside of the rear bumper is visible
  • The windscreen has a soft scratch that a specialist has advised ‘should polish out’
  • The car is sitting on its original alloys, which look in good order
  • Tyres look to have a good level of tread
  • Underneath, the car is in relatively good condition
  • We can’t spot any perforating or structural corrosion
  • Some superficial corrosion to the suspension though this is minor

The Mechanics 

  • Powered by the 1.8L BP DOHC I4 engine
  • 5-speed M526 Manual transmission
  • Engine shows some surface corrosion though nothing of major consequence
  • Timing belt and water pump were replaced less than 20,000 miles ago
  • Vehicle starts with no issue, revs freely and suffers no knocks
  • The MOT came back with a brake advisory for the pads, which was swiftly rectified
  • The car is handling, shifting, braking and starting well with no issues


With its retro roadster ideals, stylish design and influence on modern petrolhead culture, there’s no doubt that the first-generation MX-5 is - in many ways - the definition of a modern classic. This special edition example is the perfect opportunity to take on this 90s roadster for yourself and see just what the fuss is about. 

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.

A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.
All bidding, buying and offers are subject to our Terms and Conditions.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1986
  • Make Mazda
  • Model MX5
  • Colour Merlot
  • Odometer 40,938 Miles
  • Engine size 1840
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Beaminster
  • Location Dorset
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
55 bids
  • Ol•••• £5,200 26/06/23
  • ni•••• £5,100 26/06/23
  • Ol•••• £5,000 26/06/23
  • ni•••• £4,901 26/06/23
  • Ol•••• £4,801 26/06/23
  • ni•••• £4,701 26/06/23
  • Ol•••• £4,601 26/06/23
  • go•••• £4,501 26/06/23
  • Ol•••• £4,500 26/06/23
  • go•••• £4,400 26/06/23

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