Project MX5 Part 2
Which mod to do first on our latest MX-5 build? Well, that’s easy when one of your tyres is on the wear bars…
It’s easy to sit and deliberate on which upgrade to do first whenever you buy a new project car. Should it be something motive and dynamic, or aesthetic and visually enhancing? In the case of the Project MX5, the decision was made for us when Paul bought the thing! With two of the Toyo tyres fitted looking decidedly worse for wear, and down to the ‘change me!’ indicators, it didn’t take a genius to work out that they needed swapping ASAP.
There are a stack of great wheel options on our website, but this recent addition to their our eye. It’s called the Speedline Marmora, and it’s rather saucy. Speedline, of course, should need little introduction. As the purveyor of fine hoops to most of the winningest names in motorsport, you don’t need to look very far to find a top WRC or circuit car bringing home the bacon on these fine Italian rims. The Marmora is a very nice motorsport-inspired design that comes in a ride-and-handling friendly 16” (17” is just too much on these early cars), and as well as offering superb caliper clearance, it has great bowl and spoke detailing to give the car a little more aggression. They’re not a heavy wheel either – which is great news on a dainty car like the MX5.
Tyre choice was easy; having felt how composed it felt on the outgoing Toyo Proxes T1-R, it seemed rude not to go for another set of the very same. They’re not exactly dear in this 16” size, either! The T1R offers great dry and wet weather grip, has good noise levels and they wear really well, too. I have this tyre on a lot of my other cars, and they’ve always been great. I found on my BRZ that they also offer reassuring levels up grip, but still allow you to ‘play’ with the car and slide it about a bit. Although the MX5 has less power than the Subaru, of course, it’s still nice to know that I should be able to have a few small, fun slidey moments on my next empty roundabout…
Fitting these two ingredients together would be the ever smiling Ronny Demera at Treadmark, just down the road from our scribe Paul, in Nottingham. The Treadmark guys are the busiest wheel and tyre shop in Notts, and they’re happy to fit and balance tyres you bring in, as well as sell you anything you might ever need. With a convex spoke design on the Marmora, it would be easy for a less talented fitter to mark the flawless Artic Silver paint finish on the Speedlines, but Ronny was his usual craftsman-like self, getting them fitted perfectly in just a few minutes – even taking a few calls at the same time! Seriously, this is tyre fitting at a Jedi level!
Outside, Ronny kindly popped them onto the car for me too, allowing me to get a few extra snaps in the process. After torqueing them up, we both stood back to admire his handiwork, and we were both pretty impressed with what we saw!
Better still, out on the road, the new package feels fantastic! Not only do the new Toyos feel like they have more bite, but the rim’s light weight and perfect offset have given the car superb road manners and a crisp, lithe feel. A winner all round, I reckon.
But that does leave a burning question. What should the second mod be?