1991 Mazda Eunos Roadster
Stock Number: 4731
Low power, lightweight roadsters were Europe's recipe to success in the '60s and '70s with manufacturers like MG, Alfa Romeo, and Triumph. Thankfully with Japan's economic boom of the '90s big and bulky went out the window, instead opting to build cars that were fun, economical, and enjoyable once more. Mazda went and changed the game with the introduction of the Eunos by building something that was practical, efficient, and an absolute blast to drive. Inspired by the post-war era British sports cars, the Eunos rejuvenated interest in roadsters after the demise of cars such as the MG B and Triumph Spitfire. Since its debut in '89, it's won numerous automotive awards and has become the world's best selling sports car. Having gone through four different generations, the first-gen NA remains one of the best driver's cars available around the globe. While these were great in stock trim they only get better once you start tapping into the vast aftermarket available for these. Is there a more proper color choice for a classic roadster than British Racing Green (HU) over tan? The body has undergone a handful of subtle tweaks over the years. Gloss black fiberglass fender flairs help to get the 16" Riverside Contras wrapped in fresh rubber tucked in nicely. Barring some scratches/swirls in the clearcoat, the paint is in great shape. Even the factory hardtop matches the bodywork nicely. The body is in equally good condition with only a typically door ding or two. The contrast of the flairs makes for a nice touch, the same for the vented passenger headlight cover. These were designed to allow for some extra airflow to the intake and gives the front end a more aggressive tone. The factory fog lights are a nice addition and do help to add a little extra light at night. There are a few polished pieces to compliment the hardtop latching system like the side marker lights and the retro style fuel door cover. The factory lip kit and rear spoiler all complete the look of this iconic roadster.
The interior of these are simple, yet surprisingly high quality considering the price point. The tan and black two-tone is a classic combination that always delivers. Normally with lighter color interiors, you have to worry about staining and discoloration but we don't have any signs of that here. The other worry with leather is cracking from use over time, but once again, this one is in stellar shape. The driver's side bolster has the beginning signs of some wear but is really about the worst of it. The passenger seat is only in better condition and they both are really quite comfortable. They offer good support on longer drives without being too tiny or cramped for those of us over 6'. These seats did come with the headrest-mounted speakers, however, the head unit itself isn't powered so we weren't able to check the clarity of them. Luckily that radio harness is the same as the US-based ones so it would be a simple switch for something a bit more current and US compatible. We removed them for the photos, but you do get a trick set of diamond plated floor plates to prevent from doing any damage to the carpeting. The carpet and door panels all look great for their age, you can tell someone really took care of this one back home in Japan. The only real blemish to note, and even then is minor, there is one small puncture on the driver's side door panel which you can see in the photos. A black leather Nardi 3 spoke wheel looks right at home with its vintage flair and matches the center console. Brushed aluminum trim adds a pop of color and gives the interior a little more modern flair to it. Out of the gate, the Eunos came with a fantastic transmission, and this one is only that much better thanks to its short-throw shifter. Since these were all pretty straight forward there wasn't a ton when it comes down to accessories. This one is equipped with the power windows which we don't see too often. The A/C controls are very simple and straight forward to use, though the A/C probably won't be seeing too much use with cooler weather right around the corner. The factory hardtop is a fantastic addition since it gives the Eunos year-round use with the amount of insulation that it adds to the cockpit.
Under the lightweight hood is the tried and true 1.6L 4 cylinder. It was specifically designed for the MX-5 and featured a lightened crankshaft, flywheel, and aluminum sump with cooling fins. While these were never built with crazy power in mind, Mazda was all about the power to weight ratio concept to make sure these cars drive ten folds better than cars half its age. This particular BRG Roadster hasn't been left stock either, taking the driving experience one step further. A long tube header flows out to a pricey Trust catback system that gives the Eunos a great tone. The 1.6 has a nice burble at idle that gets even better as you start climbing through the rev range. Coming in with merely 55K verified miles this car truly is just getting broken in. Especially when you compare that to most of the US cars kicking around with 200K+. The power comes on smoothly and the torque is surprisingly linear as you climb towards that 7.2K redline. To help it breathe a bit easier the restrictive air box was dropped in favor of an open-intake filter that also creates a bit more intake noise that you can get in the cabin, especially with the top dropped. Since handling is really where you get the most out of the Roadster, a few key upgrades were made in that department as well. To keep it OEM+ Mazda's in-house tuning company was turned to, so it's now sporting adjustable MazdaSpeed struts and lowering springs. The engine bay got a little extra fortification via a Spats strut tower brace. With all the upgrades working in harmony you get a seriously fun car to toss around on a back road. This example touched down in fantastic shape, it's clear that someone really babied this one back in Japan. Open up the glovebox and you'll find the original books and tons of service records throughout the years. The timing belt, for instance, was just replaced a mere 1,500 miles ago. As with all our vehicles, we go through a routine semi-synthetic oil change which is where we noticed the awesome RE Amemiya oil cap. While it doesn't have much impact on performance, it does when it comes to a little engine bay bling. The clutch is light and the gearbox is fantastic thanks to that short-throw shifter. Power is sent rearward with ease and put to the ground through a factory LSD since this one was the fully loaded model. You really can't get much better than this. All of the look and drive of an OEM car with all the right additions to turn this into a true blast to pilot. If you haven't had the chance to experience a Miata then you don't know how much you're missing out on. With its simplistic nature, an abundance of parts availability, and timeless looks this Eunos really is the whole package. Whether you're looking for a fun new daily or weekend toy, or after something a little out of the ordinary then you can't go wrong with this one!
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB complaint first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.