Blog: Dave LeggettHairdressers rejoice

Dave Leggett | 1 March 2005

New MX-5 looks pretty nice, I must say. And in appearance and basic concept it is still not all that different from the winning package that debuted in 1989. That stands testament to something having been very right about that new-for-'89 car. The great no frills, rear-drive, British compact roadster with retro appeal that was, well, Japanese. Mazda hit the jackpot when it entered the segment at the turn of the last decade - after the Brits had vacated it - and it went on to become one of those seminal models that pretty much defines a whole new market segment and brings new models from competitors along with it (including, somewhat ironically, Rover’s MGF).

I drove an MX-5, Mark 1, many years ago: gently undulating English countryside, deserted country roads, sunny day in the summer, hood down. Bliss. There was that sudden realisation that I was just enjoying myself and not even remotely concerned about the time of day or the usual low-level anxieties that generally occupy my overworked brain cell. Stress reliever. Not a very powerful engine perhaps, but the handling and wind in my hair more than made up for that. And, unlike many of its spiritual forebears made here, Japanese reliability came with it. The MX-5 should have been British (what the MGB, perhaps, might have become in a parallel universe), but the fact that it was not is just one of the many chapters in the slightly sorry tale of the British auto industry and its slow but seemingly inexorable decline in the post-war (the rather big affair that ended in 1945 that is, not the Falklands spat of the early 1980s - though I guess it holds for the latter also) period. Okay, I’ll lighten up a bit now…


Colossal China powers on

I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....


China Hot Pot

Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...

Forgot your password?