When you think of a modified Mx-5, the first thought that comes to mind for most is usually a Mk1 example, complete with a rag top roof and a few modifications. It’s all too easy to forget the Mk2 and Mk2.5 models that shared the same great handling characteristics, especially as you tend not to see many tastefully modified examples.
Daniel Bridle’s Roadster was definitely an exception to this and, along with a few other notable Mk2/Mk2.5 drifters, has recently led the way in styling for this generation of Mazda.
Bodykits are often a hit or miss affair with Mx-5s, with wheel fitment and ride height being crucial in terms of being able to pull them off. As his daily driver at the time, Daniel couldn’t be dealing with the hassle of fibreglass bumpers impeding his journeys and so instead opted to fit a Touge Run Vary front lip to the factory front bumper instead, bringing with it some additional depth and aggression.
Setting the front end off brilliantly was a pair of Demon Motorsport front canards, bringing a little bit of Time Attack style to the build.
There’s no way we can talk about this car and not mention the 15×8 WORK Emotion CR Ultimate Kiwamis in GT Silver. These wheels were developed specifically with the Mx-5 in mind and it was great to see just how good of a job they did in bringing some sharp lines to this otherwise quite rounded Roadster.
Tyre stretch is a much-debated topic amongst the Mx-5 community, with some believing it to be the work of the devil while others push it to the extreme. Daniel’s setup sat nicely in between the two, with the 195/50/15 Nangkang NS-2s offering a chunky look and functionality without looking too bulbous.
In this shot you can see the Bomex side skirts, another much-sought after part that many Mx-5 owners spend a lot of time trying to source. Like the aforementioned bodykits, they can often be a hit or miss affair in the looks department but I think they suited Daniel’s car down to the ground, adding some new lines without looking out of place alongside the front bumper arrangement and stock rear bumper.
The interior was awash with functional upgrades and creature comforts, with the most obvious being the addition of the 340mm Nardi Classic steering wheel. You may also notice the JASS handbrake button and custom aluminium gear knob, while the JDM Roadster chequer mats and kick plates are quite a bit harder to spot.
Nothing was too in-your-face or lacking in taste; there is no sticker bombing or trim pieces painted with luminous spray paint to be found here. Functionality and class was the name of the game.
On the subject of stickers though, a few choice additions had found their way onto the rear windscreen that either hold sentimental value or represent friends and team mates.
In a world that consistently tends to focus on the “more is more” approach, this Mx-5 is a testament to keeping things clean, simple and well thought out. As a massive fan of what many would call the “Golden Era” of Japanese drifting and its associated tuning scene where simplicity, balance and style were key, Daniel quite clearly wore his influences on his sleeve when it came to modifying his Roadster.
This also showed in his driving; don’t let the clean looks fool you, this thing got drifted hard, just like his heroes would.
You might notice that I’ve written this post in the past tense. Unfortunately, Daniel sold his Mx-5 a few months after I took these photos at the Meguiars BBQ event, although the car is still living on with its new owner over in France. I’m just glad that someone else can enjoy this fantastically well put together little Mazda.
HSD Monopro coilovers
Cusco RS 2-way LSD
Competition Clutch Stage 2
RPC 5.3kg lightweight flywheel
Superstyle rack spacers for increased steering angle
SuperPro Polybushed arms with eccentric camber bushes
SuperPro differential void mount fillers
Racing Beat rear ARB with polybush mounts
Mazda SVT sport brake callipers
Jetex 2.5″ exhaust system
Driftworks SuperCool radiator
Sparco Evo bucket seat
JB Fab seat side mounts
340mm perforated leather Nardi Classic
JASS handbrake button
Aluminium custom gearknob
10AE Roadster dials
JDM Roadster kickplates
JDM Roadster chequer mats
WORK Emotion CR Ultimate Kiwami 15×8 ET5 wheels
Nangkang NS2 195/50/15
OEM Mazda hardtop
JASS hardtop side mounts
Touge Run Vary style front lip
Demon Motorsport front canards
Bomex side skirts