Mazda MX-5… Beauty & The Beast

Mazda MX-5 side
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Beauty & The Beast: René Bohnen exposed Mazda MX-5 to extremes

"On the edge"

"If you love driving, you can't help but fall in love with a Mazda MX-5," says René Bohnen, and the resounding success of the model underscores the same. In any case, he has a right to speak after having 'Beauty' restored and driving from Amsterdam to Singapore with 'The Beast', but it is now only memories. 

Text: Aart van der Haagen • Photography: Aart van der Haagen, René Bohnen

Okay, Bohnen is by no means turning his back on the bestseller among roadsters, because nowadays he moves in the type NC and insiders know that it is the penultimate generation. “Due to a change in my job, I travel three days every two weeks from Eindhoven to Middelburg and I didn't want to do that to my restored Mazda MX-5 NA. That's why I exchanged it for a newer type at the Jan Scholten Team. ”

The specialist based in Almelo Mazda MX-5 knew what he was getting, because an underprivileged project was saved here before the demolition hammer. "I bought my black NA there in June 2018 as a makeover in a deplorable condition," said Bohnen. "If it hadn't been a Canadian Limited Edition, a desirable black version with a light brown leather interior, we wouldn't have started the restoration." 

Terribly bad

René Bohnen learned to appreciate the Mazda MX-5 in the time that he sometimes borrowed the dark green Limited Edition from his brother Jules and completely during the journey they undertook together in 2007.

“With 'The Beast' we drove the Cabrio Challenge from Amsterdam to Singapore. Apart from a flat tire, there was nothing wrong with this Mazda in 18.600 kilometers, despite a very modest technical preparation. ”

As far as René Bohnen was concerned, the Mazda MX-5 had earned its mark. “In June 2017 I was having coffee at 't Jan Scholten Team and there we were talking about a Mazda MX-5 NA Limited Edition, originating from Canada and made in black with light brown leather. In terms of carriage, a miserably poor specimen, although it could be saved. We came up with a plan to have a restoration carried out on my behalf. "

The sheet metal worker did not shrink from the horrific scenes he encountered at the well-known weaknesses of the Mazda MX-5: both sills and the outside and inside screens on all sides. The car also received a light engine overhaul, a refreshed interior, a new soft top and Hella H4 headlights with more light output.

After our adventure in the Gobi desert, I knew how important that was, because we didn't see a crack with the original lamps from the Mazda MX-5. Prefer an NC? "Uh ... you shouldn't ask me about that."

Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 interior
Limited Edition with standard light brown leather and wooden Nardi handlebar

Mazda MX-5 engine compartment

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