Mazda MX-5 vs Four "Basic Sports Cars" of 1968

In the January 2017 issue we compared the Mazda MX-5 against four classics that were pitted against each other in a 1970 Road & Track story: Fiat 124 Spider, MGB, Porsche 914 and Triumph TR6. Road & Track’s October 1968 issue featured a four-car face-off for “basic sports cars,” so let’s again see how the popular Mazda compares.

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ClearwaterZ New Reader
2/20/20 1:18 p.m.

Interesting that you give the MX-5 a DOHC 2.0L engine - but don't compare it to a Datsun 2000 with a 2.0L OHC engine from 1968.  That would reduce the Pounds Per Horsepower for the Datsun from 25.5 to a far more compeitive 16 lbs per hp with the 130HP U20, or 13.9 with the U20 rated at 150HP. (vs 15 for the MX-5).  Retail Price in inflation adjusted USD's should also be a column.

mrichlen New Reader
2/21/20 11:58 a.m.

I agree, better comparison. 

2/21/20 2:34 p.m.

An even better comparison is to the first NA Miata, with the 1600 engine withour VVT. These values are at or below the older cars, and include driver airbags (I know, I tested one head-on with a pickup and walked away; likely would be sitting here dead in the older cars.)

Be careful comparing the very small JIN gross horses (ponys?) to modern net Horse power; I owned a 1990 Miata and test drove a Datsun 2000, memory has them very similar, with a little more torgue for the Datsun (not bought due to common 2nd gear synchro gone).

Another net aid to people considering their first restoration, it would be neat to compare a common pile of parts (brake rotors, clutch, valves) from popular catalogues for each vehicle. It could save some "buyer's remorse". 

wspohn Dork
2/22/20 12:29 p.m.

Misleading for you to compare cars quoting gross power for all the others and net for the Miata.  The Mazda would look even better if it was a level playing field.  (The Mazda would equate to a bit over 180 bhp gross).

sir_mike New Reader
2/23/20 6:34 p.m.

Totally different way a fair comparison....would rather have any of the four instead of the Miata....especially the first Miata that looked like an Elan copy.

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