Collecting Cars

1998 MAZDA MX-5 (MK1) BERKELEY - 1,899 MILES

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Auction Ended
2020-07-06 19:40:03

A remarkable example of a sports car icon, this 1998 Mazda MX-5 Berkeley Limited Edition is number 346 of 400 made. More significantly, the car has covered just 1,899 miles from new and is in exceptional original and unrestored condition. A first generation ‘NA’ variant of the MX-5, the car is powered by a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine paired with five-speed manual gearbox driving the rear wheels.

The MX-5 Berkeley was a limited edition for the UK market only. Based on the 1.8i, it was a marketing collaboration with The Berkeley luxury hotel in Knightsbridge, with Mazda running a competition to win a weekend break there alongside the launch of the car. These cars were also the final NA-model special edition MX-5s produced.

Special features only for the Berkeley edition were 15-inch five-spoke alloy wheels with locking wheel nuts, Sparkle Green metallic paint, black and grey leather seats, and grey door panels with black stitching. There was also a Momo three-spoke leather steering wheel, black leather handbrake and gear lever gaiters, dark burr wood console trim, a polished stainless steel cabin brace bar, stainless steel sill plates, and a boot rack. Finally, a numbered plaque was applied to the centre console, and Berkeley badges to the exterior. These cars also benefitted from power steering.

First registered on 3 April 1998, the car has had just one previous keeper from new. Delivered by John Wilkins Cars of Cheltenham, the car was reportedly used only in summer months when the first owner stayed at his holiday home, and in this time the car travelled only 1,898 miles before being placed in storage. The seller has owned the car for approximately 18 months in which time it has been stored and not driven – though he has given it a full service. Its road tax expired in November 1999, and it has not been back on the public highway since then.

As is to be expected with such a low-mileage example, the Sparkle Green paintwork is in superb order and the car has never been repainted. From preserved factory stickers to production line markings, the car is in absolutely incredible original condition. The photos speak for themselves, showing details such as immaculate original sills, factory spot welds and as-new nuts, bolts and fixtures all round. The unique Berkeley edition 15-inch alloy wheels are in superb unmarked condition.

Moving inside, the interior is immaculate, and has never been repaired or reupholstered. As one would expect, the interior shows virtually no wear, and the seller reports no blemishes or defects. The Berkeley-only stainless steel sill plates, cabin brace bar and boot rack also present superbly, and the door shuts are pristine. Under the bonnet, the engine bay presents superbly as does the suspension – as shown in the photographs. The black fabric hood is in great shape, with absolutely no damage, and fits snugly over the frame.

The car was fully serviced by the current owner using OEM Mazda parts in March 2019 at 1,899 miles. Alongside this full engine service, the brakes have been inspected and cleaned. Its previous service was its very first workshop visit in July 1999 at 951 miles.

The car has never been put through an MOT test, and wears the original factory-fitted Dunlop tyres with approximately 7mm of tread.

An exceptional and perhaps unrepeatable example of a limited edition NA model, this Mazda MX-5 Berkeley is also sold with its original handbooks and stamped maintenance record. Given the impact the MX-5 had on the sports car landscape, and as contemporary roadsters stray from the pure and simple philosophy that made the original a genuine icon, this as-new unrestored car would make a fine addition to any collection of modern classics.

All cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

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