March Car of the Month
Welcome to March's Car of the Month Winner
Yorim Wauters | 2003 Mazda MX-5 NBFL | @senpai.nbfl
Those who have followed us from the start know that we have always shown a keen interest in the Belgian car scene. A nation whose outlook on car culture is somewhat jaded. Whilst the legal stance renders tampering with any part of the vehicle pretty much against the law, somehow the build examples that are born in Belgium are of exceptional quality.
None more-so than our March car of the Month winner - Yorim - and his super clean Mk2 MX-5.
"I've always been into the JDM car scene. A friend of mine owned an NA Miata - the one with the pop-up headlights. He invited me for a spin and let me have a go driving it. The moment I drove the car was the moment I fell in love with the MX-5.
Even though he owned an NA Miata, I wanted an NB as so many people already owned the NA and I wanted to be a little different. After a lot of searching on the internet, I found a low priced NBFL (NB facelift model). I went to view it and bought it that day."
The charm that is 90's pop-up headlights means that the NA MX-5 is definitely a more familiar sight within the JDM car scene. Not to mention the vast amount of sharp and radical exterior aesthetics that can be achieved from a very well supported aftermarket platform. Yet the NB is growing in popularity, predominantly due to the resurgence of early-noughties models. You know, the cars we all grew up with and now are rushing to snap up so we can feel that dopamine inducing nostalgia rush.
"I wanted to step up my game. I first owned a Mk4 Ford Focus which was bagged, sat on a nice set of wheels and wrapped. I had other plans with the Miata and wanted to make something clean out of it.
My way to go was was to have a clean paint job, some nice 2 or 3-piece wheels and a slammed stance. Of course some details and other mods but nothing too 'extra'. I want people to say; 'that car is so clean' when they see it."
Yorim has definitely achieved this. The frost white respray is a sensational colour-way and is the first time I've seen it used on an NB Miata. It looks sensational and when aired-out on the 2-piece OZ Turbo wheels, achieves the clean, OEM+ look that Yorim desired.
As you can imagine with a car this clean, it doesn't see feel the tarmac beneath its tyres on a daily basis.
"I actually don't daily this car, simply because it's not possible for me. The trunk is too small to fit anything in and it's only a two-seater. I often give lifts to my friends so with this not being possible in the Miata, I have a second car which I daily.
Here in Belgium the car is also very illegal due to the air suspension so when I drive it, I run the risk of it being seized by the police each time. I only drive it when I go to car shows and even that is super scary. When I do take it out, I love the way the car handles. It's so light and takes the corners so well. If I could I would drive it all day, everyday!"
In other articles featuring Belgian builds we've touched on the harsh road laws practiced overseas. For those of you who are unaware, when it comes to modifications, Belgium isn't a nation that shares our passion.
One of the first and most common modifications made by anybody is installing an aftermarket exhaust. Well, if you want to do this in Belgium you have to take your car for a technical inspection after the work has been completed. Upon completion of the inspection you will be issued a tuning report which will set you back an extra €8.40.
This is relatively un-obtrusive compared to the rules surrounding under-bonnet modifications. Here, no power gains are tolerated unless validated by the original manufacturer themselves! Thus bringing a whole new definition to the term OEM+.
When it comes to lowering, the amount of hoops needed to be jumped through makes this practically impossible. The law states you will need to have any work carried out by a professional who will issue an Installation Certificate and Validation Report. After receiving these, you will then need to take your car to be inspected at an authorised technical centre immediately, where you will be told which modifications you have meet the criteria and which don't. Essentially, tuning your car is a big no, no.
Aside from all the legal stipulations, there were other challenges faced by Yorim with the build.
"I'm very sure that would be patience and money. It was a rust-bucket when I bought it and the car was fully restored in 1.5 years. Most of the time the car was sat in the shop getting ready for all of the mods so I couldn't enjoy the car very often. Now, after 1.5 years in the making, I can finally present my car at shows and on the road!"
It's been well and truly worth the wait and the attention to detail to create such an exquisite NB MX-5 is highly impressive. In-fact I'd almost be incline to say that this is one of the most luxurious MX5's I'm yet to see.
There is a full 'VIP' boot-build complete with quilted boot lining. The 2-piece wheels have rose gold studs positioned in the lips to add further detail and a little flare, and the colour itself gives off a luxurious edge, despite originating from a brand not closely associated with luxury.
"My favourite feature of the car has to be the colour. I wanted the brightest white possible, so I went with Ford's 'Frost White'. On a sunny day, the paint is so bright it actually hurts my eyes!"
Yorim has created a real head turner with his MX-5 and it really is a sensational package. Like with many petrol heads, aside from the joy brought about through driving, being able to look back and see how far you've come with a build provides a massive sense of achievement.
"When I'd just bought the car it was in its worst condition and I took it for drives almost every night. I would do some skids in corners and full send it on the highway. Now, I don't want to do that anymore due to the cost of the build. I don't want to damage or crash it so I'm really careful when I drive it now."
Gone are the days of thrashing a unloved 20 year old car and here come the days of meticulously cleaning and protecting your retro pride & joy. This is the difference in attitude when a considerable amount of time and money has been invested into creating something special. Yorim had a clear vision in mind - to create a clean build - and that is exactly what he has achieved. This NB MX-5 is clean and immaculately finished.
A very worthy car of the month winner!