Eunos Roadster 1.8i VR-A


MB Enthusiast
Apr 23, 2003
All sorts of odds n sods
For sale is a 1996 1.8i Eunos Roadster VR-A (full name is VR-Limited Combination 'A') limited edition japanese import (one of only 700 made).


I purchased this on the 19th of March 2007, from a local dealer who had purchased this car specifically for his daughter. The standard spec includes:
* 1.8 16v Series II Engine, with 130 bhp
* Lightweight Flywheel
* Limited Slip Differential
* Bilstein Shock Absorbers
* Raid wooden Steering Wheel
* Air conditioning
* Power steering
* Electric Windows, with one touch drivers side
* Enkei 5-spoke 15" alloys shod with Pirelli P6000 195/50
* Remote boot and fuel cap releases
* Strut braces (x2)
* Wooden Hand Brake Lever
* Wooden Gear Lever Knob
* Chrome Speaker Grilles
* Cream Leather Seats, with headrest speakers
* Cream Door Cards
* Cream Soft Top

You can see a load of pics, some of which that I specifically refer to below, that I took about 3 weeks ago or so: MX5

The price is £1,800.

The colour seems to have different names (from what I can make out). The official colour is Merlot Pearl Clearcoat (paint code A1Q) - but feel free to also take your pick from Wine Red Mica/Merlot/Vin Rouge, or simply Burgundy!

The current mileage is around 65,000 miles (105,000 kilometres), as of 25th May 2009.

It was MOT'd in the middle of March, so has about 10 months MOT left. Tax expires at the end of June.

When it was MOT'd back in March, I also had an oil and filter change, along with new brake pads. I have it serviced by a local and well respected mechanic, whose work can be independently verified by other PHers.

The car runs absolutely fine, with no problems. It is my daily driver (approx 50 miles a day), so I do rely on it - and therefore need to ensure it's 100% reliable. This weekend, for example, it's taken me and my 8-year old son to the Mini 50th anniversary party at Silverstone. Last weekend was the Petrolhead Nirvana charity bash at Dunsfold, etc, etc. I have a log of ALL petrol purchases in the past 2+ years (except for 2 receipts that I lost 2 Christmases ago). I also attend many local PistonHeads events, so many people will vouch for me and the cars condition. Some have also driven it (and loved it).

The hood was fitted, brand new, when I got the car (just over 2 years ago now), and it's absolutely fine - no leaks.

I've only had 2 problems with the car. The first was when the (original) radiator finally gave up. I had it replaced and it's been fine ever since.

The (original) clutch finally went in March 2008, and I had it replaced at a Nationwide centre (part of the AA network). IIRC, there is a 2-year guarantee on the clutch.

I also had all 4 tyres replaced in January 2008. There's TONS of thread left - so no need to replace them any time soon.

I've "upgraded" the interior - with a wood-effect. So a proper wooden steering wheel, gear and handbrake knob. And a wooden effect centre console. I've still got the original parts in the garage somewhere (or should have anyway).

The car gives me 30mpg on a mix of motorways and A/B roads, mostly with the roof down. My insurance costs me £200 through Adrian Flux, fully comp, for business use, Mrs. K as named driver, etc, etc, etc, blah blah blah.

It's got a Thatcham Cat II alarm, which I had serviced when I got the car, and have the certificates for this, which the insurance companies accept.

I also replaced the original sealed headlights with new ones where you just replace the bulb - far easier and cheaper. And does mean that you can use any type of bulb you want. The headlights pop up and down fine.

However, there are some negatives, which are as follows .......

Firstly the A/C needs re-gassing. I've personally not been fussed about this, as I usually have the roof down.

Secondly, there's a tiny bit of paint lacquer coming off on the rear, at the bottom of the number plate. It's not a big deal and is only obvious up close. See photos 242, 243 and 248 (further details below).

Thirdly, I made a tiny gash on the drivers door card handle - it's about 6-10mm in length. I did this when I hired a mitre saw for a weekend, which was considerably larger than I expected. There's also a similiar gash on the passenger side of the centre console. See photos 253, 254, 255, and 278.

Fourthly, there is a chip in the windscreen, about 4mm wide (I'm guessing). It's been there since I got the car, and have been watching it closely ever since, but it's never grown or cracked at any point. It's not caused an MOT fail or advisory. (Photos 272, 274, 275).

Fifthly, when the car is in neutral, the gearbox will occasionally faintly "whistle" (that's the only way I can describe it). It goes away when you press the clutch slightly, so I'm guessing it's the clutch release bearing or somesuch. That said, it's been like that since I got it. And when I had the clutch replaced I asked them to look at it and replace it if necessary - but they found nothing wrong with it. It's never ever caused a problem of any sort - just that occasional faint whistling.

Sixthly there is a tiny rust spt on the off-side front headlight, from a stone chip. See photo 252.

Seventhly, the drivers window only goes about half-way down. It just needs a good greasing (normal and common problem on the 5s).

And finally, the screw cover on the passenger door mirror is loose. I keep meaning to 'fix' it into place with a bit of bluetack or somesuch.

It's got a single CD player and radio - but there's a ton of wiring behind the drivers seat - so there was a multi-play CD unit in it as some point.

Both seats have speakers built into the headrests (Photo 294).

There's no vibrations from the steering or brakes, either under normal driving or braking. There's no pulling to either side. I've not had the tracking done in over a year (maybe more now) - so it would need doing. But it does not wobble at any speed (that I've noticed).

The steering wheel is slightly off-centre. However, this is just to do with me not fitting the new steering wheel dead centre. I did it all by guesswork, rather than by any scientific method.

On the rust front - I'm not aware of any rust whatsoever, except for some on the drivers side scratchplate. There's no rust bubbles under the paintwork that I've noticed.

I give the car a good clean and going over every 2-3 weeks, so I do inspect every area.

I've not had the cambelt changed, and I'm not overly fussed about that, as it's a non-interference engine. So if the cambelt goes, then there's no damage caused. It's just the hassle of getting it sorted.

The only additional comment I've got to make is that there a few tiny scratches down the passenger side. They should t-cut out OK. It's looks like I scraped a bush or something. The scratches are not down to the metal. You can see them on photos 296 and 297.

With regards to the LSD - about 99% of references to either the VR-A or all 1.8i imports all state that they come with LSD as standard. I've not confirmed this - so I'm only assuming it is fitted.

I am the registered owner and keeper of the car, with no finance outstanding on it, and it is 100% HPI clear. It's also not been involved in any prangs that I know of. I also asked the previous owner (the dealer) who stated the same.

Some additional comments and thoughts:

Please note that the car does not have central locking - nor is it remote. I keep meaning to fit it - but it's not been top of my list of to-dos. It is an easy fit alledgedly. I do have the 2 keys and 2 immobiliser keys.

Please get some insurance quotes so you have an idea of price. I'd recommend either Adrian Flux (and mention PH to get that discount), or Privilege. But whoever you go for, make 1000% sure to tell them EXACTLY what the car is - a 1996 1.8i Eunos Roadster VR-A japanese import.

The very 1st thing I fitted when I got the car was a chrome grille to protect the radiator (see photo 291).

If required, it would be very easy to 'de-wood' the interior. I'm pretty sure I've got all the original interior parts somewhere in the garage.

It has an electric aerial, which does go up and down when you turn the stereo on/off.

The dash rattles occasionally. Having been a TiV owner, it's not something that bothers me. I was going to have it spannered, as I was going to replace the dash - but that won't happen now.

The car is available for viewing any time at work during the week near Basingstoke, or at evenings and weekends at home near Ascot. An AA/RAC/Independent inspection is welcome at any time at either location.

The reason for me selling this is that I've acquired a new, bigger more practical family car as a daily driver.

If you've got any questions, then please feel to email me anytime, and I shall respond as quickly as possible.

As mentioned above (somewhere up there), you can see a load of pics that I took a few weeks ago: MX5.

And all for the princely sum of £1,800.

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