The source of nearly all components
To provide all the mechanical components for my Locost project I purchased a 2006 NC Mazda MX5 insurance write-off, which was only eight months old at that time. It had run off the road and hit a few small trees, damaging most of the body panels but the mechanicals survived largely untouched except for a rear lower control arm and the engine mounts. It was still drivable (barely) and had only covered 8,000 km. Despite extensive body damage the components that I required were in excellent condition.
I was able to salvage many valuable parts including the 2 litre all alloy Duratec DOHC 16 valve VCT (variable cam timing) engine (118kw), 6 speed tiptronic auto, tailshaft, adjustable steering column with paddle change for the auto and controls in the steering wheel for the cruise control (yes it works in my Locost), 10 spoke alloy wheels & Michelin tyres, front suspension stub axles and hubs etc, IRS multi link rear suspension and subframe, ABS 4 wheel disc brakes (ventilated at front), brake pedal assembly & power booster, fly-by-wire accelerator, dash instrument cluster, wiring looms and all computers and electronics etc etc.
After removing all the parts that I required for the Locost project, the remaining body shell and useable parts were sold to an enthusiast in Queensland who planned on rebuilding it into a race car.
It was not a cheap car to buy in the first place, as it was almost new and could have been repaired. However it actually provided good value in the end as I was able to use many of the original components, and if I had to buy them all separately it would have been an even more expensive exercise. I also had matching components from the one vehicle, the very latest in automotive technology from Mazda and most importantly - components that met the emissions regulations and ADR’s (Australian Design Rules).
Having all the components matching and on hand as I needed them really made the project so much easier. This was most noticeable when I had to research, identify and locate other suitable parts during the build eg steering rack and components.