Peak Autos was borne of two motoring enthusiasts Adam Walsh and Neil Thornely.


Adam also runs his own laptop repair business. He’s the sort of person who can take a soldering iron to an ECU without breaking a sweat, and it’s possible that his brain signals have already switched over to digital. Adam rates handling over power, and will spend hours tinkering, adjusting and fettling in order to shake those vital tenths.


Neil has a history of working in marketing and PR but vitally motoring journalism for titles such as Practical Performance Car, Classic Ford and Total Vauxhall. His attitude is ‘if you can avoid paying for it to be fixed, then do so,’ which began in earnest when he dragged his first E30 325 out of a hedge with a mashed front end and the engine in the wrong place.


Between them they’ve driven, owned, modified, raced and written off more cars than they’ve had hot dinners. The list includes several BMWs: the eponymous welded differential E30 which ended up in a hedge; an E34 525 TDS which ended up with a T5 turbocharger; and an E36 325 which ended up dragging the floor on sports suspension, poly bushes and a limited slip differential.


On the Japanese front they’ve been through S13s, a Civic EK9, a Subaru Legacy Twin Turbo (still alive an kicking as Neil’s daily*) and a Honda S2000 (which met with a sticky fate due a drifting misdemeanour). Lastly, their run of MX5s is somewhere over seven, with several incarnations around the Mk1 and Mk2s: A bulletproof 1.6 Mk1 which saw a few hot laps of the Nürburgring; a Mk2 which met with an unfortunate non-fault road accident, and finally, Schfifty.


Schfifty is 1.6 which was taken off the road in 2013 for use exclusively on the track. Initial lightening of the car included removing the interior and other uneccessaries, and replacing the heavy leather seats with sport buckets, along with a TR Lane roll bar. The head was skimmed by 15 thou and the valves relapped to tighten the seal and maintain compression. Alongside modest breathing modifications, the 1.6 is now matches a friend’s unmodified Mk2.5 VVT 1.8 in a straight line.


Vitally, however, Schfifty sits on V-Maxx racing coilovers, balanced and set up by Sheffield racing professional. At the same time, the weight was brought back to a perfect 50/50 using ballasts, giving an intense experienced dialled just for the track. Plans are in the pipeline for a very special race vehicle which we can’t talk about at the moment, so watch this space!

*for now.