The car scene is much like life, in that there are two types of man: those who talk about what they’re probably going to do, and those who talk about what they’ve actually done.
If you know Tom Shaw, as most readers by now should, you’d probably say he belongs in that second group. We reckon he’s in a league of his own though, because unbelievably this is his THIRD Fast Car feature in just three short years, which is nothing short of first-class modifying.
The manic Midlander lives and breathes cars, and by the time you’ve finished even thinking about what to do to a ride, chances are Tom’s already gone and built it – which explains why we’re standing at shoot number three with this little number.
“I’ve read Fast Car since I can remember, so to be asked to get a car featured in the mag is a dream come true. To have three is just pretty mental,” says the hairy, humble lad of his achievement.
The 20-year-old just doesn’t mess around when it comes to his modifying, choosing to do absolutely all work on his own driveway while living down the paint isle at his local Halfords. He’s a proper do-er: take those lovely arches for example, which in his own words, “needed rolling to get the BBS’s in. So I did the baseball bat method – it was quick and simple, which it needed to be as I was late for work at the time.”
Tom’s MX-5 story started exactly a year ago, after his Scooby feature prompted him to sell up in favour of a fresh project. “I got offered a swap for a Eunos, and although I said no at the time, it did make me start looking at them,” says the final year uni student. “I realised MX-5’s are such good fun and if you can do without the practicality, they’re awesome.”
These days the iconic Eunos can be bought for pocket money, but Tom shelled out big bucks for his perfect base Roadster in the not-so-common shade of JDM-spec yellow.
Since getting the car in stock form, Tom’s gone all out with new parts, boosting its street cred to the clouds with the classy colour coded BBS centres and matching rollcage, as well as a good slamming to go with the used and abused Garage Vary front lip, ducktail wing and hardtop. Homemade stitching and that uber cool wheel continues the bespoke classy theme on the inside, while the straps give a little indication that the Midlander isn’t afraid to throw the Eunos around.
Unlike his last two features, Tom hasn’t stuck to a particular style with his MX build, instead crafting the car to his own personal taste. “It just had to be clean really,”
Tom himself says. “My last two cars were covered in stickers, so I wanted to stay away from that. I suppose there is also a slightly retro feel to the car, with its age, the BBS’s, steering wheel and diamond stitching, but it’s just about having fun again.”
It’s easy to get rid of a car after your famous FC shoot, as Tom has proven before, but this time he has other plans on the horizon and expects to keep the Eunos long after you’ve finished weeping at the beauty of it in these very pages. “I’ve got to turbo it,” he says with a big smile on his face. “I’m 21 this year so insurance will be ok for it too. It has to be done.”
You tend to believe him for a bit when he says he’ll keep it – but then we remember this is Tom, standing next to his third feature car, and that in his head he’s probably built his next car already.
Tom doesn’t do a bad car, but in our opinion his latest is his best, so is he really gonna leave it there? Is he heck. See you next year, son!
1992 EUNOS ROADSTER 1.6
HKS Super Dragger exhaust; de-cat pipe.
Garage Vary front lip; custom ducktail rear spoiler; debadged & smoothed rear panel; Skuzzle Motorsport turn signal intakes; colour coded hardtop; colour coded reflectors; colour coded sills; fog light removed; DIY rolled arches; chrome retro mirrors; lots of cable ties!
BBS RM, 8×15-inch (front) and 8.5×15-inch (rear) wheels, black bolts, chrome centre caps; sharp bullet valve caps; Raceland coilovers; TR Lane GPV roll cage; under floor bracing.
Diamond stitched leather door cards and centre arm rest; standard seats retrimmed with eather with yellow accents; green 3-point harnesses; Nardi wooden steering wheel with Ferrari horn push; Driftworks steering wheel boss; rare Mazda chequered floor mats; Vegas dice gearknob.
JVC KD-R401 headunit; Pioneer door speakers.