Oh yeah I have a mazda...99 Miata

Discussion in 'Project Cars' started by niterydr, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. niterydr

    niterydr Legendary Status!

    It was eventually going to come to this, me buying a handling car.

    After taking a break from racing motorcycles I've decided I want another street car that I can eventually track. I wanted a car that I can learn from, learn in, and hone my driving skills. I know I can take corners fast on a motorcycle, and I can bang gears drag racing; let's see if we can combine those in a car.

    The rules:
    1) It has to handle and corner
    2) It has to be competitive at something
    3) Something I can drive on the street and have fun while doing it
    4) No loans, projects and toys are cash only in my book.
    5) Reasonable consumables. Racing a motorcycle was running me $600-$1000 a weekend, that's without crashing, that's straight consumable cost.


    I was looking at everything from another Mustang to another RX7. Maybe a throwback and another? 3000gt/Stealths, DSM's, GVR4, WRX, 240sx, Porsche 924/944/951 and 928's, Probe/MX-6, F-bodies (LS), C4 corvettes.

    Then I started to narrow it down.

    1) RWD only
    2) Manual transmission only
    3) Aftermarket support
    4) Racing pedigree.
    5) Something that I can build over time.

    So I went with a Miata.

    Once the decision was made to go Miata, I was searching all hands on deck. I looked at all of the Miata's offered for sale on Craigslist, E-bay, MNAUTOX, Cars.com, Carsoup.com, Autotrader, and any auction site I have access to.

    In looking at availability, NA and NB Miata's were well within my sub $5k initial purchase price. Furthermore the 99+ motors make more power than the NA chassis 1.8's, and I didn't want a 1.6 as I did intend to drive this on the street. Thus, NB was the focus.

    To confirm the NB, I test drove a 94 Miata R-spec miata and a beat to hell 99 miata before I found this one. After those two I figured I may spend all summer looking for a Miata and beating up on Ryan's Z06 at the autocrosses to keep me "training", as local options were pretty beat up. I could not stomach buying something with rust on it and was already opening up the search radius to 600 miles out.

    Until I got a craigslist alert:

    Original owner, 34,440 miles on it. Rochester area, MN.

    The vehicle is a PEP package, Popular Equipment Package. Not the "sport" model, but it has some creature comforts as I also want a street car, such as:
    Power windows, power locks, power mirrors, no ABS, Power radio antenna, torsen rear differential, a/c.


    Eventually I'll make it a bruiser of a HPDE vehicle that is still street driven. That's the fun part about a Miata, I don't have to strip it to hell to have fun and get "90%" of the way there. I intend for this car to be 80-90% badass at being a street car, road course car, auto-x, and look good.

    Will I motor swap it? Not for a long time or until I've completely exhausted the handling capabilities of this thing on a road course and I am ONLY getting beaten on the straights.


    Phase 0: The introductory Phase.

    Currently I am working on verifying the Miata is 100%. Small tear in the soft top I'll be repairing and the paint is a 5-10 footer, we'll see if I can get it down to a 1-2' paint job.

    Parts are coming in and I should be ready for my first Autocross in it, MOWOG #5 at DCTC, Sunday July 24th.

    I'll be changing all fluids in the vehicle as well as all filters and spark plugs prior to the autocross event. It'll be a very fresh and nearly 100% stock (with good tires) example of a 1999 Miata. I figure the perfect platform to learn.

    Currently it has Falken tires and an alignment, probably all that's going to happen.

    I did MOWOG #5 in it and took 5th or 6th out of the novice group, can't recall. Plan on doing PG2 Saturday as well with it.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. derrian

    derrian Pika-Zoom! Staff Member

    Miata's are just the bomb. We have a 91. And when I was able to drive it, it just handles like a little go cart. You can throw it into just about everything and not have to worry about it. I ahve seen my husband spin it ONCE and that was the carousel at Proving Ground. So 100 ish on speeds lol.

    Great purchase! What all are you planning to do to it?
     

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