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.