Archive for category Spec Miata

…and now I fit!

Yeah, I am a bit smug :)

Yeah, I am a bit smug :)

Anyone over six feet tall can tell you that their seating position is almost always compromised in a sports car. And, as you’ve heard me mention before, my biggest issue is always headroom. To solve the problem I tilt the seat back enough to get my noggin below the headliner, and then scoot the seat forward as much as my legs can take. This solves the height problem, but has the side effect of putting the steering wheel too far away.

There are many body types in the world. I’m 6? 3”, 220 lbs, with short legs, and an exceptionally long torso (my inseam is only about 32”). I’m probably one of the hardest bodies to fold into sports cars, let alone a Miata.

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Late Braking Update!

Brakes area very misunderstood system. In fact Mario Andretti has this to say on the subject: “It is amazing how many drivers, even on the Formula One level, think that the brakes are for slowing the car down.”

Oooh, sparks!

Oooh, sparks!

Brakes do a lot of things on a racecar: they slow your speed, manage the weight, change the balance on corner entry, allow you to out-brake the local hot-shoe at the end of a long straight, or perhaps fade and leave you out to dry on the last lap of the race. Ahem… needless to say brakes have a very important job on a racecar, and if you want to be competitive they must be at their absolute best.

The existing brakes on my car were leaking badly and I was quite suspicious about their ability to stop me reliably. Given that this is going to be a dedicated race car, and will have to routinely brake from 130mph down to 30mph, I decided that replacement was the best route. Mazdaspeed has a pretty good deal on remanufactured calipers and SS brake lines, so I ordered up a set.

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Spec Miata • So it begins….

Spec Miata, the breeding ground for tomorrows racing champions. Why have I decided to build a car for such a class? Perhaps I think that I have a shot at competing… or maybe I don’t like having a saving account…. You decide!

This is the car I’ve picked up for the build:

My little red miata!

The car is a 1990 model with 130,000 miles on the clock. It’s an early car, which means that it could potentially suffer from the fatal short nose crankshaft of doom. However, I’m not particularly concerned as it doesn’t show any of the telltale signs of failure. In fact it pulls as strongly as my 1999 miata, and that car has another 25 horseys. All in all it’s actually a pretty nice car, but not so nice that I’ll feel bad cutting it up. It was pretty messed up from the second owner, who was a heavy smoker, and evidently a heavy french fry eater.

A little History: I’m this cars third owner. The car looks to have been relatively well cared for in its past lives… Well, for most of its lives. From what I gather from owner number 2 (Hereafter referred to as smokey) it was a California car for about 18 years. It was then sold on ebay to smokey who really f*&@ed it up. Seriously, I think this guy bought stock in Marlboro… and McDonalds. When I removed the seats to vacuum the carpets I found not only desiccated french fries, but cigarette butts and toenail clippings! Yuck!! Combined with the horrible musty smells coming from everything not made of metal I knew I had a proper donor car.

Now to collect some parts and empty that bank account!

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