Did I mention that I’m tall?


To the tune of 6′ 3″. That might not sound like a big problem, but when you’re trying to fit in a Miata it becomes very important, very fast. But John! If it’s so hard to even sit in a Miata, why do you drive one? Heck, why do you own two?!! There are so many obvious reasons; The top goes down, they are cheap and easy to maintain, they can out handle almost anything out there, and did I mention Mazda Team Support? However, all of that is just the icing on the cake. The primary reason I chose the Miata for my first racecar is driver development.

First lets talk about my goals as a driver; and I’ll go ahead and lay it on the table. I want to be the best there ever was. Period. Some would say thats a bit of a lofty goal, and I agree. But if it were easy then everyone would do it. The Miata was actually a tough choice, I almost went with an entirely different car, the AE86 Corolla. Keiichi Tsuchiya, one of my driving heroes, said that the AE86 “is a car that trains the driver”. He’s famous for a lot of things: Pioneering the drift movement, his many wins and championships in JGTC, and his role in the production of one of my favorite TV shows, Initial D. A rather impressive resume, and you can trace it all back to his grassroots days of driving his AE86 on the mountain passes of Japan. Look up Drift Bible if you curious about his driving prowess, its a very informative watch. The AE86 was a very tempting choice, but the relative high price of the vehicle, combined with a general lack of parts availability and support, all persuaded me to go with a Miata. Grassroots has this to say about the Miata: “They’re forgiving enough to be good beginner cars, but still rewarding for an expert.” As a car that trains the driver, I think the Miata is at least as good as the AE86, while maybe erring a bit on the soft side.

World class driving skills are more than enough reward for a little discomfort in my opinion, and as you can see by this picture, it’s a tight fit:

Who's that tall guy?

Hey! Who's that tall guy?

So now I have to figure out how to fit myself in this little beast (with a helmet this time). I’ve pretty much decided that the Ultra Shield Spec Miata seat is the way to go. Since this is going to be a single driver racecar I don’t need to worry about adjustability. I can mount it directly to the floor and even do a little massaging if necessary. Hmmm, maybe I should lower the floor like a touring car…

  1. #1 by Jason at December 11th, 2009

    How did the seat upgrade go, and do did it create alot more room?

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