(click above for photo gallery)
Baby is my 1990 Mazda Miata. I remember wishing
that a carmaker would make a light, small, great handling car that I could afford.
In 1990, Mazda did so. Four years later, I bought Baby used - a dream come true.
It seems as if Mazda built this car to my personal specifications. Of course,
as time goes on, I'm making her even closer to my own personal specs as I modify
her. I've tried to play up the aspects I love about the Miata - responsive,
light feel with great handling at the limit. Maximum speed is not as important
as the feel - if she likes to rev and turn, that's what I want. She hasn't been
in a shop for years - I've done all the work myself from swapping heads to changing
shocks over and over. She was a feature car in the
Flyin' Miata catalog in 1999. In 2001 I went to work for FM.
Other members of the fleet:
Here's the current setup:
- Silver stripes! They
look amazing. Try to imagine two lines of polished aluminum right down the
center of the car......Want to see more?
The photos are online at Miata
Stripe Central, along with the Stripe Machine.
- Mazda front air dam - something
the stylists actually wanted to put on in the first place.
- Mazda rear skirt - helps to
finish up the look around the duals.
- Nuerburgring sticker
beside the licence plate in honour of my laps of the legendary 'Ring
- Canadian flags
in front of the rear wheels. If you have to ask why, you don't know me.
- Flying Miata dual exhausts
- two big pipes sticking out the rear. These give a wonderful sound, a great
look, and best of all, they free up the breathing for more power.
- Flying Miata programmable ECU.
Because of this, I was able to bypass the restrictive stock airflow meter.
Everything from the redline to the temperature at which the fan comes on can
be programmed. Accompanying this is a fully
setup. This is all logged through a Palm
for better tuning.
- Racing Beat 4-1 free-flow
- Ported and polished head.
- Built bottom end with 11:1 Wiseco
pistons and Carrillo rods all fully balanced under a polished intake
manifold and valve cover.
- Clutchmasters dual-plate kevlar
clutch with aluminum pressure plate.
- Webcam 505 cams
- Flyin' Miata adjustable cam gears
Flyin' Miata free-flow cat.
16" wheels. These are required for the big brakes, and they look
- Toyo T1 Proxies tires,
205/45-16. Stick like glue, but they have very good breakaway behaviour. These
have worn out and will soon be replaced with the T1-S.
Miata big brakes on the front. Replaced the Baer
Claw Sport big brakes. Much better than the Baers.
- 1994 brakes on the
rear - larger Powerslot rotors, installed with stainless steel brake lines
and Porterfield pads.
- SuperPro polyurethane suspension
bushings. These tightened up the suspension beautifully. I'm a big believer
- Flyin' Miata progressive springs
- lowering Baby by about 1.5" lets her corner better and roll less.
Flyin' Miata rear shock mounts - hey, I helped design them. So it's
not a surprise that I have a prototype set on my car.
- Jackson Racing sway bars -
faster turn-in, no roll. Baby's telepathic now! These are set to the softest
setting for compliance.
- Tokico Illumina adjustable
shocks - the stocks were tired, and this woke Baby up! I can
tune her to match my mood.
- Adjustable sway bar end links.
I credit these with my increased steering feel.
- Autocross alignment - Max caster,
1 degree negative camber front, -1.5 negative camber rear, no toe in or toe
- Hard Dog Sport roll
bar. As my friend Bill Cardell says, "keep the pavement off your
- Racing Beat front subframe brace - this
stiffens up the body and gives Baby a nice solid feel.
- Flyin' Miata strut tower brace
- getting stiffer and stiffer.
- Skip Cannon designed custom rear subframe brace
- an improvement on the Racing Beat design, and very effective!
- Team Flatspot rear subframe braces
- these work with the Cannon version.
- Custom secondary
headlights - no need for the pop-up lights around town.
- Hella H4 headlights - these
are halogen lights with high powered bulbs. Makes all the difference on those
back roads at night. Don't worry, I'm careful not to blind anyone!
- Hella 3000 lights!
Those wimpy 130W highs weren't enough, so I added 200W worth of Hella Rallye
3000s. One driving light and one wide-angle cornering light, mounted on easily
removable bars and wired to come on with the high beams.
- Clear front side marker light
lenses. A bit of style, these still light up bright orange.
- A custom Big
Red Button for a starter button. Here's a
photo that also shows the Ti Voodoo.This thing makes me smile.
- Momo Champion steering
wheel. Oooooh. Feels nice!
- Willans six-point
harnesses. In red. The passenger gets a set as well, of course.
- Levec racing pedals - a prize
from a driving day. They're a set of four, with one for the dead pedal. That
really confuses kids sometimes.
- A collection of Voodoo
shift knobs - it just feels right, you know? One of them has a 6-speed
shift pattern engraved on top. The current one is a limited Magnum Titanium.
There's also a Pollo Rampante enamelled badge beside the shifter.
- Wind blocker
- I made this out of a sheet of Lexan. It sits upright behind the seats, and
keeps the cockpit a little calmer at speed. This is only for cold weather
with the top down, or long highway drives. Works amazingly well, and Lexan
is bulletproof! I can't say I've ever needed that particular feature, but
James Bond did.
- Hardtop - well, I lived in
Canada. What do you expect? At least
it's got stripes on it now...
- Pollo Rampante
decals - to go with the shift knob. Don't worry, they're magnetic. But
they seem to get around.
- A collection of car covers
and cockpit covers to protect her.
- A CB radio that runs through
the Mazda antenna for keeping in touch for those long trips
- Hardwiring for a Valentine 1 radar
detector so I can keep my licence.
- Of course, a Miata.net
And now, back to Keith's
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