Hello from Michigan!
A little about me. I was reading the "Ultimate "NOOBS Read This First STICKY!"" thread and I seem fit under the 30y.o, 2 kids and a mortgage category pretty well. I am a collision tech by profession, ASE master mechanic and body tech for 10 years now. My dad and I started building and racing karts when I was 10, moved to auto-x at 16, Spec Neon at 18, and then started to do rally events around age 22 (navigating mosty, some driving). Since getting married and having children I've only been doing auto-x occasionally and HPDE once a year if I'm lucky.
I've built quite a few race cars over the years, most of which were hot hatches, Focus SVTs, tube chassis MKII VW GTIs, and Spec Neon. I also rotisserie restore old cars as a side business.
About 10 years ago I drove a friends NA miata around Gingerman Raceway and immediately wanted one. I went on the search and kept finding cars listed for way over blue book, I guess what the community would call a "Miata Fortune". Other projects came up and the miata hunt went on the back burner. My wife often mentioned how nice it would be to have a cool car to drive around when the kids were at Nana's house, I guess she didn't like romantic dates that involved heltmets, ear plugs and sixpoint harness. What did she expect? She met me at the SnoDrift Rally in northern Michigan.
Now to the 97 Miata. I have had it roughly 6 months now. Exterior was in rough shape but no rust, no HT, soft top was destroyed. Engine compression tested good across all cylinders, no leaks, firm clutch, and at a good price. I did the needed bodywork first, then moved onto suspension and safety. V-Maxx Xtreme stage 2 on sport springs, FM sways, RB links, 225 RS3's on 15x8's, frog arms, FM frame rails and butteryfly brace, Brembo blanks with Hawk Hps. The safety stuff I put on is HDHC Crossbar roll cage, Ultrashield drivers seat, Sparco Sprint V pass. seat, Simpson FX series 5-point harness, Momo Prototipo wheel with Momo hub and NRG QR.
After all of that, I got it on the road for the remainder of the summer to see how it reacts to the improvements and also to determine what kind of power I was going to need to keep me happy. I toyed with the idea of a 5.0L swap for a bit because I have one laying around but I didn't want to throw my weigh distribution off so much when I could just go turbo for the same power, but cheaper. That is when I landed here. As of right now I have MS installed with MTX-L and a GM IAT on a otherwise stock engine. I fiddle with it everyday a little and I'm learning a ton. I may drive it this summer NA with standalone while I gather funds for the turbo that I'll install late fall. I would like to see around 220-230hp, so my plan was FM II no electronics, 700cc injectors (so I have a little room to grow) along with a clutch/flywheel.
I'll have to go out and take some pics, I'm really bad about it. My wife is always saying "You make all these beautiful cars and you don't take a damn picture of any of them". I guess I started building them too early and its just like mowing the lawn to me, who takes a picture of their lawn after they mow it? No one.
To end, I have been a lurker here for quite awhile. I usually don't post on any forums much but I thought I should come in and say thank you for all the hard work you guys have done and thank you for posting so much of it here on miataturbo.net. The amount of information that is here is fantastic and easily available if you know where to look. I look forward to setting a miata noob on the right path just as you guys did for me. Very much appreicated.
Oh, and umm fat cat.