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Old 08-06-2015, 03:06 AM   #1
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Default First Mazda Ever....First Forum Ever as Well!

My friends call me Tony....I am 57 years old and suffer from the same affliction that many of you may suffer from. I love cars....particularly sports cars. It started in 1974 with a 1968 SS 396 Camaro that had only 44K miles. I paid $1,000 for it....a hefty sum for a 16 year old in that day and age. I paid it off as quickly as I could and purchased a second muscle car. And so it began!

Allow me to fast forward to the present. I have been in the car business for the last 15 years and frankly have never given the Miata the respect it deserves. I have owned Porsches, Lotus, Corvettes, a couple of Ferraris, etc. etc. etc. Two weeks ago we got a VERY nice trade in at work. It was a 2006 Miata with a soft top, automatic transmission and only 68K miles. The condition was so nice I decided I had to drive it. Needless to say it drove great, handled extremely well, accelerated faster than I expected and I was instantly drawn to it. I parked it a secluded area where no one would find it and hit Google. I don't know why but I was very surprised by the very long list of modifications that could be made to this car.

I prefer a car that accelerates harder than this bone stock Miata and started looking into engine swaps and modifications. I have owned several high end vehicles with turbos and having lived in a couple of states where high altitude was within 30 minutes of low altitude, I started looking at possible turbo conversions and I landed here.

The price of the car made it completely irresistible (I was able to purchase it for $7750) and I called the wife and kind of ran it by her. She asked me if I was going to buy it! Little did she know she hand unwittingly given me the green light and I purchased the car. I took her out in it that night and she said it very much reminded her of my last sports car (a 2006 BMW Z4 M series). I had let that car go and regretted it ever since.

So, for the last week or so I have been looking at what other folks have done with their Miatas and in spite of my age, I decided to throw a few bucks at it and see where I end up!

I am thinking brakes, tires & wheels, and possibly some suspension work, not necessarily in that order. Possibly a hard top if I can find one reasonably inexpensive. The car is gray in color and right now I have been picturing it with black wheels and maybe a carbon fiber roof and after market brakes (perhaps Brembo or Willwood.) Most important of all though is making sure that everything works well together.

I have many questions and I am sure many of them if not all have been answered here on your fine forum. This car is going to be my fun ride back and forth to work and cruise through the hills on weekends vehicle. Comfort is somewhat important as my wife will drive it occasionally.

I have a great deal of respect for the factory engineers who designed this car and hope to increase handling and maintain the nice ride as much as possible. I'm not going to lie, I want it to look good and function at a very high level and maintain a high level of reliability at the same time. Am I crazy? Perhaps but hopefully this project will be extremely well thought out. I'd like to have the project 90% planned out before I start spending money and flying by the seat of my pants.

I hope to benefit from your experience! Thank you for listening!
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Old 08-06-2015, 09:08 AM   #2
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Welcome to the site, great intro. We're all about function over form here so you'll find a ton of information on improving performance.

Sounds like you're getting started on the right track. Good tires, brake pads, and stiffening up the suspension will really transform the car. Probably don't need to worry about upgrading calipers unless you're planning some real track duty, the stock calipers with good pads will handle pretty much anything you can throw at them on the street.
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Old 08-06-2015, 10:25 AM   #3
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<p>The answer is always miata.&nbsp;</p>
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Old 08-06-2015, 02:30 PM   #4
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About time we got some more "experienced" people around here!

I just got my youngest daughter a PRHT GT manual. Really sweet car. She was Valedictorian and is headed off to college on a full ride, so, she earned it.

Now my wife wants me to sell her Mercedes and get her one.

Don't ignore the older models. Cheap, plentiful, durable, easy to fix and maintain. If you're at all a hands-on person . . . . Plus, you need one with a manual. No garage is complete with only 1 Miata.
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:47 PM   #5
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Thanks for joining, Rulis!
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:54 PM   #6
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<p>Welcome Rulis. I'm also in the car biz, what do you do?</p>
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:59 AM   #7
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Thank you for the replies everybody! Once a therapist, I am now a used car salesman of 15 years. Actually, I have been Internet Director at most stores I have been at....the exception being the store in Columbus, GA that I work at now.
I have been into cars ever since I got my driver's license. Right now I am trying to carefully plan out a little customization on my first Miata. My first expenditure will probably be wheels and tires with consideration that I may be changing brakes and almost certainly will do some suspension modification.
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