Tag Archives: Mazda

Is the Mazda2 a secret enthusiast weapon?

It’s small, it’s light, and that makes the Mazda2 a good platform to build on. Can it be genuinely good, though? Matt Farah, of The Smoking Tire finds out.

-Nick

Ever Wonder What a 520hp LS3-swapped ND Miata Would Be Like?

This is Flyin Miata’s full LS3 V8 package for the ND Mazda Miata. It costs around $75,000 total, but you get 520hp in a happy car the size of a thimble. Matt Farah, of The Smoking Tire, got to take it for a spin.

Seems like a total riot!

-Nick

Highlights from First Class Fitment 2016, Gallery 1

First Class Fitment Rauh-Welt Porsche 993

First Class Fitment is always an entertaining show to shoot. Every car is different, special in its own way. It is a sea of automotive creativity, and this year was no exception.

Enjoy this first batch of photos!

Continue reading Highlights from First Class Fitment 2016, Gallery 1

Fast into the night at the first taste of Fall

NC Miata Club 1

I’ve said before that most of the best drives come spur of the moment. That makes it somewhat challenging for me as a blogger to bring the experience to you, my readers, but my God, is it enjoyable in the moment. Many times those drives become fond memories for years.

I got out of work late on Monday. It was one of those days where you’re up to your ears in all sorts of stuff all day, and you only start really getting things done after most everyone has gone home. The crisp air that hit me when I walked out, though, that instantly cleared my head, and brushed off the stress of the day like it was nothing.

The first taste of Fall is one of the sweetest sensations in the life of a gearhead. It means the treacherous summer heat is nearing its end, and that many fun times are ahead in the best season of the year.

Feeling rejuvenated, I called my buddies Shane and Pat (Shat for short), and we agreed it would be a sin not to take the Miatas out for a blast in this perfect weather.

We met up for dinner at a local diner. Ace, my NC Mazda Miata Club Edition was parked next to Shane’s NA Miata R-Package out front, waiting eagerly for us to eat. Then, just after the sun had fallen off the horizon, we set off, fast, into the night.

Continue reading Fast into the night at the first taste of Fall

Mazda Cosmo Series II at the 2016 d’Elegance at Hershey

Mazda Cosmo Front 2//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

As time has gone on, early Japanese sports cars have received more recognition for their groundbreaking design and engineering. The original Mazda rotary sports car, the Cosmo (which would be known eventually as the RX-7), is most definitely no exception. Quite expensive when new (over $4,000 in 1968), they were not that popular Stateside, but that would change by the subsequent decade. This white example shined brightly at the Hershey Concours this year, and grabbed my attention rather quickly. I believe it has grabbed your attention as well. Enjoy the photos. Continue reading Mazda Cosmo Series II at the 2016 d’Elegance at Hershey

Farewell Miata, I enjoyed our short time together

IMG_2074

Yesterday I parted ways with my (formerly Al’s) 1993 Mazda Miata. It was my second Miata, and it directly lead to my third, Ace.

There really is something special about these little roadsters, something that always manages to make you smile. They don’t seem to take themselves too seriously, and that helps you loosen up as well when behind the wheel.

I bought this Miata off of Al this past spring. Al wanted something new, and I had just landed a new job with a nice pay bump, so I figured a Miata would be fun for the spring.

This thing was fun, so much fun that it made me decide I wanted a Miata in my life for the long haul. I looked around, and found Ace, my 2014 Miata Club Edition. Things got off to a rocky start with Ace, having an accident just 4 days after I bought it. But the repairs have been made now, so it was time to let my ’93 Miata go.

I can only hope this Miata inspires its new owner as much as it inspired Al and I.

-Nick Walker

Popping My Autocross Cherry

As a car guy, who’s had a license for a decade now, I really should have been autocrossing at some point, right? But until this past weekend, I hadn’t… at least at an official event.

Autocross is one of the best things anyone who takes driving seriously can do for their skills behind the wheel. Even if you’re not a gearhead, it will just make you a far better, far safer driver, knowing how to control your car.

Honestly, I’ve been meaning to get into autocross for years, but I’ve always put it off for some reason. I even bought and modified my first (very rusty) Miata with the idea of autocrossing in mind. I did do a lot of, shall we say, “unofficial” autocrossing in that car in various corporate parking lots in my area, but a real event is totally different.

Now, having just gotten my 2014 Miata, Ace, back from the body shop after it nearly being totalled 4 days after I bought it, I felt it was time.

Continue reading Popping My Autocross Cherry

A Day I Hoped Would Never Happen: Reacting To My First Accident

IMG_6003

I saw a white flash out of the corner of my eye, and the next thing I knew I was facing sideways and had taken the impact of an airbag to my face. It took a moment, but then it hit me, I had just crashed.

That realization made me spring into action. I looked over at the woman in the other car, who was freaking the hell out, but thankfully awake. I lifted myself right up out of my seat and hopped out over the passenger door (perks of a convertible). I ran over, opened the door and helped the woman out of her car. We were both seemingly uninjured, thank God.

At that point, though, I realized she was pregnant, like very pregnant, and the concern for both of us turned to her baby. Luckily the paramedics cleared her when they arrived.

After I knew we were all okay, I looked back over at my gleaming read Miata. I had just signed the papers on it 4 days prior, and now here it was, smashed up good in the middle of the street. I didn’t have time for emotions, though, I knew I had to take document the scene, and take photos from every angle.

As I did so, I called my parents to come pick me up, my boss to let him know I wouldn’t be in today, and my girlfriend to let her know what had happened and that I was alright.

I was riding the massive wave adrenaline, but I was feeling very cloudy in my head. There was just so much I had to do, so many bases I knew I had to cover. I never took even a second to stop and catch my breath, I never allowed myself a brief moment to calm myself down after taking a hard hit to the head. Finally it caught up with me. As we were all exchanging our insurance information, I realized I had been doing way too much, and I turned and vomited all over the ground.

At that point, the officers at the scene told me I should really get to the hospital. I knew vomiting wasn’t a good sign, and luckily my parents were almost there by then. I gave my statement to the police, watched my buddy, Ace (the Miata) get dragged onto a flatbed, and went off to the hospital.

Continue reading A Day I Hoped Would Never Happen: Reacting To My First Accident

So I made another purchase this weekend…

Mazda NC Miata Club Edition 1

Wait, didn’t he just buy an old red Miata? Why the hell would he buy a new red Miata now?

That is the question everyone around me has been asking all weekend. Yes, I went and bought this beautiful 2014 Mazda MX5 Miata Club Edition this weekend, and no I’m not crazy, although it may seem that way to many people around me right now.

Here’s why I went and bought this car, as best as I can explain it right now.

Continue reading So I made another purchase this weekend…

New beginnings, I bought Al’s Miata

Little Red Miata 3

Over the last few months, Al has been constantly talking about the idea of selling his Mazda Miata and buying some cool old American car. He’s been on craigslist like crazy, and has been continually messaging me and many of his other friends asking our thoughts on the possibilities.

I recently got a great new job, which brought with it a nice little pay increase, so naturally I’d been thinking of getting some new wheels. I’ve been missing my old Miata like crazy since I sold it a few years back. It’s like there’s been a hole in my soul that can only be filled by one thing. I needed to get myself another Miata!

So, a week or so ago, when Al sent me some links of cars he was looking at, I floated the idea. I said, “You keep talking about selling your Miata to get something else, and now I’m looking to buy a Miata. Let’s make something happen here.”

Al brought the car by on Saturday morning. I took it for a quick drive, looked it over, and I was sold. We went to the DMV and did all the paperwork.

I paid Al with cash money, but he wasn’t about to go to the bank. No, we were going to check out a car right away. I’ll let him tell the rest tomorrow.

I’m going to live with my new Miata for a few weeks before I do a proper article on it, but so far, so fun. It sure as hell isn’t perfect, but it isn’t trying to be, and that’s the whole point.

It is a delightful little machine!

-Nick Walker

Little Red Miata 2 Little Red Miata 4 Little Red Miata 1

2017 Mazda ND Miata RF, a Skeptical Reaction

2017 Mazda ND Miata RF

The Mazda Miata is now a hard-top targa, complete with flying buttresses!

Mazda calls it the Miata RF Hard Top Convertible, with RF standing for “Retractable Fastback.” Essentially they looked at the Porsche 911 Targa, thought it was a good idea, and here we are.

But is this really a good idea?

Continue reading 2017 Mazda ND Miata RF, a Skeptical Reaction

Friendly’s Old Bridge Meet, March 5 2016

1966 Chrysler Newport
I don’t go to nighttime car meets that often, only because I’m not a big part of the scene in my local area. Luckily, it seems that the scene is more noticable south of my area than it is near where I live, and the Old Bridge car guys organized a great meet right by a good friend’s house. This meet had a little bit of everything, from a restored 1966 Chrysler Newport to a Buick Grand National, to a Hellcat, to a pair of very loud (and rather fun) old ex-police Crown Vics. Much fun was had, even though I couldn’t get dinner at Friendly’s due to the line and the fact that the Old Bridge PD shut it down after about 3 hours. I’ll definitely show up to the next event, and hopefully the Miata’s top will be replaced after the rear window exploded. Enjoy the short selection of photos from the event.

Continue reading Friendly’s Old Bridge Meet, March 5 2016