Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
3/10/06 1:54 p.m.

Well, it's been some time since we last reported on our little rat Miata. As you know, the car was gross, and had a bit of rust, but upon further digging we also discovered that the frame had been tweaked in the front end collision it suffered. We wanted to have the car straight, and not leaning to the right (we have lots of them liberals here at the office!) so we took it to the local auto technical college to have it lined back up. The college does good work for no charge, but the catch is you have to wait until they get to it. Fortunately, the process only took a couple of weeks, and we got our Miata back fixed and ready for the installation of the nosepiece, we found on E-Bay ($75), and our new (used) $100 fender that we found outside of Atlanta. Ken Gearin was nice enough to paint the pieces as a holiday gift, and soon our little rat was looking... well, a little less like a rodent, and more like a ugly dog, or duckling, but hey, she has a great personality! Ya see, the mounting brackets were mutilated in the wreck, so our panel gaps make a Saturn look like a Lexus! No worries, we can fix that later, now the sun is shining, and there is driving to do! We have even driven the little Rat in it's first competitive event, a rally cross down in Homestead FL. While we didn't come home with any trophies, the trusty little car drove the 5 hours down, and 5 hours back without any issues. The trip was made a little more pleasant by the new steering wheel sourced on e-bay ($40), and the Kenwood CD player with speakers ($100) that we got during a closeout sale at Best Buy. We also bit the bullet and changed the water pump, pulleys, and timing belt to make sure carefree motoring would be the rule of the day.

Soon we will be upgrading, or painting the wheels, and we are looking to cheaply improve the suspension. Stay tuned as the miles and smiles pile up!

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