April 7, 2010 11:37 p.m.

So the acclaimed car of GRM is the mx5, i get it, (i'm 16 and my mom thinks they're to small) But is it possible to take the best parts of the miata and mate them with a Speed Protege junk yard style, for better handling. (such as: steering column, suspension, etc) I want to start auto cross and i want a competitive car, though i wont have much skill.

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
April 7, 2010 11:41 p.m.

As one of my high school teachers used to constantly remind us, KISS. (On the other hand, rumor around the schoolyard said that he had a plate in his head.) While I'm all for hot rodding, if just starting out I'd go with a nice, clean Miata. They're awesome cars in stock form and will let you hone your driving skills.

skruffy
skruffy Dork
April 8, 2010 12:35 a.m.

Not really any performance gain to be had with a steering column swap. It's just a steel tube with a few bearings in it... Anyway, nothing interchanges between the protege and miata chassis aside from wheels on certain models.

It doesn't matter what car you take to an autocross, you're going to suck for the first few seasons. Invest in making yourself a better driver before you even think about modifying the car. If you must modify the car, think about what you're doing and have a class in mind first.

If you end up with a Mazdaspeed Protege leave the boost alone or you WILL blow the motor. It's just a callaway turbo kit on an otherwise internally stock FSDE. The head design sucks, rods are weak, fuel and timing is all over the place with the stock ecu, those motors just won't make power without a cubic dollar injection. They're slow in a straight line, fun in the corners, leave it at that.

93celicaGT2 SuperDork
April 8, 2010 5:23 a.m.

Yikes. The Miata would be a far better first car than an MSP.

April 8, 2010 8:34 a.m.

Miata:

Cheap, good on gas, reliable and too small to party in. Only one other family can sue the crap out of you after an accident. Its a great first car.

16vCorey SuperDork
April 8, 2010 8:42 a.m.

I think he's saying his mom won't let him get a miata, because she thinks they're too small.

Get anything and start autocrossing. Worry about improving your skills before worrying about getting a competitive car.

April 8, 2010 8:53 a.m.
16vCorey wrote: I think he's saying his mom won't let him get a miata, because she thinks they're too small.

Argument for mom: Kids die because they get 5 friends in a land barge and bad ideas play out.

You will only ever have one other person in the Miata, there isn't even room for enough booze to get drunk and beside that, people will think you are homo (it is a Miata). You will in-turn be shunned and invited to less parties overall by peers*.

*Gay men will invite you to parties. Your mother is probably unaware that gays throw awesome parties with excellent food, a ton of drugs and slutty chicks who have their guard down. (Unless you are a homosexual you brought up the Miata, afterall)

93celicaGT2 SuperDork
April 8, 2010 9:29 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote:
16vCorey wrote: I think he's saying his mom won't let him get a miata, because she thinks they're too small.

Argument for mom: Kids die because they get 5 friends in a land barge and bad ideas play out.

You will only ever have one other person in the Miata, there isn't even room for enough booze to get drunk and beside that, people will think you are homo (it is a Miata). You will in-turn be shunned and invited to less parties overall by peers*.

*Gay men will invite you to parties. Your mother is probably unaware that gays throw awesome parties with excellent food, a ton of drugs and slutty chicks who have their guard down. (Unless you are a homosexual you brought up the Miata, afterall)

In this case... a TURBO land barge. Brilliant.

Carson Dork
April 8, 2010 9:31 a.m.

Just pick up a BG Protege (90-94, or even a BG Escort/tracer 91-96). I have one and a Miata, while the Miata is definitely a better handler, the Protege is really pretty decent. They will be 1/2 the price of a ratty Miata and an 1/8th of the price of the rattiest MSP.

There's a lot of room in the Protege too, for what's considered a small car. I can fit my rallycross wheels and two jack stands in the trunk without folding the backseat down. Jack and tool box fit behind the front seats and I can still pretty comfortably fit 4 adults.

Powar HalfDork
April 8, 2010 9:38 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: Argument for mom: Kids die because they get 5 friends in a land barge and bad ideas play out. You will only ever have one other person in the Miata, there isn't even room for enough booze to get drunk and beside that, people will think you are homo (it is a Miata). You will in-turn be shunned and invited to less parties overall by peers*. *Gay men will invite you to parties. Your mother is probably unaware that gays throw awesome parties with excellent food, a ton of drugs and slutty chicks who have their guard down. (Unless you are a homosexual you brought up the Miata, afterall)

I loled.

ZOO Dork
April 8, 2010 9:56 a.m.

My son's first car will be a Miata. All the research shows that the more "friends" one has in the car, the greater the risk that the teenaged driver will do something bonheaded.

If I can't find a decent Miata -- it will be a 4 cylinder E36 -- and I will remove the backseats and weld spikes into the floor to keep it a two-seater.

Soma007
Soma007 New Reader
April 8, 2010 10:41 a.m.
ZOO wrote: If I can't find a decent Miata -- it will be a 4 cylinder E36 -- and I will remove the backseats and weld spikes into the floor to keep it a two-seater.

Careful, the emo kids might actually enjoy that.

Matt B Reader
April 8, 2010 11:00 a.m.
racinginc215 wrote: My daughters first car is a LBM Little British Miata. 67 MG mated to a Miata floor pan.

Now I want pics. Sounds pretty dern cool.

To the OP - as others have said, don't worry about having some modified hot rod for your first car. If you can manage to get your parents to get you a MSP - more power to you, but leave the engine alone. I know I wouldn't get one for my kid though. The standard Protege has enough handling potential to be plenty of fun, even though it won't be scorching in a straight line. It will actually be a pretty good learning tool for autox.

To those of you who think the miata is the perfect first car - that's awesome, but good luck convincing most moms. Despite your relevant arguments, to moms weight/size = safety. There's hard data and common sense on collisions to support that. Maybe I feel that way because my mom was of the same persuasion. I ended up with an 87 Plymouth Grand Voyager as my first car and it was an experience to say the least. I'm just glad I didn't end up with a kid of my own at 17.

Also, I'm sure some of you will disagree, but I think there's something to say for something FWD as a first car. Unless you've had some good instruction on the dynamics of RWD an emergency situation can bite you in the backside. In a perfect world, everything should be fine, but in the teenage low-buck world of tired bushings, bald tires, and questionable decisions a car that understeers is safer than one that spins.

mtn SuperDork
April 8, 2010 11:19 a.m.
Matt B wrote: Also, I'm sure some of you will disagree, but I think there's something to say for something FWD as a first car. Unless you've had some good instruction on the dynamics of RWD an emergency situation can bite you in the backside. In a perfect world, everything should be fine, but in the teenage low-buck world of tired bushings, bald tires, and questionable decisions a car that understeers is safer than one that spins.

I'll disagree for the very reasons you mentioned. Get the RWD, and get to a safety school (like tire rack) very quickly. You learn much better control in one (IMHO).

Lesley SuperDork
April 8, 2010 11:26 a.m.

Oooo, get the Miata. Gay men throw the best parties.

alex Dork
April 8, 2010 11:33 a.m.

Man, I gotta get me a Miata and start going to some of these parties. Sounds a lot better than sitting around drinking beer and looking at the same people time and again.

2002maniac Reader
April 8, 2010 11:36 a.m.
ZOO wrote: My son's first car will be a Miata. All the research shows that the more "friends" one has in the car, the greater the risk that the teenaged driver will do something bonheaded. If I can't find a decent Miata -- it will be a 4 cylinder E36 -- and I will remove the backseats and weld spikes into the floor to keep it a two-seater.

When I was 17 I managed to get 4 friends and myself in a 1963 ranchero.

4 of us up front and one behind the bench seat

April 8, 2010 11:40 a.m.
mtn wrote:
Matt B wrote: Also, I'm sure some of you will disagree, but I think there's something to say for something FWD as a first car. Unless you've had some good instruction on the dynamics of RWD an emergency situation can bite you in the backside. In a perfect world, everything should be fine, but in the teenage low-buck world of tired bushings, bald tires, and questionable decisions a car that understeers is safer than one that spins.

I'll disagree for the very reasons you mentioned. Get the RWD, and get to a safety school (like tire rack) very quickly. You learn much better control in one (IMHO).

When I learned to drive there were no front wheel drive cars. This is not really a safety issue at all. RWD cars are designed to understeer too. The difference is that once you learn to control it - the RWD car has more capability to execute control because it nicely separates the role of steering from power.

The safety issue is marketing to sell E36 M3boxes that are cheap to build and easy to assemble.

Matt B Reader
April 8, 2010 12:16 p.m.
mtn wrote: I'll disagree for the very reasons you mentioned. Get the RWD, and get to a safety school (like tire rack) very quickly. You learn much better control in one (IMHO).

That's the problem. People don't go to safety schools. They don't even get proper instruction from their parents most of the time. And those "driver's schools" that reduce insurance are a joke. Properly trained teenage drivers are the exception, not the rule. I actually agree with you, but like I said, most people don't live in a perfect "GRM" world.

Matt B Reader
April 8, 2010 12:30 p.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: When I learned to drive there were no front wheel drive cars. This is not really a safety issue at all. RWD cars are designed to understeer too. The difference is that once you learn to control it - the RWD car has more capability to execute control because it nicely separates the role of steering from power. The safety issue is marketing to sell E36 M3boxes that are cheap to build and easy to assemble.

Bolded type - see post above

To me, it seems cars were overwhelmingly RWD it was because it was cheaper to manufacture at the time, not because safety wasn't an issue. Now FWD is cheaper and obviously easier to package, so we get those, again not due to safety. Agreed on the marketing trying to sell what's most profitable.

I'll agree that even RWD cars are setup to understeer from the factory. However, throw in a an old/used RWD car, with a tired suspension, sub-par tires, and a red-blooded american teenager behind the wheel and I'll go out on a limb and say there's more a chance of disaster while hooning around, especially in the rain.

I'm not saying RWD is unsafe. Don't confuse that. I drive a non-airbag non-abs mid-engined 80's crapbox everyday and I don't fret needlessly about my safety . . . because I have 16 years of driving experience (and some autocross) under my belt. I've learned my bone-headed driving lessons the hard way and thankfully I'm alive to tell the tale. Some kids I knew aren't unfortunately.

Adrian_Thompson HalfDork
April 8, 2010 2:12 p.m.

HHmmm I've had a Miata, and I've got gay friends who do throw great parties, but the gay friends came long after the Miata was sold. I do have a C30 though and that used to be on the top 10 gay cars list as well!

Type Q HalfDork
April 8, 2010 5:31 p.m.

You want a Miata as your first car? You'll put your eye out.

CarKid1989 HalfDork
April 8, 2010 6:26 p.m.
Powar wrote:
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: Argument for mom: Kids die because they get 5 friends in a land barge and bad ideas play out. You will only ever have one other person in the Miata, there isn't even room for enough booze to get drunk and beside that, people will think you are homo (it is a Miata). You will in-turn be shunned and invited to less parties overall by peers*. *Gay men will invite you to parties. Your mother is probably unaware that gays throw awesome parties with excellent food, a ton of drugs and slutty chicks who have their guard down. (Unless you are a homosexual you brought up the Miata, afterall)

I loled.

Just came home from a long day at schol and work and i read this.

Might be the funniest thing i have ever read EVER

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