Summer Camp With Flyin’ Miata

Want to spend a few days with some really fast roadsters? Flyin’ Miata’s summer camp program includes track time, a car show, tours of their shop, expert presentations and much more. If you’re into Mazda’s roadster, this is the place to celebrate them. They just announced dates of their 2018 program: June 21-23. They say the track time sells out fast, so those interested should sign up early.

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icaneat50eggs
icaneat50eggs Dork
12/13/17 2:18 p.m.

This and oloa are my car bucket list items.

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
12/13/17 3:22 p.m.

Not going to have the Molvo ready for 2018, but next one should be a possibility. Plus I should be self-unemployed by then so will have a bit of time.

codrus
codrus UltraDork
12/13/17 3:26 p.m.

I've been a few times in the past.  Alas, this year's revised schedule falls on my wedding anniversary. :)

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/13/17 4:11 p.m.

Thanks for the pitch, guys!

Registration will open on February 1st. And that Caterham SV in the picture is rocking a turbo Miata drivetrain, in case anyone's wondering.

oldopelguy
oldopelguy UltraDork
12/13/17 4:26 p.m.

And here I was just wondering about popping in on them on a random Tuesday in January. I clearly need to plan my trips better.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/13/17 4:29 p.m.

Also a good option, as the FM staff will have a lot more time to talk to you! Summer Camp is busy.

However, the track time, the presentations and the food may not be present in January.

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
12/13/17 4:35 p.m.

Sounds fun! Does one need to actually own a Miata to participate? laugh

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/13/17 4:47 p.m.

The track time is restricted to Miatas, but everything else is wide open. All of us at FM are car nuts, not just Miata nuts, and we love to see interesting stuff.

The only reason we restrict the track time is because we don't have enough slots for all the Miata customers even without Brand X cars taking some of those slots.

Going back to that first picture again - it's a few years old, probably taken by Tom Heath when he joined us in 2010 or so. The driver of the white (supercharged) Miata in the pic has sold that car and is now rocking a turbo Exocet. If you come out to the track day, he will be faster than you. The Caterham has also been sold and that owner is now driving a turbo ND.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
12/13/17 6:49 p.m.

Hmmmmm. I was going to bring Betty back up for this but I'll be in Iceland a week later. I'll have to see if I can make both. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/13/17 7:10 p.m.

You can leave Betty with us and fly out of GJT!

te72
te72 New Reader
12/13/17 7:57 p.m.

You know, I have been at my job long enough that they just gave me a third week of vacation, and seeing as my car isn't quite sorted enough to take out on OLOA or Hot Rod's Power Tour, I think I'd love to come down for this.

 

If you like interesting stuff Keith, I've got an odd one for ya... one of a kind, in a simple way, as far as things go around this corner of the internet...

Rodan
Rodan Reader
12/14/17 12:14 a.m.

2018 will be our 6th Summer Camp, and we've had an absolutely great time every year we've made it.  If you're into Miatas, you need to make this trip, not just for the track time, but to meet the great folks at FM.  It's really like a big family reunion! laugh

A few more motivational pics from previous years:

PitsThursday by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

TargaMiata ride FM14 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

FM Lot 16 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

Sunday drive by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

FM SC 12 track by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

 

 

codrus
codrus UltraDork
12/14/17 1:01 a.m.

A few photos from 2010:

And 2014:

 

 

NickD
NickD UltraDork
12/14/17 7:14 a.m.

I'd love to go, but being 29 hours away (1937 miles) is a bit of a dealbreaker for me.

Rodan
Rodan Reader
12/14/17 7:37 a.m.

There's at least one regular that drives his NA from New York every year.  And a number of Canadians every year.  It's worth the trip.

Mileage is only a barrier if you make it one! wink

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
12/14/17 7:56 a.m.
NickD said:

I'd love to go, but being 29 hours away (1937 miles) is a bit of a dealbreaker for me.

To the contrary, that should be the incentive. I used to do 1000 mile days in the 1990 Miata all over the country and there really is not better way to see the USA than from the driver's seat of a topless Miata.

Armitage
Armitage HalfDork
12/14/17 8:16 a.m.

Looks like fun. Do they offer any arrive & drive packages for us non-owners on the wrong side of the country? How much for a v8 weekend rental :P

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/14/17 9:57 a.m.

1937 miles would put you strongly in the running for the "furthest distance" award, but it wouldn't be guaranteed. Last year, I think it was awarded for a 1930 mile trip - and we've disqualified Ed from this award, who does make the 2000 mile trip from NYC every year and then goes home by way of California. Or, in the case of 2015, by way of Alaska. We figure Ed's put over 70,000 miles on his car driving to/from Summer Camp over the years.

Unfortunately, all the V8 Miatas are spoken for wink You need to find your own chariot. It's not that unusual for really long distance visitors (Japan, Germany, England, etc) to show up in a rental car.

NickD
NickD UltraDork
12/14/17 10:15 a.m.

That'd be a solid 3 days of driving each way. Whoof. I'd really need to get either a 3.90 Torsen or even have a 3.66 put in my car. And a silencer for the exhaust. And dial back the alignment. And pack very carefully.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/14/17 10:20 a.m.

It's close to the same distance that we have to travel to get to the Mitty each year wink

Miatas have been doing cross-country road trips on stock gearing for a quarter century. That car that comes from NYC? 4.3 rear end, I think. They'll spin at higher engine speeds all day happily. The trick for the driver is earplugs. And the trick for packing is not to pack luggage and put it in the trunk, but to treat the trunk like the luggage.

NickD
NickD UltraDork
12/14/17 10:32 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I had 4.30s. Now it has 4.10s with 205/50R15s, which has the same effective gearing as 4.30s and stock wheel/tires. It's still buzzier than I like at cruising speeds, not just noise-wise but it feels like going faster than 70mph is pushing it. With a blown '99 engine going, it'll have the grunt to work the lower gears. 

Rodan
Rodan Reader
12/14/17 10:39 a.m.

I learned to pack touring on a motorcycle, so the Miata wasn't too much of a challenge.  Our first Summer Camp trip included an additional 4 days meandering around the Rockies in CO, and we managed to fit it all...

Packing by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

Of course, we didn't run the track that year.  The first year we drove the track I shipped our helmets, and then paid FM to ship them home for us...  cheeky

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/14/17 11:26 a.m.
NickD said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I had 4.30s. Now it has 4.10s with 205/50R15s, which has the same effective gearing as 4.30s and stock wheel/tires. It's still buzzier than I like at cruising speeds, not just noise-wise but it feels like going faster than 70mph is pushing it. With a blown '99 engine going, it'll have the grunt to work the lower gears. 

205/50-15 is actually bigger in diameter than the stock NA tire size, and they came with a 4.3 from the factory so the gearing is shorter than yours. They have no problem running above 70 mph for hours, but people have been concerned about it since 1989. Just let the engine spin. If you give yourself rules like "I can't do a road trip unless I install a new final drive", you're just coming up with reasons why you can't go. Better to come up with reasons why you CAN.

te72
te72 New Reader
12/15/17 12:33 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

205/50-15 is actually bigger in diameter than the stock NA tire size, and they came with a 4.3 from the factory so the gearing is shorter than yours. They have no problem running above 70 mph for hours, but people have been concerned about it since 1989. Just let the engine spin. If you give yourself rules like "I can't do a road trip unless I install a new final drive", you're just coming up with reasons why you can't go. Better to come up with reasons why you CAN.

Absolutely agree, and can confirm from experience that they have no problem with interstate speeds. Oddly enough the best mileage I ever got from either of our Miatas was cruising through the mountains anywhere from 5k to 7k the entire route. It's no harm to run them at 5k for hours on end, so long as your car in general is in sound shape.

 

Literally the only hiccups I've ever had with a Miata were a transmission that I broke, a bit of a fluke from all my research at the time, and running a bit warm trying to chase other cars through mountain passes when I'm close enough that I wasn't getting fresh air to the radiator...

 

Keith, seriously considering coming to this year's Summer Camp, have wanted to for years, but had a jam packed summer schedule until this year. We have a couple Miatas, but they're both stock, for the most part. I also have a Supra that I've put considerable effort into (think along the lines of your MGB, project scale wise...), and while the Supra obviously doesn't fit the theme, I think it represents my best efforts far better than either of our Miatas do. I know I'd be welcome to bring it, but the question I have is, it wouldn't distract from your event, would it? I don't mind being one of the odd ones at the event, but I don't want to detract from it either... thoughts?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/15/17 6:35 a.m.

It's not going to detract at all. There will undoubtedly be some Miata snobs there, but that's their loss instead of yours. It just won't be able to go out on track. 

Miatas don't need to be modified to come. We have a lot of stock ones that show up. It's a pretty wide spread. 

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
12/15/17 6:47 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I'm missing any reference to cost, or how to register. 

Rodan
Rodan Reader
12/15/17 9:24 a.m.

In reply to te72 :

Most Miata folks are "car people" and have/ have had other interesting cars.  I can only speak for myself, but I'd love to see your Supra!

 

In reply to SVreX:   

IIRC, registration opens in February, just call FM to register, or they may have it on their site so you can 'order' online.  Its really not very expensive.  In past years, the track day was under $100, banquet was ~$25/person, and there are a couple other events you can choose that have a small fee, and lots of stuff going on that's free.  The actual activities vary a bit from year to year, so hard to say exactly.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/15/17 9:39 a.m.
SVreX said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I'm missing any reference to cost, or how to register. 

Cost is not yet final, and registration will be via the FM website starting on the first of February. We keep it affordable - the track charge is just enough to cover the costs, and we subsidize the food. We've got a few changes this year that I think will make it a more enjoyable event, more focused on people and cool cars and hanging out. 

te72
te72 New Reader
12/16/17 12:47 a.m.

Keith, thanks for the reassurance. No worries on the track exclusion, I totally understand. My car isn't really well suited for GJMS, but I promised Brian Ruble that I'd join them for a track day down there, after meeting him at an autocross in my hometown last year. So... I'll get my time on that track someday, just not at Summer Camp. :)

 

Rodan, in my experience, you're absolutely right. I find that it generally goes both ways too, Miata people tend to be "car people" and "car people" tend to be Miata people, provided they've made the effort to get behind the wheel of one anyway. Have genuinely gotten along well with every Miata owner I've ever met. That's a bit of a difference between the Miata and the Supra worlds. In the Supra world, most folks are pretty cool, but occasionally you get that one that comes around that's more full of themselves than is healthy...

 

Looking forward to attending this year. Wonder how many, "what is that thing?" I'm gonna overhear? Hahaha...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/16/17 1:13 p.m.

There's a SoCal club that is all about Miatas and no other vehicles, but thankfully they're a small minority. Most of us will welcome cool cars. 

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