Aug 23, 2011 update to the Mazda Miata project car

Drat, a Flat

How to ruin a perfectly planned Saturday: Get a flat.
Yep, it's flat.

We had our Saturday all mapped out and even got everything ready the night before. The Miata was gassed, the addresses were already entered in the Garmin, and our camera gear was ready to go.

We had our Saturday all mapped out and even got everything ready the night before. The Miata was gassed, the addresses were already entered in the Garmin, and our camera gear was ready to go.

The plan seemed foolproof: Get up early and head to Orlando for a cars and coffee gathering hosted by a friend. It’d be a nice, low-key opportunity to catch up with some old friends.

Then, go do a photoshoot with some other friends. We had cars and a location ready to go.

Finally, head to another friend’s shop and work on the Porsche’s engine. We were set.

Well, we almost made it to the highway. While approaching the onramp, something didn’t feel right with the car, so we ducked into an abandoned gas station. The left-rear Nitto NT-01 had gone flat. Totally flat.

The culprit was a bad valve, and while debating what to do—walk home, wait for a ride, call for a tow—we edited a story for the next issue of Classic Motorsports. Hey, it was quiet.

A AAA driver stopped by to check on us and he happened to have a bead-breaker and replacement valve in the van. He quickly had us back in the game.

Those Nittos have been great dual-purpose tires, but this set is some 6 years old. Even though they haven’t covered a ton of miles, it’s probably time to retire them. Plus, we should replace our valves, anyway.

Time to put some new skins on the car, which raises an important question: What’s your favorite dual-purpose tire?

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