Sep 29, 2016 update to the Mazda Rotary Miata project car

Rotary Miata Auction Coming Soon!

We took on this project with a simple goal: Sell the finished car in order to fund Carly’s education at Clemson University. Mike dreamed of building this car, and he also dreamed of his daughter going to a great school. Completing this project was the best way to make that happen.

Though we haven’t written about everything yet, this car is currently finished, and it’s time for Mike’s rotary-powered missile to find a new home. We’ll be auctioning off the Miata, along with its red hardtop for inclement weather, on Bring a Trailer this October. Want to learn more about the car? Just click here.

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View comments on the GRM forums
Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
9/20/16 3:48 p.m.

I plan to bid.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
9/20/16 3:57 p.m.

Yeee ha.. Mike lives on.

NordicSaab HalfDork
9/20/16 5:10 p.m.

Where is the car located if we wanted to see in person before bidding?

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
9/20/16 6:44 p.m.
NordicSaab wrote: Where is the car located if we wanted to see in person before bidding?

Like eight feet from my office door. Lovely Holly Hill, Florida.

Spinout007 UberDork
9/20/16 8:26 p.m.

Tell me this is making it to the Challenge!!!

hongmaster New Reader
9/20/16 8:31 p.m.

We've known Mike and his family for quite a while, mostly from our Lemons races at CMP. Late one night when we had run out of 2 engines for our CRX so we (Matty) decided to pull our spares apart to put something back together hoping to finish.

Around 10pm Mike and family (including Carly) came by to ask if we had eaten. Other than our usual "liquid dinner" we had not. They brought over a seafood boil that was left over and the Hong Norr team proceeded to tear the E36 M3 out of it!

We will be bidding high, so put your big-girl panties on if you want to partake. And always remember, big GEORGE is watching!!!!!

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
9/20/16 10:45 p.m.

So how did the car run when you tested it?

Ovid_and_Flem Reader
9/21/16 8:35 a.m.


Is Carly already enrolled in college? Team B & S may want to do something for her at Tha Challenge.

9/21/16 11:45 a.m.

Anxious to see more information on how the car performs and any mechanical issues with the swap.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
9/21/16 1:40 p.m.

At this point, we are planning to bring the Rotary Miata to the Challenge for a final round of testing/ showing off.

We did spend some time with it at Gainesville a few weeks ago, and it was awesome! A leaky blow off valve was causing a boost leak, so we didn't see more than a few PSI on the gauge. It was brutally fast, though. The tires rubbed quite badly, so we stopped after a few laps.

Now, the boost leak is fixed, and the fenders are rolled so the tires don't rub any more. Assuming everything goes well at the Challenge, it will be for sale shortly after.

It's my understanding that Carly is already enrolled, but I need to ask her uncle for an update.

SVreX MegaDork
9/21/16 2:20 p.m.

WooHoo! I look forward to seeing it at the Challenge!

Is that a 13B?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
9/21/16 2:38 p.m.

Yes, it's a turbocharged 13B.

spitfirebill UltimaDork
9/21/16 2:52 p.m.

Carly should have been enrolled a good while back because Clemson started classes over a month ago.

I was considering extending an invitation to her to tailgate with us at one of the ballgames, but I didn't want her to think "creepy old man on the internet" thing.

I still think she needs to autocross the car at one of their events.

ncrc51 New Reader
9/22/16 10:06 a.m.

Looking forward to pictures and results from the Challenge and the auction.

ncrc51 New Reader
9/23/16 7:43 a.m.

At some point will you give us a summary of any suspension, brake, etc. upgrades that were done to the car?

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
9/23/16 8:17 a.m.

In reply to ncrc51:

They will be posted on the car's project car page.

Danny Shields
Danny Shields Reader
10/2/16 6:43 a.m.

I was honored to make a couple of demonstration runs in this car at the $2016 Challenge autocross. Sweet car! It has plenty of power, but retains that Miata goodness. On full tread street tires, it turned times similar to the race-rubber Miatas, and was much quicker than the new ND MX-5. I applaud all of you who helped complete this project! I think Mike would be proud of how this car turned out.

ncrc51 New Reader
10/11/16 9:58 a.m.

Any information on when we might see this on Bring a Trailer?

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
10/11/16 12:09 p.m.
ncrc51 wrote: Any information on when we might see this on Bring a Trailer?

We're still working from our various retreat positions because the office is still without communications. The answer is still "soon" but probably revised to "slightly less soon" as we've basically lost a week to promote the auction. We were shooting for late October, so probably that plus a week or two at this point.

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