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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/30/20 3:14 p.m.

Perhaps this could be the next Spec Miata, muses longtime pro racer Robb Holland. The car is easy to build, easy to drive and easy to race. The chassis is already popular among enthusiasts, whether the decklid reads Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S or Toyota 86.

“The BRZ feels like a bigger, more powe…

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captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
11/30/20 3:26 p.m.

My question is how many frisbees have been sold to date versus how many NA miatae were sold. That will dictate how far down the depreciation curve they slide, which will make them more appealing as a starting point, it'll also dictate how many are available for spare parts and components. 

 

I love the idea of spec frisbee and spec Miata and feel that both would be excellent at driver development. 

Vajingo
Vajingo Reader
11/30/20 3:27 p.m.

But... but no convertible. 
 

If they stopped production right now, frsbrz prices would soar out of control and it would enter STI/EVO status. 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
11/30/20 3:50 p.m.

In reply to Vajingo :

I gotta agree with this one. This is the 240Z of today and is going to become legend once it is no longer made. The (relative) rarity will help the cause.

 

I was an early adopter of both the Miata and the FRS so have some idea what the initial market reactions were....I don't see the FRS displacing the Miata because it is a very different owner experience and there were not enough of them made; Everyone knows what a Miata is even if they are just some random hairdreser-non-car-person, the FRS does not get a second look, and few non automotive fans would know what it was.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
11/30/20 3:54 p.m.
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

My question is how many frisbees have been sold to date versus how many NA miatae were sold. That will dictate how far down the depreciation curve they slide, which will make them more appealing as a starting point, it'll also dictate how many are available for spare parts and components. 

 

I love the idea of spec frisbee and spec Miata and feel that both would be excellent at driver development. 

Between the FR-S, GT86, and BRZ, I think it's in the 100k range. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/30/20 3:59 p.m.
NOHOME said:

In reply to Vajingo :

I gotta agree with this one. This is the 240Z of today and is going to become legend once it is no longer made. The (relative) rarity will help the cause.

 

I was an early adopter of both the Miata and the FRS so have some idea what the initial market reactions were....I don't see the FRS displacing the Miata because it is a very different owner experience and there were not enough of them made; Everyone knows what a Miata is even if they are just some random hairdreser-non-car-person, the FRS does not get a second look, and few non automotive fans would know what it was.

The worst thing Mazda ever did with the Miata was keep making them :) It kept them from reaching iconic status, they were just Miatas.

The article is a little odd - they're saying that the big advantage to the Frisbee is the fact that it's not all shagged out like their old race NAs. Fair point. Trying to keep an old chassis running at peak condition is definitely difficult.  But what about using one of the NC Spec Miatas, how do they compare? Or an ND GCC? Does Subaru/Toyota have the same sort of racer support that Mazda does?

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
11/30/20 4:05 p.m.

I like the body on the FRS better.  I don't like rag tops, really do like the miata retractable hard tops, but the soft top is a killer for me.  i guess I got that all out of my system when I had jeeps.  I don't like the flat 4.  It needs small turbo inline 4.. 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
11/30/20 5:00 p.m.
Fueled by Caffeine said:

I like the body on the FRS better.  I don't like rag tops, really do like the miata retractable hard tops, but the soft top is a killer for me.  i guess I got that all out of my system when I had jeeps.  I don't like the flat 4.  It needs small turbo inline 4.. 

Solved the convertible conundrum by building my own Miata station wagon! No more pesky convertible to muss my hair.

I fully agree on the flat 4 thing. I have never warmed up to the Subaru engine. Nothing specific, just prefer a real engine. It should not require four cams and two cylinder heads for a 4 banger.

 

MrChaos
MrChaos GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/30/20 5:20 p.m.
NOHOME said:
Fueled by Caffeine said:

I like the body on the FRS better.  I don't like rag tops, really do like the miata retractable hard tops, but the soft top is a killer for me.  i guess I got that all out of my system when I had jeeps.  I don't like the flat 4.  It needs small turbo inline 4.. 

Solved the convertible conundrum by building my own Miata station wagon! No more pesky convertible to muss my hair.

I fully agree on the flat 4 thing. I have never warmed up to the Subaru engine. Nothing specific, just prefer a real engine. It should not require four cams and two cylinder heads for a 4 banger.

 

same, not a flat 4 fan. I am really close to buying another ND in the next 18 month likely a ND2. i am not a big convertible fan but i have owned an NA and a ND RF.

Jesse Ransom (FFS)
Jesse Ransom (FFS) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
11/30/20 5:22 p.m.

How much of this really comes down to the 86s not needing to source from a dwindling supply of trackworthy used Miata hardtops?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/30/20 5:28 p.m.

It's not a dwindling source, you can buy one new. 

Comparing availability of parts for a platform that first showed up 31 years ago to one that's still in production is reasonable. It makes sense that TODAY it's easier to get Frisbee parts. Will that be the case in 10 years? Or will it be easier to get the Mazda parts?

The article mentions the difficulty in sourcing alternators that last. Seems to me that this is a solvable problem - underdrive them (if allowed) or have them rebuilt by a local shop. If they used to last 15 years ago, they can last today if you don't just buy the cheapest crap you can find at an auto parts store.

Mazda is fantastic at supporting racers. Serious question, is Toyota/Subaru? What happens when this is a legacy platform, who will be supplying parts? Engines from Subaru (obviously), but will the mixed part bin be a liability?

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
11/30/20 5:29 p.m.

No it won't be the answer..............................Heretic.

Jesse Ransom (FFS)
Jesse Ransom (FFS) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
11/30/20 5:47 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

It's not a dwindling source, you can buy one new.

That's good to know!

I was under the impression that the new ones weren't as nice and/or not legal for Spec Miata. Which is what I get for taking the gist of discussions on the Internet... Took to heart too many discussions where a reasonably priced Miata was regarded as a steal because the included hardtop was half the value of the car on its own.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/30/20 6:07 p.m.

Well, they cost actual money. That's probably why people think they're not available :) But you can get a proper OE unit from Mazda for $2600. It's the cheaper "race only" stuff that's not as nice or legal.

Used hardtops have been about the same price for 25 years, funnily enough.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
11/30/20 6:16 p.m.

No. Because too many people hate the Subaru flat 4. 

350z247
350z247 New Reader
11/30/20 7:39 p.m.

In reply to Appleseed :

While I don't foresee a passion to restore FA20s in 20 years, the Miata doesn't have an inspiring engine either (current ND excluded); I put them on even ground in the engine category. I think the BRZ is a much better platform for big power engine swaps than the Miata with more weight, wheelbase, and the fixed roof, but that bumps you from a spec series. I would rather start with a coupe than a convertible to build a race car, but that's just one variable.

In reply to NO HOME:

The difference is the 240Z could take on a 911 while the BRZ can't even handle a base Cayman. I don't foresee the BRZ ever reaching the status of the 240Z, especially from a restoration/collectability standpoint.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/30/20 8:15 p.m.
Vajingo said:

But... but no convertible. 

 

You also don't have to find a $1000 hardtop if you want to actually do anything with it, though.

 

MrChaos
MrChaos GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/30/20 8:49 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
Vajingo said:

But... but no convertible. 

 

You also don't have to find a $1000 hardtop if you want to actually do anything with it, though.

 

$1750-2k or more at least around here

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
12/1/20 3:01 a.m.

In reply to 350z247 :

No one saw the 240Z reaching 240Z status 40 years later. Only time will answer. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
12/1/20 6:25 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Mazda is fantastic at supporting racers. Serious question, is Toyota/Subaru? What happens when this is a legacy platform, who will be supplying parts? Engines from Subaru (obviously), but will the mixed part bin be a liability?

At least in the US rally world, Subaru has the best contingency program in the form of entry fee discounts.  In terms of older platforms, people are still successfully racing plenty of 20+ year old GC Imprezas so assuming parts supply doesn't dry up any faster the Frisbees should still be totally viable in 10 years.  The part bin isn't particularly mixed, almost everything on them is Subaru.

That's not to say the support is or will be as good as Mazda, but it might be better than lots of other popular brands (looking at you BMW) that people still find a way to race.

MrChaos
MrChaos GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/1/20 9:19 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

and the rear dif is the same rear dif toyota has used since the 3rd gen supra. 

maj75 (Forum Supporter)
maj75 (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
12/28/20 9:10 p.m.

Had multiple Miata and FRS.  The FRS will never be the Answer.  Mazda built a classic with the NA.  They just made too many of them.  Given the choice I'd take an NA Miata over a FRS.  Cheaper to mod, great transmission, proper suspension and the sound of a well tuned 1.6 revving sure does it for me.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/28/20 10:47 p.m.
Vajingo said:

But... but no convertible. 
 

If they stopped production right now, frsbrz prices would soar out of control and it would enter STI/EVO status. 

That's funny, I think just the opposite. Miata has never been the answer for me because no fastback (and that targa doesn't count)

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/28/20 10:49 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:
Keith Tanner said:

Mazda is fantastic at supporting racers. Serious question, is Toyota/Subaru? What happens when this is a legacy platform, who will be supplying parts? Engines from Subaru (obviously), but will the mixed part bin be a liability?

At least in the US rally world, Subaru has the best contingency program in the form of entry fee discounts.  In terms of older platforms, people are still successfully racing plenty of 20+ year old GC Imprezas so assuming parts supply doesn't dry up any faster the Frisbees should still be totally viable in 10 years.  The part bin isn't particularly mixed, almost everything on them is Subaru.

That's not to say the support is or will be as good as Mazda, but it might be better than lots of other popular brands (looking at you BMW) that people still find a way to race.

lol, support for BMW????? Certainly no support for old BMWs from BMW itself in terms of motorsports. Thankfully, so many older BMWs are driven and raced over in Europe, I would expect the parts pipeline to remain pretty strong for the foreseeable future. 

billstewartx
billstewartx New Reader
8/28/21 6:25 p.m.
NOHOME said:
Fueled by Caffeine said:

I like the body on the FRS better.  I don't like rag tops, really do like the miata retractable hard tops, but the soft top is a killer for me.  i guess I got that all out of my system when I had jeeps.  I don't like the flat 4.  It needs small turbo inline 4.. 

I fully agree on the flat 4 thing. I have never warmed up to the Subaru engine. Nothing specific, just prefer a real engine. It should not require four cams and two cylinder heads for a 4 banger.

 

yea, that flat four is just the bastard son of the Failburu 4 

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