Meatballs for our Miata | Garage Rescue Miata

David S.
Update by David S. Wallens to the Mazda Miata project car
Sep 27, 2021

Photography Credit: Dave Green • Art by Rob Ebersol

Do professionally made numbers make you faster? Sadly, no, at least when it comes to autocross, they don’t outpace painter’s tape.

This weekend we replaced our Miata’s old, old number panels with some new meatballs from Spinnywhoosh Graphics. The occasion was a Central Florida SCCA autocross on the Daytona International Speedway kart track.

Did we suddenly lap the field? No.

But as we learned long ago, it's not how you feel, it's how you look.

[What Number Do You Run on Your Car and Why?]

The influence for the new graphics? An article from the GRM archives: Vintage Liveries on Modern Cars.

Specifically, we zeroed in on some art in that piece from our friend and longtime graphic artist Rob Ebersol. Retro Miatas aren’t new, but he whipped up something for that article.

Art Credit: Rob Ebersol

But we wanted to go bigger on the meatballs, with that part influenced by vintage photos found in the Nissan archives. Back then, everything wore giant meatballs.

Photography Credits: Courtesy Nissan

As a proof of concept, Rob updated that rendering for us to show how 17-inch meatballs would look.

Art Credit: Rob Ebersol

So, 10 years after that retro graphics article originally ran, a Spinnywhoosh Graphics discount code helped make it all a reality. (Keep an eye on the Spinnywhoosh Graphics site and social for occasional discount codes.)

While we’re not dominating our local Xtreme Street class with our all-motor 1.6–those 300-horsepower Miatas can be fast–we’re looking good out there.

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Comments
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thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/27/21 4:48 p.m.

Meatballs on white Miatas are where it's at.

car39
car39 Dork
9/27/21 4:56 p.m.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/27/21 4:58 p.m.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/27/21 5:29 p.m.

Ironically, we had a race car with GRM-provided number panels on it and they were square :)

 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
9/27/21 8:24 p.m.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/27/21 9:09 p.m.

They caught my eye when we were checking you in. Very nice, and I agree that meatballs look great. 
 

Here's my grassroots version, that I made with a pot lid for a template. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/28/21 8:19 a.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Thank you. The yellow is a bit "weaker" than expected, to be honest, but it does have a retro look to it. If we have to run numbers, might as well have some fun with it, right? 

wspohn
wspohn SuperDork
9/28/21 12:40 p.m.

I used to race with two different race organizations using two different numbers. The perfect solution would have been magnetic 'meatballs' but unfortunately one of my race cars had aluminum doors, bonnet and boot lid and the other was all fibreglass.....

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/28/21 12:43 p.m.

In reply to wspohn :

They now have static cling numbers and panels. Sounds like an intriguing alternative to magnetic. 

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/28/21 2:36 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to wspohn :

They now have static cling numbers and panels. Sounds like an intriguing alternative to magnetic. 

I used to carry a set of static cling number ones in my trailer so if someone else had a #50 I could add a one on either end or just over the top of the five or the zero.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/28/21 2:52 p.m.
wspohn said:

I used to race with two different race organizations using two different numbers. The perfect solution would have been magnetic 'meatballs' but unfortunately one of my race cars had aluminum doors, bonnet and boot lid and the other was all fibreglass.....

I had a vendor try to sell me on the idea of magentic stripes for Miatas. Let's see, plastic front bumper, aluminum hood, fiberglass hardtop, plastic rear fascia and bumper - they'd only stick to the windshield header and the trunk lid. And not even that on some of the later cars...

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/28/21 4:10 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Yeah, that's not gonna work. 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
9/28/21 8:04 p.m.

I used to have a vinyl graphics business back in the day..... as a side job when I was in the Navy.  I'm thinking of doing this kind of thing again.  I'm really looking at getting set up to do my 2022 challenge car.  The vinyl isn't super expensive but the hours I'd spend on the design and installation are very real.  I have an idea, but I'm almost too excited about it to share it early.  I'd love to know the size of the GRM number boards since the car I'm trying to replicate has 3 number boards.  I'd like to use the GRM boards for the challenge in the correct race car locations on each side.  And I will number the hood to match the original.  I'm really, really hoping to get the actual race car number I'm looking to replicate too. 

My goal is to build a car that autocrosses very well, looks really cool, but it will not be a fast drag racer. 

I need to get digitizing software and get to work on the graphics as they are quite complicated. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/28/21 8:50 p.m.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/29/21 10:29 a.m.

See, all those meatballs look good. 

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