One thousand miles after bringing our Miata back to life | Garage Rescue Miata

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Update by David S. Wallens to the Mazda Miata project car
Oct 4, 2021

Our Garage Rescue Miata has covered a thousand miles since emerging from its auto cocoon last winter–okay, technically 1124 miles because we got distracted and forgot to keep track.

A quick recap before we get to the "What we’ve learned” part of the story.

We first built this 1992 Miata as a magazine project car back in 1999. Then we drove enjoyed it for a while–autocross and stuff like that.

And then, well, we let it sit in the corner of the garage. For more than eight years.

We finally moved the car back to the front burner in late 2020. We cleaned it inside and out.

Since we didn’t know what horrors awaited, we towed the car to BSI Racing so they could check it over–plus, we weren’t interested in draining a tankful of old gas here at home.

How bad would it be? We braced for the worst. Clogged fuel system? Spiders? Demon spirits? Would we fall back in love?

BSI Racing drained the old gas, changed the belts, replaced the fuel filter, installed a fresh clutch slave cylinder, and gave the car a once over. We also fit fresh sneakers: Falken Azenis RT660 tires fitted on Kosei K1 wheels, a nod to the first set of mags we ever fit on the car.

[200-treadwear tire test | Falken RT660 vs. Yokohama A052 vs. Nankang CR-1]

The car spent about a week at BSI Racing, but most of that was due to the holidays and need to order some parts. As they reminded us, not too many people race the 1.6-liter Miata these days.

Total bill on the work covered a little more than a full day of labor–so not bad at all.

Since getting the car back, we’ve been enjoying it. We’ve autocrossed with both the SCCA and Martin Sports Car Club, hung out with other Miata fans at Orlando Roadsters meets, and just driven it.

And during that time, the car has been dead-on reliable. It always starts, it idles like a new car. It doesn’t lurch, it doesn’t do anything weird. Basically, it’s a Miata. Yes, we’re idiots for letting it sit.

Tire wear has been exemplary, too. The RT660s come molded with 8/32 inch of tread. After seven autocross events plus those thousand-plus street miles, we’re at 7/32 all around–and that’s without any rotating.

But we still have a to-do list. Don’t worry, more updates to come.

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View comments on the GRM forums
JAdams GRM+ Memberand New Reader
9/30/21 11:18 a.m.

One of my favorite simple project cars. I look forward to more updates!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/30/21 11:27 a.m.

In reply to JAdams :

Thank you and more updates will come--in fact, more are already written. smiley

bluebarchetta Reader
9/30/21 1:18 p.m.

Did you guys add aftermarket cruise control?  I see a light gray box where the factory cruise master switch would have gone.  

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/30/21 1:57 p.m.

In reply to bluebarchetta :

The aftermarket cruise was there when we bought the car back in 1998. We removed all of the cruise hardware, minus the control box, long ago. I think it was all left in Ed Senf's old shop circa 1999.

One day we'll remove the cruise control switch. Or do we leave it since it's now period correct? 

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