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  1. #1
    Super Moderator tsingson's Avatar
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    The Search for Driving Perfection....A Miata Story.

    Finally got one started. Please forgive me if anything is out of order and if the pics suck. This is my first build thread ever.


    It all started in the 8th grade. I remember being in my French class and one of our assignments asked us what is our dream car. I had put away from my mind the Ferraris and the Lamborghinis simply because I know that I never would buy one. But I remember writing down on my ditto “a miata.” I also remember my best friend at the time writing down the same thing. His was misspelled though. I believe he spelled it, “a meeatah.” Dude couldn’t spell to save his life. I remember the first time I saw one up close. My dad had gone to a Pontiac dealership looking at the brand new 95 Trans Am. That same dealership also sold Mazdas. I remember walking up to a 95 Marina Green M-Edition NA. That thing was beautiful. I remember thinking to myself, since I was a young teenager still, “I bet you won’t fall asleep with the speakers behind your head.”

    But flash forward to 1998. I was into the whole street racing thing. Yes, I know. Stupid. I had a 1989 Toyota Corolla GT-S. First year of the front wheel drives. I wish I still had pictures of that car. I loved it. I had a front clip of a Japanese AE92 sent over and my best friend Lyle helped me swap in a 4AGZE along with the front lower markers and hood with functional hood scoop. For those who don’t know, the 4AGZE is the supercharged motor that came in the MR2 supercharged cars. I had it running about 14 pounds of boost and that thing was pretty quick. I remember racing my little brother’s MR2 turbo the day I was selling it and he had me off the line but I pulled on him real quick. He was like, “What did you do to that thing?” I sold that car because I wanted the comforts of AC and just reliability. The AE92 kept breaking something so it was always down. I sold it to a guy from Arizona that bought it using his credit card and paypal. I picked him up from the airport and the after finishing up the paperwork, he was on his way back to AZ. I watched it drive off with the Panasport wheels and the OEM looking exhaust. I wasn’t too sad because on the way home, I was going to look at the Mazdaspeed Miata.

    I never expected that I would’ve been looking at the Miata. I didn’t even remember my 8th grade assignment. It was just something that told me to look at it. Test drive it. Well, I test drove the Mazdaspeed. Love at first drive. I remember it was the Black Mica. I wanted the Titanium Gray one though. I remember sitting down with the salesman and that’s when my bubble was burst. The payments for it were too much for me to make monthly since this was going to be my first car loan. The salesman wanted me to try and buy a Focus to help build up my credit and then get the car later on. I said no. I left the dealership thinking what are my other options.

    I kept searching and searching. I found a 2003 Honda S2000 for $10,000. I instantly emailed the seller asking when I could take a look at it. I also contacted my finance company and was approved for $15,000. The seller of the S2000 had emailed me back and had some story about how he was in Europe with the car and that I couldn’t take a look at it. The seller also stated that the car was in perfect condition and if I put a down payment on the car, he could send it to the states so I could see it, contrary to what the craigslist ad had stated. The ad stated that the car was in the states and could be seen when available. First thing that popped into my mind, SCAM. So I blew him off.

    After a few days of looking on autotrader, I found a 2000 NB in Highlight Silver. The car had 45,000 miles and the factory appearance package. He was asking $13,000. I contacted the seller and scheduled a test drive. I loved it. I negotiated the price to $12,000 and a couple of days later, I was the new owner of a 2000 NB. I loved the car. The way it drove, the way it handled. It was the best car I had ever driven. I quickly started looking into parts. I purchased a Hard Dog M2 Sport with no diagonals. That was installed by a local shop. I also purchased a set of KYB AGXs and Ground Control coilovers. I matched them up with Flyin’ Miata front and rear adjustable sway bars. Then a friend that was stationed in Japan emailed me about a set of wheels that he felt that I may want. When I saw the picture, I told him I wanted them. They were a set of Top Secret gold SSR Type Cs in 15x7 with a 43 offset. It took forever for them to get to me but it was worth the wait. They were light as hell. I also ordered an AEM intake just to hear intake noise.

    Then the move. I moved from California back to Philadelphia, where I was born. I was so happy to be back where I belong. Everyone loved my car. I found some new friends that were into cars like I was. I had installed Tein Hood Struts. A great investment for any miata owner. I also had the stereo redone with Focal Speakers in the door and a Fosgate amp powering them. This was all controlled by Pioneer AVIC D3 head unit. My valve cover had been powdercoated to match the gold of the wheels as well as the shock tower brace. I found an older guy selling his OEM Mazdaspeed muffler for $30 so I picked that up and installed it. Things were definitely looking up for the car.

    I met my wife not too long after moving back to Philadelphia. We had some history together so we instantly picked up where we left off. She had purchased a Roadster Sport midpipe for me and I installed it as soon as it arrived. The exhaust sounded great coming from the Mazdaspeed muffler and the midpipe. I looked into the 01 exhaust manifold swap but I saw a hardtop for about $500. I looked at the hardtop but decided that I wanted the performance since my top was still mint. I ordered a manifold from Planet Miata and installed it when it came. Problem was the flange on the manifold was warped and causing a huge leak. I didn’t know that the flange was warped until I took it to a shop to have it looked at. Let’s just say after I was done paying for the shops to fix the manifold and to fix the studs that had come out while removing the old manifold, I had spent enough to have bought the hardtop AND the manifold. Lesson learned.

    When I got the car back, I drove it like a mad man. The car felt great and just sounded awesome. I was in car heaven. Then my wife broke some news.

    This was her prior to moving.
    152.jpg 153.jpg


    She had been looking at moving to North Carolina. She had applied for a job down here and she got it. Well, let me tell you. I didn’t even know where North Carolina was located on the map. But I decided to move and tried to keep telling myself that the move would be a good step.

    That’s where I was wrong.

    Flash forward about 2 years from when we first moved. I wasn’t driving the Miata as much anymore because I had my Pathfinder to drive to work. I didn’t have any friends to hang out with that was into cars. I tried hanging out with a group here that got together monthly and I overheard some of them ripping into the car saying things such as “Why is it so low?” and “He should’ve just left the car alone.” I decided that they weren’t the group to be around.

    I put about 45,000 miles on the car during the 6 years I had her. But my love and passion for her had gone since I had no one to share the passion with. I did something that I regret every day.

    I listed her for sale. I was asking only $7,000.

    Naturally, I was bombarded with calls. I wanted to make sure the car went to someone who could appreciate her. I met this one guy who wanted the car and had the cash ready to go. A couple of days later, the car was sold and I had a wad of cash in my hands. I remember watching her drive off and I think I teared. Go ahead and laugh. But I watched my baby drive off with someone else. That hurt. Even my daughter cried that I let her go. I told her, “Don’t worry. You and I will build another one. A better one.” I think I said it just to ease her tears, but in the back of my mind. I knew there wouldn’t be another one like her.

    Fast forward a couple of years, and this brings me to the present.

    I was commuting to work in a 2005 Ford Expedition. Let me tell you. This is not fun. The fuel gauge moves about as fast as the speedometer. I told myself that I need to get something that is better on gas. I started to look into the Miatas again. I had money that was burning a hole in my pocket and I needed to use it on something that will be better in the long run instead of just throwing that money into the Expedition’s fuel addiction.

    What really sealed the deal was my wife buying a baby grand piano for our daughter. Granted, I am glad that she has one since she plays and is really good and the deal was a great deal, but the space that one takes. I said to myself, “I am going to buy a miata without telling her.” I kept my nose to the grindstone and found one in Charlotte. He was asking $7500 for a 1999 Highlight Silver NB with 114,000 miles and the factory appearance package minus the front lip. It had been for sale for a while and I contacted him and told him I have $5,000 cash and I could get it today. We went back and forth on the price and finally got it settled at $5,200. I was ecstatic. I told my wife that we were going to Charlotte to pick up a car.

    When she pulled up at the meetup spot, I loved it. It was very close to my first NB.

    This is her after her first wash.

    v2.0.jpg

    Then while on one of the sites, I had seen a possible meetup. This is where I found my friends that share the passion and love for the roadster that I have. Steven, Tony, Mikael, Toney, Jim and Scott. These guys will keep my love for my Miata going and I am most thankful for meeting them and being able to speak to them and ask questions about what I should possibly do. These guys are great and very knowledgeable.

    I want to give a very special thanks to my buddies at Starbucks. We have to keep this thing going.

    My wife and daughter deserve a lot of thanks also. For everything.

    From here on I will be just updating pictures and so on but I have laid down the foundation of my story/build. Hope you enjoy.

    and this is where the story begins……
    Last edited by tsingson; 12-04-2017 at 09:26 PM.

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  3. #2
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Blueiii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsingson View Post
    I wanted to make sure the car went to someone who could appreciated her.
    A saying that only car guys will understand... I sold my Ti the same way - sold it cheap, but made sure I chose who bought it. I saw it about a week ago with a friend and wanted to chase it down, but the friend was insistent. "Its not your car anymore, so what do you care?"

    Lucky for me, my miata purchase was the same way. The owner wanted to make sure it went to someone who could appreciate it.
    2012: Purchased Miata, Laid off 3 days later. 4th place overall (default!), NWOR SCCA (RTR)
    2013: Budget RTR build, massive increase in participation, 3rd place overall, NWOR SCCA (RTR)
    2014: Suspension and more active competition in STS. 3rd place overall, NWOR SCCA
    2015: Time for some "form" and vintage styling (while still racing NWOR, of course).


    Check out my Miata Journal: http://mazdaroadster.net/showthread....-miata-journal

  4. #3
    Super Moderator tsingson's Avatar
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    When I was in the market for another one, I tried like crazy to find the guy who bought mine. Even going as far as joining LinkedIn but to no avail.

  5. #4
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Blueiii's Avatar
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    That's why I always get email addresses.... I still have the email address of the guy who bought my Ti back in 08.
    2012: Purchased Miata, Laid off 3 days later. 4th place overall (default!), NWOR SCCA (RTR)
    2013: Budget RTR build, massive increase in participation, 3rd place overall, NWOR SCCA (RTR)
    2014: Suspension and more active competition in STS. 3rd place overall, NWOR SCCA
    2015: Time for some "form" and vintage styling (while still racing NWOR, of course).


    Check out my Miata Journal: http://mazdaroadster.net/showthread....-miata-journal

  6. #5
    Super Moderator tsingson's Avatar
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    That's ok now. I will try to make this one better and I won't let this one go. But I do know for future reference. And let me tell you. 3 days after the guy bought it, he called me up looking for a replacement wheel because he hit a curb trying to chase a Vette. I told him they were bought in Japan. From a friend that was stationed there. I regretted even more from that day on.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator The Driver's Avatar
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    This is such a lovely romantic story, I think I'll need a cloth handkerchief!!!


    Nah dude, messing with ya, cool story!
    96 Montego, replacing a 95M... I miss: My running peeps in Tampa, running barefoot @ Clearwater Beach and First Choice BBQ, in Brandon. In So Cal I miss: The Malibu Canyons, CA 33 and In & Out Burgers ! I'm from Tampa, if I was from Tampa Bay, I'd be a fish!

  8. #7
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! treeafodo's Avatar
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    Great read so far, I can't wait to see where you take this thing, you sound very passionate about it
    Austin.
    Lexy (Little Hobo) - Transforming from Wreck to Race Car.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueiii View Post
    Your priorities seem a bit messed up to me, although that's because I try to get my lap times to decrease.

  9. #8
    Super Moderator atank's Avatar
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    Nice work Tsingson!!!

  10. #9
    Super Moderator tsingson's Avatar
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    I got a great price on a Hard Dog M2 sport no diagonals and assisted in the installation with mhogan0. Thanks again Buddy and I still owe you a six pack.

    Here are some of the pics during install:

    IMG-20120715-00041 by asingson003, on Flickr


    IMG-20120715-00042 by asingson003, on Flickr


    IMG-20120715-00043 by asingson003, on Flickr


    IMG-20120715-00044 by asingson003, on Flickr
    The Hard Dog sticker has since been replaced with a Mazdaroadster.net sticker.

    And here is the picture with my homemade bikini top Version 1.0. Sorry Project G, but I can't afford one of your beautiful dime pieces. I had to try and make one of my own. I have since made Version 2.0 which is all vinyl as Version 1.0 was a breathable mesh. Oh and before I forget, thanks Gavin aka I<3flippyheadlights. You know why.


    IMG-20120716-00045 by asingson003, on Flickr

    I will get pics of the car with the new Version 2.0 bikini top and I should be coming into a set of used KYB AGXs soon. I just need to see what springs I will be using or if I use GC coils like I had last time.

  11. #10
    Super Moderator tsingson's Avatar
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    Here are some recent pics. This is before getting the suspension on.


    IMG_00000045 by asingson003, on Flickr


    IMG_00000047 by asingson003, on Flickr

    And here is my homemade bikini top. Version 2.0


    IMG_00000046 by asingson003, on Flickr

    And I love my MR.net sticker!

    IMG_00000048 by asingson003, on Flickr

  12. #11
    Supporting Member Willywongka's Avatar
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    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story man... felt like I was there with you.

    I am glad you are pursuing your long lost passion!

  13. #12
    Super Moderator atank's Avatar
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    Your progress looks great!

  14. #13
    Super Moderator tsingson's Avatar
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    Thanks guys!

  15. #14
    Super Moderator tsingson's Avatar
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    Update:

    So I put on the KYB AGXs and the OBX coilover sleeves that I had purchased. The OBXs are only temporary but they actually ride pretty good for my standards.

    Here are some pictures during the installation. I didn't take much because I just wanted to finish as soon as possible.


    3 by asingson003, on Flickr


    4 by asingson003, on Flickr

    After having it just a little bit lower than stock, I went and dropped it. I will raise it just a little bit though.


    1 by asingson003, on Flickr


    2 by asingson003, on Flickr

    Up next is the OEM Mazdaspeed exhaust and the 01 manifold....

    Stay tuned.

  16. #15
    1,000 rpm - releasing the clutch SteelReign's Avatar
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    Its always nice to read a story like that. So many car guys have this same mentality.

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