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  • 2001 Mazda Miata

    I came by my miata about 6 months after loosing my 1st Rx-7 in late 2000 to a quick double whammy of minor accident / blown engine. I was trying to figure out what type of car to get. I might have been able to find another Rx-7, but was really looking for something newer that I wouldn't have to fuss with for a while. I decided to seriously check out miatas. I had previously written them off as too "girly". After doing a little bit of research on them I discovered several things which I did not previously know: 1) They're Rear Wheel Drive! 2) They have about as large an enthusiast following as Rx-7s. 3) Miata folks are sort of kindred spirits to Rx-7 guys. I decided I needed to take one for a test drive to see if was in any way comparable to old Rex. By the time I shifted into 3rd gear just out of the dealer's lot, I was sold. It was light, nimble and RWD, which met my primary criteria. The miata I really wanted was: Silver, black interior, Sport suspension, 6-speed. I waited 3 months for the dealer to get another shipment of miatas in. The shipment came in on a Monday. I wasn't able to get down there until Friday. By that time, the only one left was a 2001 Black LS. Tan leather, 5 speed, standard suspension. I was in desperate need of a car at that point, as the 1983 Ford LTD that was tiding me over, well I wasn't sure it would get me another 3 months. So, I purchased the Black LS. It's been 8 1/2 years and 152K miles as of this writing and I still have her. I plan on keeping this car pretty much forever at this point, since it costs pennies to keep around. Over the years I've done a few modifications including: 1) Flyin' Miata FMII suspension kit. This kit lowered the car just barely an inch, along with stiffer springs and 5 way adjustable Tociko shocks, and beefier sway bars front and rear. Aside from giving the car a slightly more aggressive stance (it's amazing what an inch does!), it handle pretty much the way I always wanted it to now. I though I didn't have to slow down for corners before, after the kit, it's like the car is on rails, yet still comfortable enough for everyday driving. 2) ACT 13.5 lb flywheel. The lighter flywheel went in when I replaced the original clutch at 150K miles. The clutch still had plenty of grip, and the friction surface still had about 50K miles left on it, but engagement had gotten funny and there was an awful rattling sound coming from the clutch. Turns out the springs in the clutch disk were all but missing. The lighter flywheel really improved the driveablility of the car. By lowering the unsprung weight of the drivetrain, it feels peppier and generally lighter. 3) Robbins Canvas top. After 7 North East winters the original vinyl top was really showing it's age and starting to split. The Canvas top really improves the look the of the car, but stains pretty easily. Pictures coming soon.