Category Archives: Thailand

Hot Wheels $uper Treasure Hunts

UPDATE 6/2/2019: This week I added 6 more supers and 3 more corresponding mainlines to my collection. Last Saturday I found 4x Mazda Repu $upers at Walmart, Rockaway, NJ. Yesterday, Saturday added the Audi RS6 Wagon found at Shop Rite, Emerson, NJ and today found VW T2 truck at ACME in Allendale, NJ… wow!

2019 has been a great year for my Hot Wheels & Matchbox collecting hobby. I’ve picked up a ton of cars I really wanted including many (and many multiples of) pricey Premium models from various new series like Open Track, Gulf and Silhouettes that include realistic looking GT3 race cars, which I love. I discovered Matchbox premiums called Superfast which too seem to fit my collection nicely.

But Hot Wheels collecting mean different things to different people. While to me realistic race cars are most valuable, others may consider Muscle Cars to be the business, or some fantasy castings. Most however will claim that Super Treasure Hunts or $upers (even $oup for short) are most valuable of them all because they are the rarest in this mass produced world of Die Casts.

I was never one to have Mattel tell me what I should collect, but after finding a few of them recently I will certainly not put one back on the peg if I come across it at a supermarket.

Why?

Cause they do indeed look cool with their spectra flake paint job and real riderz wheels. They are basically the premium models that sell for $1 instead of $6+ that Car Culture line now goes for.

Take a look at my recent finds:

Found at ACME supermarket in Mahwah, NJ

Found at Target in Fairfield, NJ

I like them… and again while they aren’t the core of my collection, I think they are worth keeping along with the base model for comparison.

Now the regular “Treasure Hunt” models seem to basically be junk… and despite having Mattel write nice things on the blue card how they are collectibles, in my experience they have mainly been worthless. Nobody collects them, unless it’s a model that fits someone’s collections goals. And unless it’s an interesting concept, like my very first treasure hunt find: Quick Bite which I actually really like… the rest that I picked up with hopes of trading for something I really want have been duds.

Found at Walmart in Teterboro, NJ and at Walgreens in Wyckoff, NJ

Zamac (Walmart exclusives, though I’ve found one at Walgreens before) seem to be much more desirable than Regular Treasure Hunts, although my local Walmart’s never seem to have them on the pegs.

Found at Kmart in Wayne, NJ and Ton of Toys in Westwood, NJ

Target “Red Edition” and Kmart exclusives also seem to hold more value than Treasure Hunts. The one trade that I managed to get cars I wanted (though they arrived in a rough condition after USPS were done with them) involved a few Nissans from each stores exclusive lines.

There are models like the Kroger exclusive Ford GT LM that I really want for my collection but definitely don’t see myself paying 10x the price plus shipping to acquire… I don’t even think it would be worth trading a $uper for one maybe a Red Edition or Zamac… but who knows. Too bad there’s no Kroger stores where I live.

Happy Hunting Ya’ll!

Hot Wheels Motorsport Wish List

The more cars and bikes I add to my collection the more I want to get to complete my newly created Hot Wheels Motorsport “Spotter Guide” to illustrate the available options out there in the 1/64 scale diecast world.

In addition to my core collectables I’ve stocked up on cool cars I offer to trade to others for what I like… and the question always comes up: “what are you looking for?”

This list is what I’m looking for:

Ducati 1098R

Check out Hot Wheels Collector News for a complete list of this 2010-2013 bike model: Click here!

Ducati 1199 Panigale

While I have a few Ducati 1199’s already there are a few more 2014+ models I’d like: Click here!

Lotus Evora GT4

The 2013-2014 release of the Lotus Evora GT4 would be nice to acquire: Click here!

Saleen S7

While it was made from 2002 onwards I’m especially interested in the 2010 version of the Saleen S7 Race Car with a big wing and air scoop added. Click here!

Ferrari F1
BMW F1

Though I doubt I’ll ever get my hands on any of these realistic looking 1999 production F1 cars, I would really love to get at least the above Ferrari and BMW versions in their true liveries. Click here!

Tyrrell P34

Speaking of must-have Formula 1 models, the 2010 Tyrrell six-wheeler is at the top of my list. Click here!

Porsche 917K

This short tail version of the 917 beauty of which I already have a few long tail version is a must for me, and I think I’ll get one fairly reasonably priced as it was a recent release. Click here!

Porsche 993 GT2

This limited edition, fancilly boxed 911 will be impossible to get cheaply. Click here!

Porsche 911 GT2

However this mainline from 2010 should be doable: click-here!

Ferrari 360 Modena – Ferrari Challenge

This would be awesome to have, Ferrari Challenge F360 from 1999 production run, click here!

Ferrari 430 Scuderia

The 2009 run of the next Ferrari Challenge F430 is a must too, Click Here!

Ford Fiesta Rallycross

After participating in Red Bull Rallycross I got a really soft spot for the Ford Fiesta, would love to add a few more of these colorful gems to my collection. Click here!

Ford Falcon V8 Supercar

One of the more illusive race cars I have been having trouble getting cheaply on eBay is the series of Ford Falcon V8 Supercars. I definitely want these in my collection. Click here!

Since there are no Kroger stores in my area getting the Ford GT exclusive was impossible, hoping to find one on eBay cheaply. Click here.

There are of course a number of GT3 car variations I would love to add to the many existing cars on my wall. Especially slightly older stufffrom before the time I begun my collection.

Huge thanks to HWCollectorsNews.com folks forcataloging this hobby so well for newbies to have such an amazing resource to go by. My collection keeps growing so this page and my general wish list is constantly updated. Stay tuned!

Hot Wheels GT3 Diecast Collection #TinyRaceCars

Mission accomplished once again. The Hot Wheels Premium Car Culture line keeps getting better and better. That’s those tiny 1/64 scale wide cards with fancy artwork cars featuring rubber wheels and metal base for $5.49 apiece instead of standard mainline cars that sell for $0.94 at Walmart or a bit more everywhere else. Well 2019 is getting pretty awesome so far with incredibly detailed modern GT3 machinery… exactly what got me into collecting Hot Wheels a year ago.

Sadly I’m not the only one hunting for these awesome things in Northern NJ and it took me many fruitless trips to the local stores where all I accomplished was burning a lot of gas. Today my luck changed around. While going to get my taxes done I finally stumbled upon an Easter display at Target that had all the cars I really wanted in my collection. Woo Hoo!!!

Audi R8 LMS
Mercedes-AMG GT3
Will keep hunting for that Momo Mercedes-Benz 190evo
Acura NSX GT3
Acura NSX GT3
Boom! Mission Accomplished…
Nice match to the 2017 release EuroSpeed series
Mixed with my former mission accomplished Mazda 787B

Well there you have it folks… super happy with my growing collection and looking forward to future fantastic releases.

Hot Wheels Best Racing Livery

What’s the most recognizable Racing Livery? What paint job tells you the Team sponsor by seeing the color combo from a mile away? Even without reading any text…. I’d think Red Bull, Coca Cola, Marlboro, Rothmans, Martini, Gulf, Falken, Tic Tac, Yagermeister… maybe a few others would make the list. But since Hot Wheels is a kid brand, most of the cigarette and booze sponsors get excluded from making it into mainline cars. So of the remaining teams we’re left with instantly recognizable paint jobs, and I’m going to start adding them to my collection.

Thanks to all the detailed work HWCOLLECTORSNEWS.COM put into their web site it can be used as a shopping catalog for desirable cars… past and present. I’m happy to say that many of the abovementioned cars are already in my collection. And the rest I’ll be on the lookout for on eBay to be sure I can add them to my wall.

So the following are my favorites:

Gulf Racing Porsche 917 LH
Gulf Racing Corvette C6 ZR1
Gulf Racing Porsche 917 K
Gulf Racing Ford GT40
Momo Racing Porsche 962
Momo Racing Nissan Datsun 510
Falcon Motorsport Porsche 911 RSR
Falcon Motorsport Ford Mustang

There are of course others in each of these series, none large than the amazing Gulf Racing variety.

But it’s important to remember that collecting anything requires patience. Especially with something like Hot Wheels where new surprises come out every year. So I’ll be adding my additions as I accumulate them over the years.

For ideas and to check out a complete library of HW products visit HWCOLLECTORSNEWS.COM

Update…. after sleeping on it I realized there were more iconic liveries that I should have definitely included in my “look out for” list.

Among them:

Yokohama ADVAN Porsche 962
GReddy Porsche 962
Castrol BMW 3.0 CSL

Stay tuned for more….

Hot Wheels Collectors Resourses

If you’re just getting into Hot Wheels collecting like me, you may get overwhelmed with all the variety out there, available at different price points… or frustration of not being able to find any of the cool stuff you see people brag about online. I’d like to share some resourses I’ve come across in my recent re-introduction to this hobby with the hope that this info actually helps someone. And I’m sure I’ll vent my frustration as well… although the simple solution to that problem is just to throw more money at it. If you really want a car someone will sell it to you for a crazy price $$$ on eBay. I have bought quite a few dozen such cars there already to help my collection start growing.

So, observation #1: it’s 2018 and while grocery shopping at my local supermarket I come across a Hot Wheels box dump where I pull out 3 GT3 spec race cars after a short time rummaging thru. Wow! I think to myself, that’s going to be quite a collection if there are tiny versions of all the different race cars out there from American IMSA racing series or Le Mans, Blancpain GT, Pirelli World Challenge, etc. But nope…. you should not worry about being overwhelmed because Hot Wheels produced at most 2 or 3 varieties of cars per year, and certainly not of every single model racing in the real world today. Lately I’ve noticed realistic GT3 spec machinery is increasing in popularity, good news for me, because that’s the type of HW I want to collect, but finding them is often difficult and requires a lot of trips to the store… which suddenly makes buying stuff off eBay more appealing and often a cheaper option than burning gas running around with no success.

Observation #2: Hot Wheels are released in cases of 72 car in Mainline or 10 packs for Car Culture premium models. Each case has some new additions and a ton of oldies from previous cases of the same production year or even previous years. Which is both cool (If you’re looking for something you missed in the past) and weird (If you don’t come across a new item because there was only one or two per case and another collector or kid buying a new toy beat you to the peg). Hunting for new releases is extremely frustrating especially when you compete against people that snatch all the good stuff when they come across it and then go and sell that stuff to people like me on eBay for profit. So key is to be quick and lucky.

Observation #3: and probably the most important one, is to use a web site like HW collectors newsletter to see what stuff is available each year, when it comes out and even who sells it when there are exclusives like Zamac or Red Line, Treasure Hunt and Super Treasure Hunts. Btw…. zamac are those unpainted Zink Alluminum looking cars that now come with a Zamac build # on the blue card. TH or treasure hunt models have a little Hot Wheels flame circle behind the car on the blue card also writing how exclusive that car is.

HW Collectors Newsletter is my favorite resourse for this hobby

Since I don’t crack open any of the HotWheels cars that I buy I’m going to illustrate this post with anazing photos from HWCollectorsNews.com

The 2016 Mazda MX5 Miata was the unicorn in my collection even two years before I actually started collecting. Couldn’t find it anywhere I looked. I spent days scouring local supermarkets on a trip to California in 2016 and 2017… no luck. Same in Texas and in Florida. I even hit up a bunch of states from Pennsylvania to the Carolinas while driving to Daytona. No luck… so I ended up shelling over $5 for one on eBay. And it was well worth it.

Since then I’ve spent over $200 on Miatas alone, often clearing out the racks at my local supermarket whenever I come across a fresh display. I’ve got more than 50 of the white Mad Mike Miata from 2018 and at least a dozen of each of the others… and most of them I will probably give away to friends at future Miata events.

The other Mazda that I absolutely adore in my collection is the 2018 Car Culture premium model 787B Le Mans race car…

I’ve burned a ton of fuel going from store to store, week after week, trying to find one. Tempted to buy on eBay but not willing to shell out $10+ shipping for one. And finally came across a new case at a distant Target near NY/NJ border where they must have just gotten out out for Christmas. I bought all 4 on that display. And I’m sure it’s the best car in my collection, though I’m sure there will be more awesome HW stuff in the future.

The goal for my collection besides the Mazda’s is current and realistic / accurate GT3 race cars. And much like the amazing real variety at endurance events at Daytona, Sebribg, Bathurst, Spa-Francorchams, Le Mans or Nürburgring so too is the selection from HW:

Aston Martin Vantage GT3

Audi R8 LMS

BMW Z4 GT3

Cadillac ATS-V.R

Corvette C7.R

Ford GT

Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Huracán Super Trofeo)

Mercedes-AMG GT3

Renault Sport RS 01 (Renault Sport Trophy)

SRT Dodge Viper GT3-R

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup body-in-white

The cars above represent what my collection is about. There are currently 45 total options available as I’ve learned from the amazingly detailed description of each model from HWCollectorsNews.com however I probably won’t collect every single model because it turns out only some are sold individually as part of carded models. The rest are multipack exclusives. And yet others are exclusively made for events and aren’t even available for sale. While yet others, like the Forza Motorsport Ford GT are way too ugly and too expensive for the price they are being sold for.

So price and availability are always a factor of what will go into my collection.

This brings me to Observation #4: Hot Wheels are typically only made in their Malaysian or Thai factories. I’ve bought some older First Editions models from 20 years ago that were made in China. I’ve seen stuff from Macau as well. But modern Mainline cars come from Malyasia while premium cars are made in Thailand.

Mainline Hot Wheels are Made in Malaysia & Car Culture premium models are Made in Thailand

So this is a pretty exotic hobby knowing each car came from Southeast Asia. And ironically the cars are typically sold cheaper in the US compared to what they actually go for in their home markets (regular price that is, not sale). That being said prices are all over the board nowadays for both Mainline and Car Culture. Wal-Mart is consistently cheapest with their 94 cent price tag for most main line. $1.27 for special carded mainline and $4.97 for the Car Culture models. While the same Car Culture premium sell for $7.99 at Target…. because they can. Even my local supermarkets sell mainline for different price weekly. Sometimes it’s $0.99, then $1.09, then $1.29, $1.49 and when they’re really greedy $1.99 especially Matchbox mainline seem to command the double price for some reason. I tend to buy stuff when I find what I like regardless what the price is, because chances are that when they go on sale the selection would be very limited. That said I think car culture cars are worth the premium especially the well detailed Race Car models like:

the Porsche 962 models with Real Riderz wheels. Though that Momo livery car that came as part of a Transporter series with a large HW truck costing $12.99 is ridiculously overpriced I think.

There was a cheaper $3.99 version of the Porsche 962 before I started my collection, but for the life of me I cannot find one for a reasonable price. Speaking of cheaper vintage Porsches we are lucky to get the Gulf Racing Porsche 917 LH in mainline, readily available and I made sure to stock up on them.

In 2019 Hot Wheels will have several new sets of their Premium Car Culture line: Gulf livery, Open Track, etc. Many more GT and GT3 offerings among them like another Audi R8 LMS and a brand new pair of Acura NSX GT3’s among them. Even main line will have more new Cadillac and Mercedes-AMG race cars. I’m looking forward to finding them and adding to my collection.

I’ll keep HWCollectorsNews.com as a reference guide to know before I go to the store to understand what I’m looking for. This was already helpful the other night when I found my very first Treasure Hunt of 2019 at ACME in beautiful spectra gold finish and Real Riderz wheels in Mainline cars.

$12.99 Most expensive toy store Hot Wheels I’ve bought to date…

Happy hunting ya’ll!

Hot Wheels: From Hobby to Obsession

I think it’s time to pump the brakes on this hobby a little. Since I started to obsess over this idea a month ago I think I’m about $200 bux all in already, because I keep sweeping my local supermarkets of the models I want. And it’s a good time for a reality check.

The good news is that historically Hot Wheels do go on sale closer to the holiday season. They are a great stocking stuffer, and a good gift to give. But by that time the selection will dwindle in stores or there will just be random models I have little or no interes in.

Over the past month I have hoarded about 75 Miatas! There’s 5 different kinds. The two 2016 red Miatas I ordered on eBay at $5 each. Since I posted about trying to find a white Mad Mike MIATA I’ve added 40 of them to a shoebox I keep them in. I bought 16 of them today alone. Probably should take a breather on that one. I used to get so angry at assholes that snatched up all the red Miatas so that all i could do is pay five fold for it on ebay. Now I’m the asshole for doing the same thing in the 20 mile radius around my home, from all the supermarkets in sight. Not all were $1 either. I notice stores do a 29% to 49% markup from week to week. Only Wal-Mart is consistently charging 94 cents for both Hot Wheels and Matchbox which brings the total to roughly a dollar with tax. Im glad i also found a few more of the baby blue Eibach spring model, I had the least of that one.

I have been unsuccessful finding a Mazda 787B or Porsche 962 from the Real Riderz Car Culture Circuit Legends line. Visited several Walmarts twice this week alone, no luck just wasted fuel.

But I did pick up a bunch of the Euro Speed cars including another Audi R8 LMS, BMW M1 Procar, Mercedes Benz 190E and an Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA.  Ordered them in one shot from Wal-Mart and they arrived in one day to the store. Wish ordering a Mazda 787B was that easy. I have a feeling there may be a recall on them since people that bought the preorder in September complained on Reddit of a deformed rear wing, which on a $6 dollar 1/64 scale premium model is kind if insulting. I’ll be on the lookout. Still. While the rest is on pause.

I did get a ton of cars I really wanted, like the blue Ford GT or the #33 Lamborghini Super Trofeo. I even got the full Fiat 500 line up, including a short card version from a local mom and pop store called Ton of Toys. Got my first 2019 Hot Wheels Mercedes Benz Unimog at Wal-Mart too. And a few Lamborghini Miura specials at Kmart whom now charges $1.09 for 2018 models and $1.29 for 2019 and 50th anniversary cars like the Ford Escort RS 1600.

Some pix:

And that’s what $200 bux in little toys looks like, money I’ll never see again 😉 but I have to say I do enjoy looking at them with admiration, a lot of the cars bring back fond memories from my racing days.

 

Check out my Hot Wheels collection: click here

Updated Wish List of Events I Want to Marshal in the Near Future

The 2017 Racing season is in full effect now and it looks like it will be a pretty busy one for me… but with the whole NYC Formula E recruitment woes and the anticipated rejections for Macau GP I’ve been reminiscing about a post I made at the end of 2014 called the “Wish List” and all the events I would love to work… So in this post I’d like to take a look back and totally Trump-style pat myself on the back for all my accomplishments and failures.

Read about my 2014 Marshaling Wish List click here.

The Accomplishments:

Spa 24h at Spa-Francorchamps… Big mission accomplished with this event… for two years in a row actually! The track and the race are some of my favorite events ever… in the world. Period!

 Malaysian Merdeka… or perhaps the renamed Sepang 12h race at SIC: Sepang International Circuit. Mission accomplished on that one… almost by chance, because I worked two events in the Middle East but it was too expensive to stay there, so I flew to Southeast Asia to work an awesome 12h race… and then I came back to do it again in 2015 while on a trip to Bangkok for a wedding, which was amazing… highly recommend that event. Especially since it’s affiliated with Blancpain Series and SRO as part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

 Oak Tree Grand Prix is a massive accomplishment which was totally unexpected… Why? Because on the previous Wish List post I suggested this was a “no thanks!” event since they don’t want volunteers for their paid events. Well, an opportunity came up last year not to flag, but to work as pit fire. I jumped on it and had a time of my life. I loved it so much I returned this year for the PWC race to work with VIR fire rescue and this time I was the “hooker” riding around on a truck and hooking crashed cars to the tow truck. It was soooooo amazing! Would highly recommend this.

 DTM! My plan was to work Deutsche Touring Cars in Deutschland… but I got the next best thing working DTM at the Zandvoort Circuit in the Netherlands super close to the beach and just an hour outside of Amsterdam which turned out to be an amazing opportunity and event overall. Mission accomplished for the series, but also added 15th country to my list of places to volunteer. Still would love to do another German track besides the Nurburgring, or better yet schedule two consecutive events involving the Nordschleife and something else. Will see…

The Failures:

 Dubai 24h race in the UAE…. I signed up and then didn’t go. And that’s a horrible, horrible thing to do! I hate when people cancel on events they register for. But I did, and it was bad. But I’d like to fix this in the future and participate in the awesome Dubai 24 hour event in the future, perhaps?

 Pokka 1000 didn’t happen for me. I even enlisted help of a famous Ukrainian race car driver who was huge in Japan, Igor Sushko… whom put me in touch with the head of marshals at the Suzuka Circuit and I was rejected. Maybe expected. Maybe not. I heard people talking about working there who weren’t Japanese, but to me it was suggested that the track requirements forbid it. Sad! Igor suggested bigger events than Japanese Super GT… for example Formula 1 or MotoGP would be easier to sign up for. But I truly really want to work a Super GT race in it’s current format.

So my 2017 Updated Wish List of places to marshal in the future is:

A Must:

I want to do this event soooo bad! The Macau Grand Prix is still #1 on my list… Will it ever happen? Maybe…

 So this is an interesting one… I wanted to work Super GT at Buriram or wherever it was run in Thailand but that seemed like a one time deal. Now the Asian Le Mans series runs in Thailand and even though the country is super welcoming to tourists it is not necessarily as friendly towards “workers” or “volunteers” for Motorsport. Despite my numerous trips there, I have failed to establish a Marshaling connection to volunteer in this country, and I would really really like to!

 MotoGP at Losail International Circuit is really growing on me. But I haven’t made it happen yet. I must do it one day!

 DTM at the Red Bull Ring. I established a contact there and was told they would welcome foreign marshals. But it hasn’t happened yet. One day though… it’s a must!

 Supercars on the streets of Gold Coast. My last wish list included V8’s around Mount Panorama, the Bathurst 1000 but I think the same cars on the streets of Gold Coast would be a million times better for another visit back to the land down under.

Would be Nice:

 Brasil and South America sort of dropped a peg from my previous Wish List. Why? Not quite sure but I certainly wouldn’t turn down an opportunity to work there except I still refuse to pay the outrageous reciprocal fee they charge to get a visa for most of the Latin American countries. So Sao Paolo is on ice. But maybe one day?

 Much like Latin America not much is really happening in South Africa. I really really really want to go there. I think it would be a fantastic opportunity but nothing has jumped out at me to sign up and go just yet. It’s on the list, but it’s more of a long term plan than something that will happen imminently.

 WTCC goes to Marrakech, Morocco. I’ve been to Marrakech before and it was an amazing experience. Flew there on Ryanair and almost didn’t leave because the Spanish Air Traffic Controllers went on strike potentially leaving us stranded in North Africa. It was a great experience and cars racing on the streets of the beautiful city would be quite a site to see. So if South Africa doesn’t happen to me in the near future, maybe Morocco could be more doable? Who knows… but I wouldn’t mind.

 Screw Quebec… Always giving me shit at the border to go to Montreal for F1 and all that jazz at the track about taking pictures, but I would really love to check out two tracks one of them in QC… Trois-Rivières! The other Calabogie, in nearby Ontario. The first track is Northeast from Montreal and holds some cool events I wouldn’t mind marshaling. The other is several hours north of Canadian Tire Motorsports Park which I love to visit and it too holds interesting events. I would love to add them to my list!

Meh! Sure, why not?

 Something in Mexico City… Formula 1 or WEC? I thought Mexico would be easy to marshal. It hasn’t been. The people I reached out to in order to sign up for Formula 1 event when it came back to Mexico didn’t help me one bit which really sucked because they sure talked a lot of shit when we worked together in Canada or Long Beach… but perhaps it would happen in the future. I would love to add Mexico to the list of countries I marshaled.

 Baku F1 was going to be one of those super practical events because American Airlines treat Azerbaijan as Europe (so does F1 calling it GP of Europe) which means award flights only use a ridiculously low amount of points, half in fact what they charge for Bahrain which is really nearby. But I never got invited here, even though there seems to be a ton of traffic coming to my blog from that area and since there’s such a close relationship with Bahraini marshals. Surprised it didn’t happen yet, but maybe it will in the future?

 Despite working with a whole ton of Czech marshals from Le Mans to Spa-Francorchamps I have never heard… “hey, come join us at Brno!” Weird how that happens. But their track looks fantastic, Moto events there seem amazing. Maybe one day?

 The problem with Sentul International Circuit in Indonesia is that nothing seems to happen there. I almost booked a flight once to correspond to the Asian Le Mans Series round at Sentul hoping I could volunteer there but the round got moved to Sepang in Malaysia instead. I would love to add Sentul to my list. I’ve been to Indonesia a bunch of times, Bali, Jakarta, Batam (by boat from Singapore)… and it’s a beautiful country. It would be so cool to work an event there. Maybe MotoGP would come back? I know it would be super appropriate there, everyone uses Motorcycles and Scooters.

 

What else? Am I missing places I should add to my Wish List? Some I have consciously bumped off like Monaco, because why bother? But I’m sure there’s something I’m overlooking. Like Isle of Man… or?

Mazda MX-5: Miata Club of Thailand Road Trip North to the Laos Border

back to: Southeast Asia Miata Road Trip Overview

f-thailandBangkok MX-5 Owners Meet-up

f-thailandThailand MX-5 Road Trip to the Laos Border

f-singaporeSingapore MX-5 Owners Meet-up

f-singaporeMX-5 Miata Shopping in Singapore

f-malaysiaKuala Lumpur MX-5 Owners Meet-up

f-malaysiaMalaysia MX-5 Owners Cruise to Petronas Towers


Day 2 in Bangkok started bright and early. No time for jet lag. Quick run down Sukhumvit Soi 11 for a delicious bowl of soup and a visit to Bai Po massage parlor for an hour long Thai massage to get ready for the Road Trip to the North of Thailand near the Laos border. Don’t think I’ve ever been folded in half and stretched out like I did this time around. Even with the touristy mark-up, at under $10 USD, this was a steal of a deal and I felt like a  brand new person after a rather strong Thai massage before Tanet came to pick me up.

We hit the expressway heading North to a gas station just north of Don Mueang Airport where I’d be flying to Singapore from just a few days later. Lucky for me Tanet explained that despite my naively believing there was a direct train connection from the city, getting to the airport would be slightly more complicated, which prepared me to research a shuttle bus for my departure. And then we arrived. A smile came to my face when I saw an A&W root beer restaurant, a sight which I’ve seen a number of times in Southeast Asia but have never actually seen in all my travels in the US. And as we sat drinking root beer more and more cars started trickling into the parking lot.

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Once again I was very pleasantly surprised at the volume of cars that showed up! The turnout was pretty incredible and this was just the first stop on our five hour journey. Cars continued to join the trip as we went along, and even more cars joined later that night when I broke off from the group taking an overnight bus back to Bangkok.

The drive up was exhilarating. Obviously this club has done this before, and quite frequently. Everyone had walkies talkies and the group stayed in contact throughout the drive.

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It was only a month since their last big Road Trip down south to Krabi & Surat Thani where the owners from Singapore and Malaysia joined the Thai group on the drive. It was a Tri-5 Road Trip I was hoping to recreate by visiting each country separately, but I could imagine how cool it must be when they all get together.

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We started out with the top down enjoying some beautiful sunny weather until of course the clouds rolled in and the mist turned to rain and then heavy rain along the way. Some NA’s and NB’s complained of taking on water. Even Tanet’s car dripped a few drops onto my foot from what I’d assume to be seeping water thru the dash board. But the road trip went on and was quite exciting!

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We’d pull into another gas station for a pee break. People would put their tops down and as we get back on the main road watching the clouds get darker everyone would put their tops back up.

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About half way along the way a Ranger passed us from what I’d assume to be Buriram Circuit… a place that currently hosts SuperGT among other cool races in Asia. A circuit which I would really love to participate in as a marshal one day (in case anyone has contacts?)!

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A few more hour drive in the dark, and another pit stop. We had reached our dinner spot pretty late around 8pm and you could tell people were hungry because there was plenty of complaining via the walkie talkies. The food was absolutely delicious! It was traditional to the region of Northern Thailand / Laos, spicy, fresh, and good!

Tanet was kind enough to let me drive his ’08 NC GT PRHT for the last hour of our journey and boy was that neat! His car is lowered and has some engine mods which were really noticeable to me as I kept on comparing it to my car and how much better his is. It was great!

We had such an incredible time together, the whole group came to send me off at the bus station in town, and went on about their way to their overnight stay destination at a hotel to the north of Phetchabun. The bus ride to Bangkok was fairly quick four hours, getting me to the Mo Chit Terminal around 3:30am and I was back in my hotel by 4am… too excited to go to sleep yet! So I went and got some street food on a very active and lively night in Bangkok.

What a trip!!!

Mazda MX-5: Bangkok Miata Owners Meet-Up, Thailand MX-5 Roadster Road Trip

back to: Southeast Asia Miata Road Trip Overview

f-thailandBangkok MX-5 Owners Meet-up

f-thailandThailand MX-5 Road Trip to the Laos Border

f-singaporeSingapore MX-5 Owners Meet-up

f-singaporeMX-5 Miata Shopping in Singapore

f-malaysiaKuala Lumpur MX-5 Owners Meet-up

f-malaysiaMalaysia MX-5 Owners Cruise to Petronas Towers


The first stop on my International Miata Road Trip in Southeast Asia was a meeting with the Thailand Miata Club owners in Bangkok.

I had just arrived the night before and couldn’t wait for the opportunity to meet a few people over lunch. Tanet, my Thai Miata Club contact was kind enough to fetch me from my hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 11, which was just a few blocks from our meeting point. It was really neat to see a bright red Miata among all the tuk-tuk’s and mopeds on the busy streets of Bangkok CBD.

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After fighting thru traffic on our way to the meeting point, we had a pleasant chat with Tanet about our cars, the Miata community in general and the Road Trip the Miata Club of Thailand was departing on the next day. He invited me to come along… and I was trying to think hard how to make it happen without interfering with the wedding I was attending that weekend… and then we arrived to a whole crowd of Miata’s far more than I had ever expected to see on a weekday during work hours!

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To say I was surprised to see so many cars show up to meet with me would be an understatement. I was thrilled and humbled for sure. But before I let it go to my head I quickly jumped out of the car and started taking a gazillion photos of all the colorful MX-5’s. Naturally I gravitated towards the NC’s of which there were many. I was really happy to see the Aston-Martin body kit car in attendance. After seeing pictures of one online I wanted to see it in person, and there it was! There was also the very first ND Miata in the Thai club still wearing the red temporary tags they provide in Thailand. It’s my understanding it was a JDM import with a 1.5L and not the standard 2.0L car dedicated for the Thai market. Nice to see one in flesh! Also nice to see so many modified NA’s and NB’s… it was a sensory overload!

We were whisked away to our lunch venue where the guys refused to take money for my share of the bill, a theme I had found out would repeat itself throughout my Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia visits. A tradition to treat a visitor which I hope I’ll have an opportunity to repay once some of these wonderful owners I’ve met will come to visit NYC. And then we were back to the cars to stage a photo shoot with the new ND Roadster.

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And so as we were leaving the venue I decided to commit to the Road Trip the following day… the plan was to drive to the Laos border with the group, a trip that would take about 5 hours making a bunch of stops along the way. Have dinner at the destination, and then hop on an overnight bus back to Bangkok…