Category Archives: USA

Hot Wheels Porsche 962 & Mazda 787B

Today I learned something new in my Hot Wheels collecting hobby… all those cool cars I’ve glanced at before and dismissed because they were not the red Miata I was looking for… yeah! I actually should have bought them when I had a chance.

I also learned there are different price points for Hot Wheels collectibles. And I don’t mean the dollar main line cars that Walmart sells for 94 cents but ACME supermarkets mark up 50% to $1.49 but instead… There are $1.27 Hot Wheels like the Honda S2000 I picked up today. Or the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA vintage racer that I paid $3.99 + tax for, because I knew I would regret it if I didn’t buy it.

I blew my chance to buy the red 2016 Miata, so I broke down and ordered one on ebay… negotiated it down to $1.25 but paid $4 in shipping. Which is still less than what I spent on fuel for all those times I went to the store and came home empty handed because there wasn’t what I wanted on the shelf.

Now my mission has evolved. I’m willing to spend more for what I really want. And what I really want is the Porsche 962 and Mazda 787B race cars from the Circuit Legends / Real Riders line. Oh and if I get lucky and find the Greddy Porsche 962 from 2017, I’d go nuts! Went to three Wal-Mart’s today, two Targets and several supermarkets and had no luck finding them. Although I did come home with a few other gems like a Gulf Livery SVT Raptor off roader or the 6 wheeler Mercedes-Benz G-class. Not a race car for my collection but I wanted it.

Hoping tomorrow I’ll have more luck going to hit a few more stores. Goal is to avoid paying five or ten times over their price on ebay. Which I really have to make sure I don’t do.

The adventure continues….

 

Check out my Hot Wheels collection: click here

Hot Wheels Mission Accomplished!

…mission accomplished! (sort of)

After a few days of obsessive compulsive behavior. Two supermarket visits and a trip to Wal-Mart dropping $50 bux on toys, my collection is off to a good start!

I cleaned out my local ACME grocery store of their white Mad Mike Miatas that I mentioned in a previous post. And the next day, while I woke up at a crack of dawn for no particular reason, I went to my local 24hr Walmart where I cleaned them out of their Gulf Racing Porsche 917LM cars and the Gulf Livery Indy500 racers… getting many multiples of each. I anticipate them to be fairly rare, so they will be a good car to trade for something else like the red Miata from 2016 that I don’t yet have.

Happy collecting ya’ll.

Love these…

This pair travelled with me from Monterey, California where I scoured local supermarkets for all things Mazda during Miatas at Laguna Seca.

UPDATE September 29: more cars

Only one one left to get is the Matchbox Miata

 

Check out my Hot Wheels collection: click here

Hot Wheels Race Cars Collection

Several years ago I started buying a ton of Hot Wheels diecast race cars to get my little nephews hooked on cars and racing. These days my young nephews have convinced me that I should have started my own Hot Wheels and Matchbox collection much sooner…

Don’t get me wrong I’ve been treating myself to a 1:18 model every now and again when I found a good deal online or in store, but those events have been rare. So far I only have a handful of SVT Cobra’s and SRT Viper’s to speak of. But Hot Wheels are cheap! And while they lack in detail of each tiny model, there’s a huge variety of choice out there. I’ve found myself lately rushing to the toy aisle of my local supermarket every time I go grocery shopping, to go thru the racks to see what’s new. If there’s a box display it takes me a good 20 minutes before I’m satisfied to leave that I’ve dug out everything there is to find in there. When I leave something I had in my hands without buying I feel instant regret.

That’s precisely what happened when I had Gulf Racing Porsche 917 Le Mans long tail from the 70’s and a modern Indy 500 open wheeler in the same livery. They were in my shopping cart for the whole store visit but before I got to the register I chucked them out because I have never seen Gulf livery on an IndyCar before… what a fool!?!

What’s even worse, there have been instances few years ago where I actually bought the cars. Gave them to my nephews who proceeded to bash them against each other, throw them around on the floor, and now keep them piled up in a large bucket because they have so many…. argh!

This happened to a red MIATA which I wish I kept in a box because I have not been successful finding another one for myself no matter how many Walmarts, Kmarts or Target stores I visit. But also other cool race cars like the pair of Castrol livery BMW 3.0 CSL’s below:

I even try to visit stores whenever I travel to see if other places get more variety. I did pick up several Mazda RX7’s on a trip to California last year, or Ford GT, Mercedes-AMG GT3, Cadillac ATS-V.R and Lambo Super Trofeo models on a recent trip to South Jersey while volunteering for MotoAmerica.

Seeing all these models glued to the wall makes me all nostalgic about working IMSA events where I blue flagged the exact Mercedes-AMG GT3’s and Ford GT’s. Or the Pirelli World Challenge where those Cadillac’s dominated everyone else.

Looking on the Hot Wheels web site I see a ton of models I’d like to add to my new wall collection. Including the white rotary Mad Mike MIATA which is the  closest representation of the livery he uses on his crazy drift car:

Or the yellow Lamborghini Super Trofeo, which looks awesome:

Or the Lamborghini Countach pace car which looks legit!

Or even little souped up Ford Fiesta from one of my new favorite sports that went belly up this year: Red Bull Global Rallycross:

Or many other new things that Hot Wheels hasn’t announced yet, or already stopped selling (is it me or is everything out of stock on their web site…. and I’m not paying eBay prices for any of these no matter how much I want them).

So if any one that knows me comes across a cool diecast, go ahead spend that $1 dollar on me, I’ll happily reimburse you.

Cheers!

PS. I’m very pleased with my growing ND MX5 collection, whenever I see them on a shelf I snatch them. I even beat another enthusiast that wanted the car while my eldest nephew an I went to our local Wal-Mart during the Hot Wheels 50th anniversary tour… and that never happens to me, for once lady luck was on my side.

 

Check out my Hot Wheels collection: click here

MotoAmerica Championship of New Jersey Flagging Experience

It has been over eight months since my last Motorsport track visit. Finally! Something came along locally that I actually wanted to be a part of. MotoAmerica Championship of New Jersey at NJMP is always amazing and I’m super happy I was able to take part this weekend even though I’ll miss out on a full day of racing (Sunday) due to work.

Work has certainly put a damper on this hobby. By the time I finished Thursday night I only managed to get two hours of sleep before driving down south Friday morning for the ridiculously early 6:40am meeting at NJMP. Luckily it was good weather, sunny and only a small chance of weather that did not materialize, except for one instance of lightning that had us briefly evacuated causing a shortened practice session. I had a great night of rest at a local cheap motel… “cheap” when it comes to quality… not the price which they jacked from $56/night normally to almost double $96/+ tax because a pro race is in town. Thanks Quality Inn. But I can’t complain too much. NJMP pays for this event so my expenses will be covered. Saturday it was rain all day long. And to be honest I missed it. I missed the experience so much I thoroughly enjoyed the misery. Had to change my whites at lunch time because even with rain gear it was getting cold and uncomfortable. But all in all a fantastic weekend. Tons of action, lots of good fun. Now my feet are burning and I’m back to sitting on my ass all day at work tomorrow. Happy with the memories I made.

Blue must be the most suitable bike color…

My first and last local race in the books. Until next year!

Donut does Top Gear esque “Celebrity” Hot Lap in a Miata RF and I Love It!

I’m a fan of Donut Media on YouTube/Facebook and for those of you stumbling onto my little blog that haven’t heard about these videos yet, I think you should totally check them out!

The idea is simple and familiar to most “motorheads” as it was blatantly ripped off the British Top Gear show’s Celebrity in a sensibly priced car or whatever Jeremy Clarkson called that segment. But instead of some random real celebrities driving a POS KIA C apostrophe D, we get YouTube “celebrities” driving a Miata RF, and I enjoy watching that more.

They’re only a few episodes deep and since the project hasn’t been shut down by a seize and desist order from the BBC, I’m sure each future episode will only get better and better. The first few are bloody brilliant in all sorts of comical ways not least of which include a minivan having no issue of keeping up with a Miata on a racetrack, because let’s face it… it’s not really a race car lol

I wish the chubby bearded guy and his crew the best of luck with this project, not that they need my wishes as the channel has reached a million subscribers. But they are clearly doing an awesome job! Keep it up. I am especially looking forward to future episodes… hopefully nobody crashes the Miata (I would hate to see it replaced by another random donation from a manufacturer or a cheap rental to keep the show goin)

Link: https://m.facebook.com/donutmedia and

Episode 1: https://youtu.be/dneftF_IMF4

Episode 2: https://youtu.be/eUqwBaCy9dQ

Episode 3: https://youtu.be/2VA6tjQrjxc

Wanna rent a Miata?

Good news!

If you were ever in a market to rent a new Miata, there’s a brand spanking new RF at my local Enterprise in Paramus, NJ

To be perfectly honest I was quite surprised to find it on the lot while casually passing by…

Why?

Because on my recent travels to Hawaii, or Florida or even California last year I was amazed to find no Miatas at airport rental lots. Ford Mustangs, Chevy Camaros were the most common convertibles. And the duo was joined by the bulky Dodge Challenger in the hardtop coupe category. But no Miatas in busy touristy spots.

Having a new RF in NYC suburbia is a bit puzzling. Granted it is a more affluent area but even then the car is wearing a very pedestrian gray paint job that will blend in easy with the other beige cars on the roads. I would think RED would be an obvious more attractive choice for a highly rentable vehicle, but what do I know?

A few businesses down the road: Avis/Budget had a new Mazda CX5 too. I would love to take that one home for a day or two to see if I really want to buy one for my mom in the near future.

Good to see Mazda’s at my local car rental places!

Mazda MX-5: Miata Maintenance Day

Great day to work on the Miata this Memorial Day weekend. Sunny, 90 degrees… too hot to put the top down but quite pleasant in the shade. Bill stopped by for an oil change and to try running Mobil 1 high mileage 5w30 in his car, which I may do myself in the future.

Glad to see everything nice and clean on Bills car since the last time we did an oil change. One thing that stopped working though was the LED license plate bulbs that we replaced last July. Mine also burned last winter so I ordered some new ones. As soon as we plugged it in Bills car it started flickering, so we decided to go to the store and get a traditional non LED bulbs… which are surprisingly expensive at $5/ bux a pair.

Lickily the Walmart we went to had some Mad Mike ND Miatas in the toy aisle…so I bought every one they had. Will be since gift to someone someday.

Mazda MX-5: Miata Dip Stick Upgrade

It’s the little things that hopefully make a difference between a perfectly functioning motor and a blown one. Lately there has been a flurry of discussion on various social media channels about NC Miata owners blowing up their engines. And while some get all excited about a 2.5L swap to a Ford Fusion engine, I’d rather keep my MZR 2.0L purring like a kitten.

The obvious way to accomplish that is to keep track of the oil and make sure it’s at the correct level. The Ford or Mazda engineers that developed the original bullet design dip stick surely messed up. I don’t understand what dipshit thought that was a good idea but it’s hard as fuck to read the oil level at first glance. A more traditional design is also available and this week I shelled out $15 bux for it on eBay to get a little more peace of mind. (I paid much less after discount but the listing price is indeed $14.89)

Anyway, I like the result of this upgrade… though in these photos the bullet is more clear to see. That obviously isn’t always the case.

Besides the difficulty to read there have been reports of brittle plastic handle breaking (shattering in small pieces sending plastic debris into the engine) so hopefully my upgrade killed two birds with one stone.

Mazda MX-5: Miata DashCam Rewire A118C Broken Cable

Earlier this winter my dash cam stopped working. I thought perhaps the bitter cold killed it. But no, it was the cheapo Chinese Cable from eBay that broke. I didn’t find out until I replaced a fuse, the easy way to check would have been just plugging in the USB/ cigarette lighter Cable that the cam came with.

anyway, once I discovered what the issue was I ordered a new Cable on eBay… also from China, also cheap… actually much cheaper than the original, under $3 bux shipped! And this time I ordered one I should have gotten from the get go… a 90 degree cable that won’t experience the same crimping that killed the straight wire I replaced today… some pix:

The new cable came with a smaller converter, which I relocated to the A pillar area instead of the kick panel where the old one was. I also soldered the connections instead of just crimping them. All should be better quality now than my original hack job a few years ago when I first got this dash cam.

Cars and Coffee at Tices Corner in Woodcliff Lake New Jersey April 2018

Good news, bad news… finally found a job which unfortunately has me working Sundays. Luckily it’s around the corner from this Sunday’s Cars and Coffee at Tices Corner in Woodcliff Lake… so I stopped by first thing in the morning to take some pix.

It took a few attempts to get the 2018 C&C season going with all the snow and salt on the roads deep into spring time. But it finally happened. And the takeaway for me from the first event of the season was all the colorful Lambos… and more specifically the Murcielagos.

That ugly gray mess of a pile behind one of the orange Murcies is dust covered snow… it was still freezing. I’m looking forward to more of these events once the weather gets nicer.