Tag Archives: China

How I Got Scammed Buying a Miata on eBay

It’s not the first time I got scammed on eBay. Some five years ago I won a bid on a gorgeous Miata in torch red from a Miami seller only to find out it had three major/moderate damage accidents on it’s CARFAX report. Obviously I didn’t pay for/buy that car.

But more recently I did shell out $12 bux on a 1:18 torch red NC2 PRHT model that turned out to be a scam. Maybe the selling price should have been considered, other die-cast models from China sell for $95. But I figured the Bburago NC1 I wanted to buy forever was typically $9.99 before people figured they could get at least $40 for them on eBay. So yea, that red flag was missed. Didn’t see any negative reviews either. Until everyone started crying wolf and I realized I’ve been scammed too.

Anyway… here’s some pic of the car I thought I was buying, but now have to wait another month before I could file a money back guarantee claim;

Sure is pretty ain’t it?

Screw you to the Chinaman that scammed me… karma is a bitch.

Will I ever get to Marshal Macau Grand Prix?

It’s no secret, I’d really like to volunteer for the Macau Grand Prix.

I’ve been wanting to marshal there since 2013 and so far to no avail… I have made contacts but it seems the rules in place favor locals because of the following three criteria:

  1. You must speak Cantonese to work the race.
  2.  You must participate in the training several months before.
  3. You must have a worker permit for Macau or Hong Kong.

I’m zero for three, naturally… but I still want to do it! I’ve visited the Guia International Street Circuit before and am absolutely in love with the place… and for whatever reason I feel confident one day this will happen for me even though I’ve been rejected since I started asking about it back in 2013…

So I thought it would be appropriate to list several reasons “WHY” I’d like to marshal at the Macau Grand Prix.

Reason #1: I really miss Asia!

I started my marshaling in Singapore. I loved coming back to marshal in Malaysia for many years. I even participated at the Korean Grand Prix as part of the Singapore GP visiting team. I really want to go back!

Reason #2: It’s a really unique event!

Macau Grand Prix is one of two International Motorsport events that don’t involve Formula 1! (and I’ve already done the other one: New Zealand Grand Prix) Macau is also unique because it’s the only major event in the world of Motorsport that features Open Wheel Racing… GT (Touring Car) Racing and Moto Racing on the same weekend, on the same circuit… you don’t see that too often these days. I want to see it in person.

Reason #3: The Guia Circuit is Amazing!

I have been to Macao and Seen/Driven on the Guia Street Circuit. It is spectacular. It is challenging. And it is very unique. I want to experience it in race trim. I want to see how the local marshals handle the incidents there. I want to hear the roar of the race cars going by at a million miles an hour. I want to be a part of it!

Reason #4: I want to check out the MX-5 Miata Scene in Hong Kong

Let’s face it, there’s no direct flights from the NYC metropolitan area to Macau. I would most likely burn some American Airlines miles to fly their Cathay Pacific partner to Hong Kong. And while in HK I totally expect to take advantage of the opportunity and organize some amazing Miata activities. The Miata club of Hong Kong is very active on facebook and I have no doubt I can work some contacts to enjoy a meeting with those enthusiasts in order to share my experience on this blog. I want to do a Hong Kong Miata meet as much as I want to marshal the Macau Grand Prix… it’s a must!

Reason #5: Foodie Tour!

I miss proper Chinese food. I miss the Cantonese food of Hong Kong. I want to sample some more of the Portuguese influence in Macau. I crave the food and the food culture that strives in this area of the world… I miss it so much… and the Macau Grand Prix would be a perfect opportunity to immerse myself back into that goodness full-on. I totally need this in my life right now (end of November).

So what stands in my way?

It’s not uncommon to have difficulties establishing the right contacts to get anything done in Southeast Asia. I was rejected for my very first volunteering attempt at the Singapore Grand Prix… but they reconsidered and it launched this amazing hobby of mine. I was rejected in Malaysia and now Sepang is one of my most favorite places to work at and Kuala Lumpur has that feeling of HOME that one day I want to make a reality (and move to live there). I’m sure once I find a key to the door of Macau it will become a place I will come back to. Even if it’s a one-time event, I’m sure I’ll enjoy the hell out of it and all the opportunities that surround that event/location.

Will Macau ever happen?

…stay tuned.

Mazda MX-5: International Road Trip to Bangkok, Thailand; Singapore; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Shanghai, China

My trip to Southeast Asia in December just got a whole lot more interesting. In the past I’ve always gone to the region for the racing – have marshaled in both Singapore and Malaysia many times. I’ve always loved going there for the amazing food. The beautiful landscapes, the beaches, the architecture, etc. But this trip will take on another dimension: Mazda Miata’s!

I’ve made contact with a few clubs in the region and the response has been amazing. I’m so looking forward to this trip!

bangkok kuala lumpur singapore road tirp mx-5 miata mazda

For anyone interested in checking out the local Car Culture or the Car Scene, or the Miata Community check out the following clubs:

miata club of thailand

f-thailandMiata-Thai Club:

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miatathai

web site: http://www.miata-thai.net/

 

miata club singapore miata sg

f-singaporeMiata Club Singapore: 

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/5736449818/

f-malaysiaMX-5 Malaysia Club:

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mx5my

web site: http://www.mx5my.com/

mx-5 malaysia sea sepang circuit

My goal on this trip is: to meet up with as many local MX-5 owners as possible. It will be pretty exciting because the cars are RHD (right hand drive) and while very similar to mine, are quite different. (Except of course for the Shanghai MX-5’s which should be identical). Besides the obvious difference of where the steering wheel is located, I’m sure to see quite a lot of modifications people do to their cars in Asia. One of the more intriguing things I’ve seen on the forums above so far is the Aston Martin Miata look:

aston martin miata mx-5 thailand
photo credit: Decha Apiromdej

Obviously quite popular in both Thailand and Singapore

aston martin miata mx-5 singapore
photo credit: Woon Ming

Besides the modded cars there’s also special sights to check out, like the Chang International Circuit in Buri Ram or Bira International Circuit in Pattaya, Thailand:

chang international circuit destination of speed miata mx-5
photo credit: Tanet Zoom

I’m not sure if time will permit to actually visit any of the circuits besides Sepang International Circuit where I’ll be volunteering for Sepang 12h but it would be nice if something like that materialized.

My schedule will be as follows:


 

f-thailandBangkok, Thailand: Wed, Dec 2 to Sun, Dec 6

f-singaporeSingapore: Mon, Dec 7 to Tue, Dec 8

f-malaysiaKuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Tue, Dec 8 to Sun, Dec 13

f-chinaShanghai, China: Mon, Dec 14


 

While in Bangkok I’ll be free most of the time except for Sat, Dec 5 when I’ll attend a wedding. I should be flying out to Singapore at like 2am Monday morning which will give me almost two full days there. I’ll arrive Kuala Lumpur Subang airport around 6pm on Tue, Dec 8 and stay in the city until Thur, Dec 10 at which point I’ll probably make my way to the Sepang International Circuit for the weekend of racing. And then leave straight from the track to the airport for my 2am flight to Shanghai Monday morning. While the other cities in Southeast Asia I have visited many times and know my way to get around, Shanghai will be my very first visit. I will also only have about an 8 hour layover which realistically means I’ll have a whole of 4 or 5 hours free to roam the city. Pretty busy schedule if things go as planned!

Stay tuned for updates about this trip… and if you are reading this from any of the destinations on my trip and want to meet up, please get in touch via facebook, twitter or by replying to this post.

Cheers!

Mazda MX-5: A118C B40 Pro Dash Cam Installed

Good news! I’ve finally installed my dash cam.

I ordered a $66 Chinese made A118C or B40 Pro sold by a slew of sellers on eBay which arrived within a week from an LA shipping address instead of waiting 30 days for one to arrive from China. It came in a genetic looking box, with genetic looking parts, along with genetic looking hard-wiring cable.

a118c b40 pro dash cam miata 1

a118c b40 pro dash cam miata 2

The install process was pretty straight forward even though I’ve never done anything like this before. I unscrewed a few hex bolts holding the header in place and got access to where I wanted the wire to sit, sticking out directly above the dash cam on the windshield:

a118c b40 pro dash cam miata 7

a118c b40 pro dash cam miata 4

I routed it along the A-pillar down to the dash, and threaded it further down to the kick panel by the driver’s door where the fuse box is located. I used an add-a-circuit I also bought on eBay to complete my install. Crimped the wires in place, plugged in 15A+3A fuses for the camera, and was pretty much done.

a118c-b40-pro-dash-cam-miata-14

a118c-b40-pro-dash-cam-miata-15

a118c-b40-pro-dash-cam-miata-16

Was pretty impressed how quick and easy the install was. And most importantly everything seems to work as expected, and there’s no loose wiring hanging off anywhere, which is great. A professional finish.

a118c b40 pro dash cam miata 5

a118c b40 pro dash cam miata 6

a118c b40 pro dash cam miata 3

Since the install I’ve driven around for a few days now and am pretty impressed with the video quality. I wanted to move the dash cam up and place it higher so it’s less visible from the outside.

a118c-b40-pro-dash-cam-miata-12

a118c-b40-pro-dash-cam-miata-13

I’ve shared some videos from the dash cam on facebook, so check them out there. No point in uploading them to YouTube as the video quality gets absolutely destroyed. Hopefully I never have to use any of the footage off the camera for anything insurance related. But I’m looking forward to getting some nice cruising footage from the next Miata get together, which is coming up this week.

PS. I took the opportunity to do a side by side comparison between the A118C B40 Pro and my GoPro Hero 3+ they’re pretty similar in size:

a118c b40 pro dash cam miata 9

a118c b40 pro dash cam miata 11

a118c b40 pro dash cam miata 10