New Jersey Miatas is having its annual season opening meet and cruise at the Cheesequake Service Area exit 123 on the Garden State Parkway.
spread the word:
I noticed a Mazda3 in traffic on our way to the Rolex 24 at Daytona one of the five days volunteering there, sporting a cool Daytona Mazda license plate frame. I instantly decided I must get one for my Miata. I plan to cut back on my volunteering and I know that Mazda RT24-P Multimatic DPi of Team Joest will be successful at a future Rolex 24 event, so this frame would be my tribute to that future day.
Well today on our way to Daytona International Airport my buddy John and I stopped by at Daytona Mazda to see if we manage to score such a license plate frame… we did! And I took some MX-5 RF for sale pics in the process…
There were only two on the lot among dozens of Mazda SUV’s but they were sure pretty. John especially admired the red one, soul red, I believe similar color to the Daytona prototypes.
Thanks to the salesman that ran out to greet us when we walked into the lot, and offered to get me as many frames as I requested. What a nice fellow!
We had a look-see around the lot, behind the building where we only spotted more Mazda SUV’s and again the red one caught John’s eye. I don’t blame him, it sure looks pretty!
After a bunch of selfies we were on our way to the airport. Unfortunately we didn’t stop at the Daytona Fiat which we zoomed past on the way to the Mazda store. It would have been nice to see what Fiata’ s they had on offer. Next door they also had a Maserati Alfa Romeo dealer which would have been nice to visit to see what they got.
Ironically the only place that had an NC Miata on the lot was the BMW dealership a few hundred yards down. Too bad I didn’t snap some shots of it.
So yeah, if you’re in the market for a new or used Miata or Fiata check out the many stores of the Daytona Auto Mall.
UPDATE February 2, 2018: frames mounted
On my way to the pre-Thanksgiving Cars & Caffe event at Jack Daniels Porsche I couldn’t help but notice a fleet of Fiata’s on the lot of the local Alfa Romeo Fiat dealer next door. So I stopped by to take a few shots:
The front car caught my eye for sure… what a gorgeous red! And funny enough while the Mazda dealer across the highway put all of their SUV’s upfront, it was nice to see the Fiata’s in addition to the new Alfa Romeo Stelvio’s in this lot!
And a really pretty Abarth model…
And since it’s got a competing dealership’s name plate on it I’m guessing this is a used 2017 model.
A more luxurious version of the red Fiata with the chrome window surround (like the NC Miata Limited Edition from 2006)
Similar but different… the Fiata actually looks bigger than an NC!
Brand spanking new 2017 model Fiata…
Brand spanking new 2018 model Fiata…
This was a great opportunity to check out the Alfa Romeo Stelvio up close and personal (short of test driving it)
I love how identical the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio look side-by-side to each other.
Can you tell the difference from a photo?
Anyway… go buy a Fiata! There’s so many of them available and with the winter around the corner I bet you could get a great deal too!
I’m sure I’ll at least test drive a Fiat 124 Spider in my automotive future… fingers crossed!
PS. I just realized, in case you punch in Ramsey Alfa Romeo Fiat into your GPS the address is technically in Upper Saddle River, NJ the dealership is part of Ramsey Auto Group which does have dealerships in Ramsey, NJ like the aforementioned Mazda dealer.
Greetings from the New Jersey Miatas end of the season meet at the Cheesequake Service Area exit 123 on Garden State Parkway.
The usual spot for the twice annual Miata meet that’s somewhat central to most New Jersey Miata owners and visitors from both Pennsylvania and New York. The event got rained out last week and our make up date was almost rained out as well… luckily the precipitation was limited to a mist mostly. Though that was enough to keep a bunch of fair weather Miata owners away. Nevertheless, there was quite a few cars in attendance… somewhere around 50 to 60 cars by my guestimate. And I’m happy to say many more NC Miata’s this time than any of the previous times I’ve attended. Sadly no Fiatas to be seen… Boo!
Here’s the pix:
Happy to see my buddy DollarBill!
Oooh… another Copper Red from Pennsylvania… an NC2
Aren’t all Miatas Powered by Unicorns?
Love how bright this Torch Red is
A very pretty shade of Blue too
Hey Chris showed up!
Best license plate of the event:
Hey Mickie showed up!
The profile of this vintage of modern Thunderbird reminds me a lot of the original Mazda Cosmo 110S
No meet would be complete without people swapping stuff, fixing stuff, etc… pedal covers do look cool, but are sometimes a pain to put on… especially on the small Miata brake pedal.
By the time Bill and I went to get a warm drink at the service area, most of the people from the Miata group left… it must have started raining while we were inside. So we decided to do lunch of our own… and some spicy Malaysian food was just what the doctor ordered:
Love this place! We had one in Lodi across from the Mazda of Lodi dealership on Route 46 but unfortunately the restaurant close. Their Edison, NJ location on Route 1 though was delicious!
Looking forward to my drive to Florida starting tonight…!
Until next time.
First, forgive me for being a selfish prick and not sharing the news of the event sooner. I forgot to remember until… and of course the actual date (today) got rained out! So see you all next week…
The peeps behind this event seem to focus on two major events per year… the season opening meet and end of season meet like this one. Not sure if anything happens during the summer but I’m really glad they organize these ones. Often with prizes given away from vendors that support Miata events around the country like Moss Miata and Flyin’ Miata. (possibly others)
Anyway, I’m especially happy to see Modern Fiata’s invited to attend, and really hope to see one at the next one.
For me it’s going to be a crazy day next Sunday. I was scheduled to pick up a rental car at LaGuardia Airport in NYC and drive down to Florida for the Historics (HSR) races at Daytona International. But I don’t want to miss out on this little gathering. So I’ve re-booked my rental car for 8pm… which should give me enough time to chill down the shore, go home to park my Miata. Take public transport to the city, a shuttle bus to Hertz, and bring the rental home before leaving for the thousand mile journey first thing Monday morning.
Should be fun!
Come join us…
It’s been a few years since I discovered I have no future as a race car driver… that feeling came about behind a wheel of an SRT Charger as I was screeching tires making a turn into one of the high speed corners of Road America in Wisconsin. Since that time though I did three more SRT Track Experiences around the country… but instead of pursuing that sort of “racing” hobby I figured it would be much cheaper to volunteer as a marshal (even though that is expensive as hell in itself). BUT… boy was it fun!
The SRT Track Experiences were run by Richard Petty Racing School. It was one of few subcontractors SRT and other performance brands like AMG relied on to help teach their customers how to drive their cars without actually using their cars… Chrysler for example provided more than a dozen cars, everything from a Crossfire to the Viper… and I as a guest of the Track Experience got to drive every single one of them, multiple times. And at the end of the day I simply walked away… no need to buy new tires, or fix any issues that the car could have developed after being flogged by amateurs around the track. Arrive and drive events in someone else’s vehicles are awesome, certainly better than messing with your own car.
And that’s where the Bondurant Racing School comes in. I remember Bondurant when they ran orange SVT Mustang Cobra’s… I remember that because someone at the company sent me a list of cars for sale when they decided to ditch the blue oval and move on to GM (remember those yellow Corvette’s and black Cadillac’s?) and now they do Chryslers… in particular the Dodge SRT line that I got to experience several times with Richard Petty… luckily FCA, the parent of Dodge also has non-HEMI powered machinery for which Bondurant has a whole separate web site, calling it Fiat Trackside https://fiattrackside.com/ which seems like a perfect way to experience the Abarth line-up and in particular the Abarth Fiata: Fiat 124 Spiders… and I intend to one day take advantage of their offerings to experience this Italian (Japanese) creation…
If anyone has a hook-up, my birthday is coming up in September feel free to get me some time behind the wheel of the Bondurant Fiata… I’ll take care of the flight to Arizona but the rest I’m too broke to afford.
Bondurant Racing School also offers a Teen driving program, which is probably more up my alley than an actual high performance Abarth experience, but I wouldn’t turn either of them down if presented with an opportunity.
I’m not sure how these track experiences operate, and if they carry any similarity to the SRT track experiences which I’ve done several of in Wisconsin, Colorado, California and Florida… I’m sure there are some good folks on the Fiata forums that would spare their VIN# for me to experience these cars on track at the Bondurant facility.
This is definitely high on my wish list!
Sunday Fun Day! A heatwave is hitting Northern New Jersey, and a ton of people came out for this month’s Cars & Coffee event at Tice’s Corner in Woodcliff Lake, NJ
I overslept… didn’t wash my car but wanted to hang out with a few people at the event. So I rushed over… and as soon as I pulled in around 10am everyone else started leaving… all the McLaren P1’s, the Porsche 911’s, the Lamborghinis and Ferrari’s of very recent vintage, but the few cars that remained still caught my eye. So I wanted to share some pix of them…. I realize a lot of the cars are classic and vintage, which you’re likely to see at your neighborhood’s weekly cruise night. But I don’t care. It was a great mix of new and old and for me these oldies stood out….
especially the Figaro:
It’s also important to remember that this area of Jersey is still very European… there’s BMW North American headquarters just across the street. There’s lots of Italians still living here. The real Mafialand… you know where Soprano’s are from. So it’s nice to see all these Alfa Romeo’s, Lancia’s and Fiat’s around. The classic type, the ones that you don’t normally see here. That was nice to see!
Oh and I also really loved the Geländewagen:
Haven’t seen these in a while… but I have seen them before… in Europe, Asia and Australia/New Zealand. It was nice to see them again!
How is this car a “Historic”?
It is registered as one… look at the Trianglular inspection sticker.
Seeing the Mercedes-Benz 300SL in both convertible and gullwing was awesome… seen both of them before but they sure stood out.
Oh look… a nice Ford
C’est fini…. until next time!
Wasn’t planning on visiting another Dodge Chrysler Jeep (Fiat) dealer on my drive home, but two brand spanking new Abarth Fiata’s caught my eye in Winchester, Virginia.
These two beauties were on the same lot I stopped by a few months ago on the drive home from Florida. They had two white Abarth Fiata’s then, which must have sold so well they replaced them with two gray Abarth Fiata’s…. must be something in the water in that part of Virginia on the West Virginia border… with Summit Point racetrack nearby the Abarth versions of the Fiat 124 Spider must be flying off the dealer lots. Still feel a bit weird seeing Fiats on the Dodge Chrysler Jeep dealer property… But if you’re in the market go buy one… they’re available and look gorgeous!
Woo Hoo, we got our first real guest on the Miata Fiata Radio podcast: Daniel Cooper who moderates the NC Miata Group on facebook with over 1.3k members.
Daniel did a lot of work to his personal 2006 True Red Miata. The car looks absolutely amazing and very aggressive… it is primarily a track car at this point with plenty of laps around Road Atlanta and Atlanta Motor Speedway in this area of Georgia.
We recorded in Daniel’s garage looking out on our two cars parked outside… here’s some pix:
And the recording set up, a table we made with NC wheels:
And the best part of the podcast… dinner after at a local BBQ joint:
My goal was to be a tourist today while staying in Atlanta. I’ve been wanting to visit the World of Coca Cola ever since the first time I came to the capital of Georgia but never had enough time to do it… logged onto their web site to buy a ticket and was promptly informed that World of Coke was closed due to a private event today, boo hoo…. so plan B was to go shopping for a Miata/Fiata instead… My buddy Sakshik who’s hosting me for this layover lives nearby to two dealerships almost next to each other: Landmark Fiat of Atlanta and Jim Ellis Mazda of Atlanta, so I swung up there to take some pix.
I’ve heard of Jim Ellis before because they have a very reasonably priced Mazda OEM parts store online… the only issue is I never bought from them because the shipping typically kills any deals. But I was eager to check them out.
First stop was Landmark Fiat…. which isn’t branded as such. It’s just a Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep dealership that is surrounded by Fiats… much like that last dealership I visited in Winchester, Virginia that had two white Abarth Fiata’s upfront.
Here’s some pix:
The white Abarth 124 Spider must be the most popular option. All three Fiat 124 Spiders on the lot however were Automatics also.
This gray seems to be a very popular Fiata color.
This being a Chrysler/Dodge dealership there was some serious performance on display, like this row of SRT Chargers and Hellcats:
Kind of weird seeing customers bring their Fiat 500 Abarth’s for service at a Dodge dealer…
But they’re obviously selling them here too.
And there’s a 124 spider I got to sit in to try for size, It fits!
Next stop, Jim Ellis Mazda of Atlanta:
As soon as I pulled up I was swarmed by salesmen greeting me. Very different situation from the Dodge/Chrysler/Fiat dealer where nobody came up to me during my whole stay there taking pix.
The RF’s were the only 2017 model Miata’s on the lot it seems, all of the soft top ND’s were 2016’s apparently. One of the salesmen that came up to me inside the dealership said they were selling really well
A customer Copper Red Mica NC in for service…
I really want to get one of these Copper Red Mica CX-7 SUV’s for my mom to replace her aging Ford Exploder:
Funny how FCA isn’t selling their Alfa-Romeo’s through the Dodge dealer, opting instead to sell Giulia’s via their Maserati franchise.
So if you’re in the Hotlanta area, of which I’m already jealous because you have the perfect Miata weather year round here, and you’re shopping for a Miata or Fiata, check out the dealerships on the Northeast side of town. There’s quite a selection to choose from!