Tag Archives: Mazda

Wanna buy a Miata? Many Red Soft Tops and MX-5 RF models at Wayne Mazda

Had an opportunity to stop by one of my local Mazda dealers this morning… Happy to see a shitton Miatas on the lot. Lots of 2018’s. Many with that pretty burgundy shade of red rag tops. Also lots of Retracktable Fastbacks too in a variety of colors. If you’re in the market go pay them a visit, I suspect the deals will be better while the snow is still on the ground, summer time prices are perhaps less negotiable for Roadsters. But what do I know?

Here’s some pics…

Notice the ray of sunshine when I whipped the phone out for the pics… it’s like a message from the heavens: “Buy this one!”

And here’s the redhead!

No brighter color than white, is there?

Then again the Mazda reds really pop!

And a sea, as far as the eye could see… of Mazda SUV’s in the holding lot… one day I’ll drive one of those CX-5’s home myself.

I get that gray was the reveal color of the RF, it’s clearly very popular, yet oh so pedestrian, lose car in a mall parking lot kind. I guess that’s why some people like them? I prefer a brighter color though… even white is cooler in my opinion.

Like I mentioned before, lots of red tops in all different color options for the body paint. I like it.

I love when people (Miata owners) claim their car has never seen snow…. Hmmm, suuure! Bet you a cookie few realize what the cars are exposed to before they put it in their garage. These cars have seen so much salt its crazy.

Enough to fit many-a-salt-shakers lol

The SUV grilles, while the design looks ok, I hate the hood overhang.

I still have a soft spot for the CX-7 even though it looks less and less likely that is what I end up choosing in the near future.

That said I’ll definitely go for the last-gen of the CX-5 as the new one hasn’t grown on me yet. Anyway!

This post is about the MX-5 Miata, and if you’re in a market I know where you can buy one. Lots of choice at Wayne Mazda today.

Aloha! Hawai’i

I often rant and rave about how much I love South Florida. After spending more than a week in Honolulu however, I’m afraid I’ve found my new favorite domestic destination.

O’ahu, Hawai’i is da business!

Sure it’s far. And it’s quite expensive. But man is it amazing!!!

My trip wasn’t exactly a fairytale vacation, as much as I tried, but I’m happy how the things I planned out actually worked. And therefore I’m excited to share the experience with others. If you are travelling with small children like I was, this is some advice you may be interested in (I know when I searched it wasn’t terribly straightforward to figure out best things to do and see, but here it goes from my point of view).

First things first… to pay for the flight I burned some airline miles. The cost: 20,000 each way, per person with American Airlines. Kids younger than two may fly free as a lap child. Older than 2 pay the full adult rate. It’s a long freaking flight, and in my case we had a connection in Dallas which was frustratingly tight. For some reason on our Dallas – Honolulu flight AA served sandwiches in addition to typical domestic freebies like chips and soda. I mention this because typically domestic flights don’t offer free food. But it seems AA matched what Hawaiian Airlines offers. I flew Hawaiian Airlines to Honolulu twice before, both on AAdvantage miles. First time I didn’t get to even leave the HNL airport transiting on a flight from South Korea to US, and second time I had an overnight layover (less than 24 hours in paradise) transiting from US to Australia, again flying Hawaiian Airlines.

Upon arrival we were determined to take a taxi to the hotel because it was cheaper than renting a car or booking some kind of shuttle. However, once we got our luggage I noticed the 10 mile ride to the city was to take over an hour because of rush-hour traffic, we ended up taking the $16/person shuttle bus. The last time I visited Honolulu and took a shuttle to my hostel I remember it costing more, but for whatever reason things have changed and now there are full size Roberts Hawaii buses running every 15 minutes serving the airport. As an aside there was a $7/person shuttle van stationed outside Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel but I wasn’t quite sure how they operated. Our bus was super convenient. Generally I would recommend the shuttle for convenience sake.

Another aside, we did rent a car. Twice! But I chose to do individual one-day rentals. Once in the middle of the trip to take a ride around O’ahu (North Shore) and another on our last day, to sightsee and drive back to the airport for our late night flight. The car rentals were expensive. First I booked a $50 van from Thrifty on Saturday (and a $60 SUV from Hertz on same day as a backup which I cancelled), and then a large SUV for $123 bux from Hertz which included two car seats on Friday the day of departure.

More about sightseeing later. But more importantly about our hotel choice. As mentioned previously Hawaii is expensive, very expensive! In 2016 when I overnighted in Honolulu on my flight to the Pacific I paid over  $30 for a bed in a hostel. The hotel we chose for this trip was almost ten times as much! We chose Hyatt Place for three reasons: 1. Location was perfect, a block from Kuhio Beach and Honolulu Zoo, 2. Free breakfast which was delicious for the first three days but then it was repeated over and over which lost its appeal and 3. No $25/daily resort fee which most other hotels charged… which is very expensive!

Forgot to mention I booked the Hyatt thru Hotels.com and not directly. Why? Because it was cheaper and there were more perks. Hotels.com Rewards program offers One night free after Ten night stay. Which means after 10 nights at $275/night you get $275 credit towards another future Hotels.com booking. You don’t need to spend it on a single night, it goes towards your future hotel bill for that value which could obviously be multiple night booking. I bought Hotels.com gift cards to pay for our stay saving roughly 10% or almost $300 bux on the final bill. And used BeFrugal.com rebate site to buy gift cards and book the hotel, which yielded almost another $100 off. In all we saved roughly $700 on our pricey hotel. Was it worth it? The savings, yes! But the hotel could have cost less for what it was. That said all Waikiki hotels are overpriced.

Best part of the Hyatt Place it was convenient in many ways and I would highly recommend it. Of the 10 day vacation we only had 1 full day of rain which happened the day before we left so we got extremely lucky. But everything was walking distance from where we stayed and that was super convenient. The Zoo was close and we did it on a cloudy day until it cleared up and then kids went back to the beach. In fact most days we went to the beach twice a day. Kuhio Beach is amazing with perfectly still clear water because of a man made breaker, it was so awesome for me and the kids to go swimming in.

Food was amazing outside of the free hotel breakfast. Lots of Asian options. Plenty of American fast food too. Lots of different price points for food. I preferred the cheaper truck food options which were between $10 to $15 a plate. While the restaurants, like one of the Sushi places, or the traditional Hawaiian place Da Ono dishes were over $20 for anything bigger than pu pu’s  (small tapas like plates). I’ll add some restaurant and food truck recommendations later on to this post.

Sightseeing wise, Waikiki Beach is totally walkable and we tried to walk a lot. For lunches and dinners and for shopping. There’s lots of luxurious stores and malls, much like a long Orchard Road in Singapore. But also some good hole in a wall places too. We walked as far as Ala Moana mall for its court, but also to get discounted supplies at Walgreens because closer supermarkets were not cheap for stuff like diapers.

Long distance sightseeing, I quite enjoyed our Saturday single day car rental to go the long way around to the North Shore. I took the cheap city bus to the airport, it was  $2.75/each way or $5.50/day pass.. it took about an hour. Best part I didn’t have to worry about parking overnight, which again wasn’t cheap. The route we followed was simple, counter-clockwise around the island going east, northeast and then back the same way when we ran out of daylight. We saw the blowhole, the lighthouse, the Chinamans hat, macadamia nut farm, horse farm, green turtle beach, etc. Only the Dole plantation was missed out so we left it and the waterfall to the last day. Traffic was bad around rush-hour because of single lane traffic when not on the highway, but overall it was manageable. Speed limits are quite low around the island. Most highway speeds are limited to 45mph and I almost got caught speeding by motorcycle cops near the airport on our way back to catch the flight, that took me by surprise (the bike cops) so be careful.

I’ll fill this post in with details over time with more recommendations, but I definitely want to encourage others to consider Hawaii as a destination because it really is such an amazing place. I want to go back for sure…

PS. It snowed 6+ inches the day after we got home, so yeah… I wish we stayed longer.

Hawaii Monthly Miata Meet at Pearlridge Center

The stars aligned just right to allow me to check out the monthly Thursday night meet-up of Hawaii Miata owners on O’ahu on my Waikiki vacation…

It’s my young nephews first Hawaii vacation, and for a moment I was thinking of bringing the older boy along, but if I did I wouldn’t have gotten a lift back to the hotel in a gorgeous low mileage Miata driven by a kind Aussie fellow who was recently posted to the islands and clearly missed his own NA back home in Australia

The fellow that sold him the American Miata – Avery, has a fleet of Miatas in Hawaii… is one of the original members of the Hawaii club and a very active SCCA solo and Rallycross member, and for me was the person that invited me to this meet up. For which I’m really grateful.

The meet happens the second Thursday of the month at Pearlridge mall not too far from Pearl Harbor… And if you’re like me trying to get there by public transport from Waikiki Beach, it’s an hour long ride on the bus, that is well worth it.

Here’s some pics from the Hawaii Miata car scene:

That wang…

Very happy to have seen the NC show up… that was sort of my goal for the night.

Also thrilled to experience this altogether, the Japanese car culture is strong in Hawaii. Besides the Miatas there were a bunch of Subies present, and a Trueno-esque Toyota… not sure if real but cool nonetheless.

Rolex 24 hours at Daytona the debrief

Endurance racing is my favorite form of Motorsport. This year’s Rolex 24 had the potential to be very special because in the middle of last season one of my Canadian colleagues put me in touch with an IMSA official and a prospect of a real job (even if it was on a part-time basis) to work events that I really love as a race official. I had my fingers and toes crossed even as December rolled around but the job did not materialize… The 2018 season though seemed to be off to an exciting start with lots of “new” cars/teams/drivers joining the series, so I scrambled to book my flights and went as a volunteer instead.

For the race I got my pit lane assignment directly across from folks whose team I was hoping to join. But instead of doing something important with a real impact on the competition, I spent five days trackside spectating. It was excellent entertainment being so close until the race rolled around when it became pretty obvious that much of the previous year will repeat itself and Cadillacs will dominate. The excitement wore off.

The most interesting racing was in the GT Daytona field so I paid special attention to that battle. In prototypes the lead car was several laps ahead of second place at one point. And in GT Le Mans Fords ran away with pace Corvette couldn’t match, they too were several laps ahead. It was sad to watch the BMW M8’s be so uncompetitive. And the Porsche RSR team didn’t seem to have it’s kamikaze pilots from last year. Oh well!

At the end of the race records were broken, champions were crowned, and Rolex watches handed out as prizes. Who cares though? The predictability of the outcome made things boring. Hey, at least the weather was good!

Luckily, the 24h wasn’t the only race of the weekend. I feel like I got my money’s worth going on this trip from the two support series. The Ferrari Challenge folks put on a grand battle, and with 40+ cars on the grid it was awesome to see the series alive and well after seeing it’s sorry state in Connecticut last time I volunteered for it at Lime Rock.

Similarly Continental Tire Challenge rocked! I loved the battles there in all the classes. Nice to see TC R cars slide in so well into the grid, though a little sad not to see Miatas in ST class.

So in conclusion it was a good trip for a good clean race. A bit disapointing because of lack of excitement but I departed satisfied. And since I’m having trouble finding paid work, it’s likely this event will be one of my last times volunteering until I get the means to afford it again in the future. Too bad I wasn’t good enough to be hired by the series so I could continue doing what I really like to do, but such is life…

Miata Fiata Shopping in Daytona Beach, Florida

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.

Mission accomplished!

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

SpeedSource ex-Factory Mazda Race Team Christmas Liquidation Auction, More Photos

RaceCarsDirect.com has a listing for the upcoming December 19th auction with some spiffy new pictures of all the SpeedSource Mazda Prototypes and GT cars being liquidated by Key Auctioneers.

I do hope they go to a good home!

Photo credit: RaceCarsDirect.com
Photo credit: RaceCarsDirect.com

Photo credit: RaceCarsDirect.com
Photo credit: RaceCarsDirect.com
Photo credit: RaceCarsDirect.com
Photo credit: RaceCarsDirect.com

link to auction:  racecarsdirect.com/Advert/Details/87218/speedsource-racing-auction—december-19th-20

The news of this team going kaput is terrible… not shocking, but just sad really. I used to follow SpeedSource from when I started marshaling in the US. Back in 2013 they raced the Mazda RX-7 firebreathers in GrandAm, the cars that now made their way to Australia (ironic as I’m sure there is similar local talent, including Mad Mike in New Zealand, home of the four rotor Mazda’s).

I used choose races to go to specifically to root for the Mazda diesel-powered GX cars that were just introduced… they kind of sucked but ended up on the podium because frankly no-one else raced in GX class. There were a few Cayman’s if I remember correctly, and the only car that was worse than them was the Lotus Evora.

When they shoved the diesel engine into their Lola’s the results were similar. It was a bit pathetic to watch LMP2 prototypes race so slowly. Things improved with the petrol AER engine, but the cars were so fragile even if they were fast… you look at them sideways and they would break down. Yet I was cheering for them!

I’m sure the Lola’s could have any engine the new buyer chooses for them to be competitive again on the club or even historics racing level… The Mazda6 GT cars don’t need to be propelled by a diesel either. But it’s a cool piece of history on sale here that I hope I’ll see again at a track in the future… or even in a museum somewhere.

Merry Christmas folks… buy yourself a perfect present: Race Car!



PS. I will have to do a follow up write-up on all the Skip Barber liquidated Miata race cars one day. I know there’s one “small” team in Cummings, Georgia area that is restoring 15 of them to their racing glory… maybe I’ll get to visit them in the future to take some photos… maybe I’ll see them at VIR or Road Atlanta in action. One man’s loss is another man’s gain, or however that saying goes. And these liquidation auctions are precisely that.

Wanna buy a Race Car? SpeedSource Goes Belly Up Grand Am & IMSA Mazda’s and Equipment Auction

Another famous race team has gone belly up… and now’s your lucky chance to buy a race car at auction “probably” for less money than it would cost to get one built! The online auction will run December 19 by Key Auctioneers: click here. Get yourself a gift for the holidays… Merry Christmas!

Thanks to Marshall Pruett from Racer.com for sharing the news on facebook. It sucks for SpeedSource to close it’s doors, especially for the team of people that make that place run. But having seen a few of their employees at the HSR event in Daytona last month, I think many of them will do just fine. It wasn’t that long ago that SpeedSource was hiring people… imagine some desperate schmuck like me spending all the money he’s got left to move to Florida for a job that went “poof!” in just a few months. That would of been nuts.

But it’s a good time to be rich in America. And some of the bargains available at this auction will surely end up at the race track near you. I am surprised that Mazda North American Operations hasn’t snagged the two P2 race cars… or the tube frame diesel Mazda6’s… but maybe the auctioneers have a higher reserve than they’re willing to part with. Still I think this is great opportunity for someone:

Photo credit: Key Auctioneers
Photo credit: Key Auctioneers
Photo credit: Key Auctioneers
Photo credit: Key Auctioneers
Photo credit: Key Auctioneers
Photo credit: Key Auctioneers

I can’t believe they kept the crew guy’s shoes and are now selling them in used condition… who’d buy this?

Photo credit: Key Auctioneers

And the auction list:  http://www.keyauctioneers.com/2017/12/19/171219speedsource/

On-Site Auction and Online Bidding – Rings 1 & 2: Tuesday, December 19 at 10:00am
Online Only Bidding – Ring 3 (soft close): 
Tuesday, December 19 at 12:00pm
Monday, December 18 from 10:00am – 2:00pm
Wednesday, December 20 & Thursday, December 21 from 8:00am – 4:00pm
               *Note: No Removal Will Occur the Day of the Auction
Auction Address: 4150 NW 120th Avenue, Coral Springs, Florida 33065

Join us on December 19th as we offer surplus rolling stock, equipment and parts from SpeedSource. This is the end of the year event you won’t want to miss! 

Race Cars
2013 Mazda6 GX, Speedsource/Riley Chassis No. 012, Red & Black Color Scheme (Engine included)
2013 Mazda6 GX, Speedsource/Riley Chassis No. 004, Yellow & Orange Color Scheme (No Engine)
Mazda6 GX, Speedsource/Riley Chassis, Matte Black Color (No Engine)
Lola Cars Chassis No. MM07 (No Engine), has run in the IMSA
Lola Cars Chassis No. HU06 (No Engine), has LM24 history as Ex Status GP car and IMSA

Rolling Stock
2010 Ez-Go Golf Cart, Gas, Roof, Upgraded Wheels & Tires, Rain Cover, Rear Seats fold out flat
Taylor-Dunn Flatbed Utility Cart, Fold-up Seat, Upgraded Wheel & Tires, LED headlights
2002 JLG Scissor Lift w/ Extendable Platform
Clarke Focus II Floor Cleaner w/ built-in smart battery charger

Garage & Pit Equipment
(2) Caseliner Fiberglass LED Powerhoods, w/ Flight Case, Mounting Pole & Power Cables
Caseliner LED Sign/Timing Board w/ Flight Case, Tripod, Cables & Cover
Display Truss System w/ enough equipment for 2 cars
Stainless Steel Bodywork Carts
Caseliner Foam Boards with Flight Cases and Aluminum Poles
(2) Breda Racing Air Jacks, Model: 500/600, Mfg Year: 2017
(4) Arnold Machining Air Jacks, 100 psi
(2) CAMOZI Air Jacks
Robinair Refrigerant Recovery, Recycling & Recharging Station, Model: 34988, Mfg. Date: 08/16
Airflow Systems Exhaust Extractors, Model: VES3 Portable
The Hot Setup Engine Water Heater
Longacre Scale Set with ComputerScales DX Electronic Chassis Scale, (4) Scale Pads, Monitor, Wiring & Cart
(2) Longacre Turn Plates
Longacre Digital Tire Pressure Gauges
Intercomp Temperature Gun
Longacre Tire Pyrometer
Krontec Lances
Satubli Dump Jugs w/ SS Stands & Probe Covers
ATL & Jazz Dump Jugs
AC Hydraulic Engine Hoist, Capacity: 2,200 lbs., Collapsible
Paoli Dive Tank Set
LISTA, CTECH and Assorted Tool Chests
Pneumatic Pit Guns
Milwaukee M18 Impact Guns
Cabinets FULL of Aerospace Grade Hardware, Electrical Components, Fittings, Plugs, etc.
Port-a-Cool 60” Fans, Drum Fans, Folding Tables, Nitrogen Bottle Cages, Torque Wrenches, Heat Guns, Testers, Tap & Die sets, Crimpers, Borescope kit, etc.

Shop & Fabrication Equipment
Sunnen Precision Honing Machine, Model: LBB-1699
Chassis Setup Plate, 8’ x 20’
Elevated Chassis Setup Plate, 6’ x 14’
Eastern Precision Ultrasonic Parts Cleaner
HYD-MECH Horizontal Band Saw, Model: S-20M, S/N: 6C11111260
(2) Enco Vertical Bandsaws, Model: 01712009
Dake Cold Saw, Model: 315-1PH
Birmingham Lathe
Miller Syncrowave250 DX TIG Welder
Miller Millermatic150 MIG Welder
(2) Bridgeport Mills w/ Digital Readout Controls
(2) Drill Presses, Baleigh & Ryobi
Cyclone Sandblasting Cabinet, Model: 3824
Pro-Tools Electric Bead Roller on Stand
Pexto Shear, Model: 152K, Capacity: 18 Ga.
Pexto Shear
Enco 50” Slip Roll, Model: 130-5501, Capacity: 16 Ga., Mfg Year: 2005
ProFormer Manual Break, Capacity: 16 Ga.
Manual Break, 48”, Capacity: 16 Ga.
Dake Arbor Press, No. 1 ½
Beverly Throatless Shear, Model: B2
Conquest Disc Grinder/Sander, Model: 20ARCH, 3 PH
NORCO 2-Ton Shop Press
Dewalt Cutoff Saw, Makita Cutoff Saw, Pedestal Grinders, Disc Sander, Horizonal Boring Drill on Stand, Clamps, Vises, Slide Hammer Puller Set, Gas/Acetylene Welding Carts, Torch Gauge Sets, Welding Hoses, Welding Helmets, Welding Tables, Butcher Block Top Shop Tables, Parts Organizers, Ladders, Rolling Tool Cabinets, etc.

Inspection & Test Equipment
Dynojet Dynamometer w/ CPU, Electronics and Cart
Engine Dynamometer w/ Superflow Controls and Electronics
DCM Magnetic Particle Checker, Model: MPI 3062, S/N: 35101, 1 PH/230 Volt
ASNL Injector Tester, Capacity: 8 Injectors
FaroArm Platinum CMM Inspection Arm, Length: 8’, Mfg. Year: 2010, S/N: P08-05-10-08515
Kwik Mark Dot Peen Marking Machine, Model: KM-64
Rockwell Hardness Tester
Height Gauges, Assorted Testers, Micrometers, Digital Protractors, Laser Levels, etc.

Race Accessories, Radio Equipment & Hospitality
Race Car Simulator, approx. 6’ x 2.5’, includes: Ultra CPU Tower, Logitech Surround Sound System, ProCar by Scott Race Seat, Panasonic Flatscreen TV,
Crew Helmets, assorted types (25+)
Crew & Driver Shoes, New Balance
Moto Sport Goggles, Oakley & Scott
Sparco Fire Resistant Under Garments; head socks, shirts, long underwear, socks
Grizzly & Coleman Coolers
Pop-up Tents, various sizes
Folding Chairs
Folding Tables
Catering Equipment
Glass Door Display Coolers
Poly-Flooring (1,000’s of Square Feet in various colors)
Retractable Rope Dividers
Kenwood NX300 Radios (30+), Batteries, Charging Banks, Headsets
RCI Headsets w/ Bluetooth & Dual Radio Ports (15+)
Kenwood TK Radios (8+)
Radius GR1225 Repeater Unit with Travel Case, Antennas and Wires
Car Radio Harnesses


Key Terms
Full Payment is Due at the Conclusion of the Auction.
Accepted Forms of Payment:  Cash, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Wire Transfer
A check will ONLY be accepted with a Bank Letter of Guarantee
12% Buyers Premium Will be Collected for on-site Buyers, 18% for Online Buyers
Complete Terms can be found under the documents tab.
License Information: AB3686; Seth Seaton AU4902
Seller: SpeedSource, Inc.

*Shipping for this auction will not be provided by Key Auctioneers. Key Auctioneers will gladly facilitate shipping with third party moving/shipping companies. 

Cars & Coffee at Tice’s Corner Woodcliff Lake NJ November 2017

An impromptu Cars & Caffe event this Sunday at the end of November got my toddler nephew all excited about the prospect of seeing some colorful cars on display… He’s been asking about going to a car show since I brought him to the Garden State Plaza mega meet, and the best I could tell him was we’ll go next year. Luckily he didn’t have to wait that long! Also lucky for us Panera Bread was nice and warm and offered some hot food after we quickly froze our asses off checking out all the cars that showed up…

Love how the colors pop! in the gray background of North Jersey winter:

Not the easiest task taking pictures while carrying a kid in my arms… but I have to say it was a great deal of fun, and my nephew loved it!

I especially like the idea that he’s telling his little brother all about his cars and coffee experiences, recreating the scene with his Matchbox cars:

He brought a bag of these along to the show, it was hard to convince him to leave them in the car and look at the real ones on display lol!