Tag Archives: Mazda

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

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.

Mazda MX-5: Miata Fender Removal. Fender Bender Fix.

Well I’ve gone and done it. Took the better part of the day but my fender is now fixed. Not the prettiest job but it will have to do for now.

What I’ve learned is that it is possible to change the fender without removing the bumper. I was worried it would take forever. Luckily it didn’t take as long as I thought it would, the most time consuming bit was trying to find the plastic clips that hold the fender liner in place. I picked up some universal Dorman fasteners which don’t sit perfectly but again they’ll have to do. Despite my best efforts most of mine broke even though I was perfectly gentle, I guess after 11 years they get so brittle there’s no way to reuse them.

Another difficulty was getting the side skirt removed enough to get to the bottom bolts. Lucky I didn’t break those clips, universal wouldn’t have been an option, dealer only part.

And finally the new fender I got was somewhat bowed. It took a lot of time to bang it into shape. And even then there are rather large gaps between fender and bumper and fender and hood.

Here’s some photos:

So, in this process I used zip ties and hundred mile per hour (100mph) tape… like in NASCAR (lol) or more commonly known as Flex Tape available from TV in As Seen On TV ads or in my case picked up at Walgreens for $12.99 (4” inches wide 5’ feet long) I used a fraction of it on the cracked bits on the inside of the bumper so that the fender liner has something to attach to. And on the fender headlight bit which cracked off in the accident. The same bit was meant to be screwed into the fender, but for the life of me I could not align it, so I zip tied the damn thing in place. If I took the front bumper off I probably would have been able to tighten it correctly. For now zip ties and tape will do. Going to go for a spirited drive to see if anything loose shakes out. As of now everything is attached tightly. I did scuff up some paint on the car from the sharp metal of the fender, not to mention murdered my hands with cuts and scrapes.

Mazda MX-5: Hunt for Miata Fender in Copper Red (Found It!)

It’s been a week since my mom had a fender bender with my car… (she bent the fender with her car while backing up). Since then I’ve been scouring the Internets for a replacement. Nothing terribly close could be found I called about a dozen local used car part places, but I had two candidates via a web site called Car-Part.com

eBay was crazy pricey. Craigslist had nothing. Car-Part.com however had a ton of options. But because I didn’t want a repaint I decided to stick to Copper Red paint code 32V. First option on Long Island about 69 miles away. And second in Pennsylvania near Wilkes Barre 98 miles away. I emailed both places. Got some photos of close ups of damage. And chose the cheapest less damaged option, $100 bux. Not perfect, but I think it will clean up nicely.

The car on Long Island.

And the car in Pennsylvania:

There were many options all around the East Coast, in a variety of colors:

Like this green PRHT at the same place on Long Island, though I did not see it:

This one looks great, except for the scratches on top right of the pic.

Also with interesting interior, a lot less pumpkin color like in my car. I like this two tone with black highlights. Center console.

Love the look of the Niseko car available in Pennsylvania at yet another wrecker.

Always been a fan of this color, beautiful wheels on it too.

This afternoon I headed East to Medford, NY Thinking all the while that I bought my car on Long Island. Bought the RX-8 spare donut for my car there. And now the fender in the middle of Long Island just shy of the Hamptons, near Haupague and Lake Ronkonkoma. The place was only 69 miles away, but it freaking took me 8 hours round trip $11 in tolls and $20 in fuel, because of Friday traffic and the fact I drove thru NYC trying to cheap out on the tolls.

Medford seems to have a whole row of junk yards along Peconia Ave, among them where I bought my fender today. Reminds me of the chop shops along Avenue P in Newark, NJ

Nice wheels…

It’s not perfect, but it will do.

Since the ad was posted, looks like a bunch of parts were sold already.

This little nipple in the middle of the damn thing will really bother me. Could not see it in pics because of the glue residue  but what can you do. Will have to live with it.

My dog Maxi Max came along for the ride. We stopped in Flushing, the Chinatown of Queens for my favorite soup dumplings from Joe’s Shanghai. And then again at Kababish near La Guardia airport because of heavy bumper to bumper traffic, and because this place was highly recommended by a coworker, so I had to try it. Max helped himself to a piece of chicken kebab while I was out of the car getting gas. He got smacked for stealing, but when we got home he drank the whole bowl of water. The food was punishment enough because it was so spicy….

Anyway, tomorrow I’ll attempt to install it.

Mazda MX-5: Bad Day for my Miata

Always knew someone will run over my Miata. Today my mommy dearest succeeded. It didn’t help I parked behind her on a weird angle… only ran in the house for a minute before going out. But she beat me to it. Put her truck in reverse and plowed over my fender doing plenty of damage.

Not sure how to tackle this project. Will look for another fender for sale online, preferably in Copper Red so I don’t have to paint it. But this won’t be cheap.

This is why I can’t have nice things.

Not sure how she got enough speed to do so much damage as the car was parked two feet behind the truck. So far I pulled out the fender so it’s not running against the tire. And zip tied the fender lining together. Car looks like shit now.

Single-Make Fiata Series? Yes, please! Spy Shots of Abarth Fiat 124 GT4 in Italy

This is pretty awesome news from the motorsport spies in Italy. Fiat really is developing a GT4 version of the Fiat 124 Spider.

SportsCar365 says so

And so does Daily Sports Car:

This was either just picked up from a translation of a French fan site of Italian machinery. Or reporting of further sightings of the car being tested.

I’m really happy to see this.

I’m a huge fan already of the Fiat Abarth Rally car that came out a while ago:

The GT4 which apparently will be seen racing in a single-make Italian series, would be an amazing addition to the American version of the Global MX-5 Cup as well as the Japanese Miata series and European MAX5 series.

The Fiata is not dead yet!

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.