Tag Archives: ND

Visiting MAZMART in Atlanta, Georgia on my Southern Road Trip

First order of business upon visiting Atlanta was a quick trip down to MAZMART!

Two weeks ago I didn’t even know anything about Mazmart, luckily (or really unluckily) my car broke down… I went to test my battery and as I was cleaning under the hood and reinstalling everything in it’s place I must have leaned onto one of the power steering hoses, which moved the attachment on the side of the pump causing a ten year old O-ring to start seeping in air creating a fucking mess around the power steering reservoir.

The problem was solved using locally sourced parts in New Jersey but while I was doing my research (frantically since I knew I had a 1,000 mile road trip south coming up) I did reach out to Mazmart upon Sakshik’s recommendation to see how much they would charge for Mazda OEM O-rings… they were a good $10 cheaper than the dealer, luckily my problem was solved with a $2 part from NAPA Auto.

But that didn’t stop me from wanting to check out this place once I arrived in Atlanta, and I’m so glad we did!

Mazmart specializes in Mazda parts. They got a ton of parts cars on the property willing to sell you parts of them cheap. And if there’s something new you’re looking for they have a dealership hook-up with discounted rates compared to the actual dealerships.

I took a ton of pix in the store, especially of their rotary stuff:

Mazda MX-5: New Year’s Day Polar Bear Run with Lehigh Valley Miata Club

How to best spend New Year’s Day? Go on a 300 mile road trip with the Lehigh Valley Miata Owners Club on their annual Polar Bear Run through the rural back country roads around Pennsylvania.

This year I talked Chris into joining me. But I goofed by not actually signing up on the LVMOC web site. Saw the post about this event on Miata.net forum and figured that would be sufficient enough to join, because apparently the event was open to non-members. But that wasn’t really the case when we showed up. What’s worse, I wanted to keep a low profile, not stand out. Keep quiet. So Chris and I went to grab some food at our meeting spot: Cracker Barrel in Fogelsville, PA… thinking we’d make it in plenty of time for the 10:30am departure. Turns out departure time was 10:15am and we missed the whole driver’s briefing and almost missed the cruise, if not for a nice lady from the club running into the restaurant and getting us to hurry… We came out to the parking lot to a sight of 18 cars all sitting there ready to go, engines running, and there we were front and center… embarrassed and not at all keeping a low profile…. Sorry!

The cruise however went perfectly. Organized excellently. No delays along the way. No people getting lost. No incidents to speak of. The only difference from last year was far more snow on the ground. So instead of grey farm fields that we drove through accented by bright red barns, there was lots of white snow on the ground with the red barns really popping out. Because of snow there was tons of “cinders” on the ground, which is little sharp gravel Pennsylvania uses instead of Salt for the ice. Those cinders pelted everyone that drove through it, especially when following other cars. I had a bunch hit my windshield and I was hoping that they wouldn’t crack it. Lots of dust got kicked up too and I was cringing a bit about my K&N filter working overtime on this drive.

The route was identical to that of last year. But the restaurant for lunch was much better. I had a traditional Polish pork and sourkraut dish which was excellent, but was repeating on me for the remainder of the day. Excellent day spent hanging out with Chris which we finished by recording another Miata Fiata Talk episode.

some pix:

Of the 20 cars that showed up, all but 1 ran topless…. I kept my lid up. I know it’s not in the spirit of the Polar Bear Run… but I get sick easily and with a trip to Florida coming up to marshal Daytona 24 hour’s Roar before the 24, I couldn’t afford to do anything foolish.

Great start to 2017… hopefully many more events to come!

Fiat 124 Spider: Fiata Miata for 2017 I’m Guessing I’ll be Able to Rent one in Europe Soon?

Jalopnik has published photos of the 2017 production version of the Fiat 124 Spider based on the Mazda MX-5 Miata Roadster, or as everyone is calling it on the forums: Fiata Miata. And the production version looks completely different from what all the speculative renderings were. It’s dramatically different from the 2016 Mazda Miata that it is based on. And at this point I’m not sure if I like it or not. Initial impressions of the Fiata Spider is that it looks more like the NB version of the Miata while the car it’s based on pays more homage to the NA model. The obvious differences between the Fiata and the Miata based on the pictures seem to be a longer nose on the Fiat, and a more square trunk, which will probably have more storage capacity, even if ever so slightly. The interiors look identical. Check out this Jalopnik article for more pictures of the Fiat 124:  jalopnik.com/2017-fiat-124-spider-this-is-it-all-official-and-stuf

2016 mazda mx-5 miata fiata fiat 124
photo credit: Mazda
mazda roadster mx-5 miata
photo credit: Mazda
fiat 124 spider fiata miata mx-5 mazda
photo credit: Fiat
2017 fiat 124 fiata miata mx-5 mazda
photo credit: Fiat

Since I am not at all likely to get rid of my NC Miata any time soon, the only likelihood of me driving a Fiata Miata is if I rent one, most likely in Europe as I doubt they’ll be very representative of the American rental car fleets… I certainly have not been able to find any Mazda MX-5 ND rental cars around in my recent travels.

I am looking forward to test driving one just to compare how it feels to my car.

PS. Hopefully the promised Abarth version looks even more aggressive ( I think I secretly wanted the Fiat 124 Spider to look more like the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider than a vintage Fiat or NB Miata for that matter ).

Mazda MX-5: New ND Miata Display at Road Atlanta During Petit Le Mans

2015 Petit Le Mans Presented by Mazda was well represented by Mazda’s. The two P2 Prototypes in the IMSA TUSC series were as slow and unreliable as they typically are, but the MX-5 Cup race was quite exciting and full of Miata’s in action. There were also plenty of Miata’s in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge support series which did incredibly well. But let’s face it, there was a ton of attention on the new – latest generation ND MX-5 Miata.

petit le mans 2015 global mx-5 cup miata

2015 petit le mans mazda skyactiv technology global mx-5 cup

Two of them, specifically the future Global MX-5 Cup race spec cars were running impressive laps alongside the current MX-5 Cup cars in practice and qualifying. Watching them go into turn 1, they seemed far more stable under braking and turn-in than their NC counterparts. The two cars were bump-drafting down the front straight, and going just as quick if not quicker than the older cars.

petit le mans 2015 global mx-5 cup miata race car

2015 petit le mans mazda skyactiv technology global mx-5 cup 3

2015 petit le mans mazda skyactiv technology global mx-5 cup 4

They had quite the presence on track… without the noise current MX-5 Cup cars make… definitely “stockish” exhaust note.

2015 petit le mans mazda skyactiv technology global mx-5 cup 1

petit le mans 2015 global mx-5 cup miata race cars

2015 petit le mans mazda skyactiv technology global mx-5 cup 2

Besides the MX-5 Cup cars there was also an MX-5 Pace Car:

petit le mans 2015 global mx-5 cup miata pace car

petit le mans 2015 global mx-5 cup miata pace cars

It too made quite an impression on track.

2015 petit le mans mazda skyactiv technology pace car zoom zoom bbs wheels

And of course the street car drew a crowd in the vendor village on top of the hill. Though I’m still unhappy that the booth girl tricked me to fill out an owner’s survey only to tell me they ran out of “Mazda” hats… a day before the event. What BS!?!

2015 petit le mans mazda owner's lounge 3

2015 petit le mans mazda owner's lounge 1

2015 petit le mans mazda owner's lounge 2

2015 petit le mans mazda owner's lounge

I do like the new look of the ND MX-5 Miata… perhaps I’ll get one eventually to replace my current 2007 MX-5 GT PRHT.

Mazda MX-5: Test Drive Event for the ND Model

The good news is I got invited to test drive the latest Mazda MX-5 Miata ND model. The bad news is, I will be in Austin, TX for WEC during that week. Bummer!

But hopefully by sharing this information others that are interested in the test drive would be able to take advantage of the opportunity. I will also share the calendar of events around the country for those interested in the test drive to see if one is available closer to them.

The original e-mail from MAZDA:

The open road is calling—and you’re invited.

Join our special MX-5 test drive event.

Dear RUSS,

Thank you for your interest in Mazda. We’re extending a special invitation to select Mazda enthusiasts like you to experience the All-New 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata with SKYACTIV® TECHNOLOGY in person.

Please join us for our exclusive MX-5 Ride & Drive Event and get an up-close look at the latest edition of the world’s most popular roadster. You’ll be able to get behind the wheel, rev it up and take it out for a spin at MetLife Stadium to really see what all the excitement is about—for yourself.

Experience the 2016 MX-5’s impressive driving dynamics and test out its newly available advanced safety and infotainment technologies designed to make you feel even more connected to the road and the world around you. You don’t want to miss this unique opportunity to get behind the wheel of an icon, reimagined! Find out more.

Please join us at:

Met Life Stadium

1 Metlife Stadium Dr

East Rutherford, NJ 07073

Friday, 9/18: 12pm – 7pm

Saturday 9/19: 9am – 4pm

Note: All participants must have a valid driver’s license, be 18 years or older, sign a waiver form and pass a Breathalyzer test. Participants must wear closed-toe shoes.

and the list of events around the country which could be found here: http://www.mazdausamedia.com/index.php?s=31626&item=126061 (in case they update information after this blog post is published)

You’re Invited to The MX-5 Experience

 

Thank you for your interest in Mazda. We’re extending a special invitation to select Mazda enthusiasts like you to experience the all-new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata with SKYACTIV® Technology in person.

Please join us for our exclusive MX-5 Ride & Drive Event and get an up-close look at the latest edition of the world’s most popular roadster. You’ll be able to get behind the wheel, rev it up, and take it out onto the race track to really see what all the excitement is about—for yourself.

Experience the 2016 MX-5’s impressive driving dynamics and test out its newly available advanced safety and infotainment technologies designed to make you feel even more connected to the road and the world around you. You don’t want to miss this unique opportunity to get behind the wheel of an icon, reimagined!

Please note that all drivers must be over 18, have a valid U.S. Driver’s license, sign a waiver, and take a Breathalyzer test.

Please join us at:

 

Friday, September 4th & Saturday, September 5th

Autobahn Country Club

3795 Centerpoint Way

Joilet, IL 60436

 

Friday, September 11th & Saturday, September 12th

Atlanta Motorsports Park

20 Duck Thurmond Rd

Dawsonville, GA 30534

 

Friday, September 18th & Saturday, September 19th

Met Life Stadium

1Metlife Stadium Dr.

East Rutherford, NJ 07073

 

Friday, September 25th & Saturday, September 26th

Driveway Austin

8400 Delwau Ln

Austin, TX 78725

 

Friday, October 2nd & Saturday, October 3rd

Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park

20000 S Maricopa Rd

Chandler, AZ 85226

 

Hours of Operation:

Friday dates: 12 PM – 7 PM

Saturday dates: 9 AM – 4 PM

FAQ

Do I have to be over 18 to drive?

Yes. All drivers must be over 18. You are welcome to come watch the event, however.

Can I wear open toed shoes?

All drivers must wear close toed shoes.

Do I need to RSVP or pick a time slot?

No, The MX-5 Experience tour does not have an RSVP list. Our event is first come first served.

What other cities is Mazda coming to?

Please see the above event list. Future ride & drive events will be shared on our Mazda Facebook page, so be sure to like Mazda!

Can I bring my friends/parents/neighbors?

Of course, Mazda would love to see them at the track. If they are looking to drive, be sure to share that they need to be over 18, have a valid U.S. driver’s license, sign a waiver at the event, and take a Breathalyzer test.

The 2016 MX-5 Miata is amazing! I am over 18 and have a valid U.S. license, will I get to drive one? Are there automatic and manual transmissions available?

Yes, you will be able to drive the 2016 MX-5 Miata! Mazda will have a mix of MT and AT MX-5 Miatas available for driving.

What type of driving will I get to do?

There will be three stations: braking, autocross, and a hot lap on a specially designed road course.

For further information: For additional questions, please contact: Mazda Customer Experience at 800-222-5500
Thanks to Mazda for the invite, and it’s too bad I am not able to take advantage of the offer. Better luck next time…
mazda mx-5 miata nd
photo credit: Mazda USA