Tag Archives: PRHT

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: Jacksonville Miata Mini-Meet on my Florida Road Trip

I’ve been trying to organize a Florida Miata get-together ever since I bought my car and nothing seemed to pan out, until now! I finally managed to meet up with a local MX-5 owner in Jacksonville on my way to Daytona Beach, Florida… yay!

I’ve been communicating with the owner on Miata.net for a little while now, following on mods he’s been doing to his car and sharing information on my little projects. This opportunity to meet up and share ideas over dinner was great. I especially liked checking out the stuff he’s done in person… like the $38 eBay trunk lip spoiler which I’ve been considering doing myself. Or the larger windshield washer tank that is only available in Canada and not the US. Or his most recent mod: the hood struts which standard Miatas don’t come with. Or the custom steering wheel that is almost double the girth of the original. It was pretty neat!







If the car looks a lot like my Miata, it basically is… both are 2007 GT PRHT models… same exterior in Copper Red and same interior in Camel Brown or Orange or whatever the hell it is. But this car has a Manual Transmission while mine is an Automatic. It also has a cone K&N filter while mine is stock…. and the few things I mentioned above that I wanted to see to decide whether I should get them too.



I do really like the idea of the hood struts, that makes things easier.




And the finish looks like it came from the factory like that.


Come winter time I’ll probably wish I had this larger Canadian washer bottle.








As much as I like the idea of a fat steering wheel, the fact it cost over $400 to ship and install, I can say it is nowhere near the top of my wish list.

I’m really grateful for the opportunity and for my new friend shouting a tasty seafood dinner… not something I was expecting but hopefully I could repay the favor in the future.

Mazda MX-5: Driving School in South Carolina Using Miata’s… Wish I got my Driver’s License in one!

One recurring theme at the Cars & Coffee events I go to, lots of kids! I keep saying it’s a great time to be growing up in America these days, so much Automotive perfection to look at… for those of you in High School just about ready to get your license, and if you happen to live in South Carolina… you can book a driving school for your road test that offers Miata’s!

Richard Zimmer runs Dutch Fork Driving School in Irmo, SC with two beautiful NC PRHT’s he’s using to train his students… a 2010 Copper Red and a 2012 Stormy Blue MX-5 Grand Touring models.

His students must be pretty lucky!

Interested in taking your road test in one of his driver training vehicles, get in touch: facebook.com/DutchForkDrivingSchool/

dutch fork driving school, south carolina

dutch fork driving school

PS. if anyone else finds companies doing this please share a link… I’m also interested in companies rent out Mazda MX-5’s globally.

Cars & Coffee at Tice’s Corner in Woodcliff Lake, Northern New Jersey

I can’t believe it’s December, two days after Christmas and three days before New Year and there are Cars and Coffee meets happening in Northern New Jersey. Today’s event was at Tice’s Corner in Woodcliff Lake, NJ just across the street from BMW of North America headquarters. The weather was damp with some fog in the morning but plenty of cars showed up. My time there was very brief because I had to rush to work though.

My goal was to meet other Mazda MX-5 owners to make friends with.  I don’t have any local friends in Bergen County that I could have a Miata related chat with especially when I have questions about my car. And even though there was a beautiful Torch Red NC2 PRHT in attendance I have no idea who the owner was because it wasn’t obvious in the crowd. Too bad. Don’t know why I’m having such hard time finding local Miata owners to hang out with close to where I live. A million cars showed up on my trip to Southeast Asia but local owners don’t seem particularly interested in my company. Go figure.

Some photos from the event:

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Plenty of cops in attendance 🙂 just noticed in this photo two Explorers roaming around plus another Crown Vic unit nearby.

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Leaving the event I noticed a Copper Red NC1 in my rearview mirror. At first I thought it was one of the Miata.net forum members I had met before, I pulled over to let the guy pass and he honked at me doing so, but it turned out to be a PRHT model just like mine (the forum member has a soft top with some bumper trim accents that this car didn’t have). I ended up following the car all the way to my exit off the highway, and that was really neat to see an identical car to mine in the same neighborhood I live in, but again I have no idea who the owner is. Oh well….

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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

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

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

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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!?!

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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: Dash Cam Video from the Latest Miata Cruise down the Jersey Shore

Just a few videos to share from the last Miata cruise down the Jersey Shore. I used the occasion to test out my A118C B40 Pro dash cam and I’m pretty pleased with the results.

Check them out:

The videos were shot late in the afternoon and do appear pretty dark, my next goal is to shoot some day time videos at another Miata get together.

This is what the dash cam setup looks like from the outside:

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Pretty discreet!

Mazda MX-5: Monmouth Cruise – Tinton Falls to Atlantic Highlands

I love when Miata owners get together for a meet and cruise. This latest one organized by the Delaware Valley Miata Club took place on Wednesday, meeting up at Wawa in Tinton Falls and following a twisty route down the Jersey Shore to the Atlantic Highlands.

I had spend a good part of my day prepping for this trip while running some errands, but ultimately I left Northern New Jersey late meaning I had to rush to get to this event which during the 5pm rush hour the GPS suggested would take a little over an hour. Luckily I missed most of the traffic, but that was thanks to some maneuvering, taking the GSP to i80 to the NJ Turnpike, back to GSP and then local roads to the Wawa.

The turn out was quite good. I think I counted over a dozen cars. I suspect most were already members of the Delaware Valley Miata club because when I showed up a few people sort of guilted me into joining. One person suggested that it’s not fair to everybody else that paid their membership fee and I’m the one freeloading on their cruise… Hmmm… more about that later.

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I’m glad I arrived when I did because shortly after the group settled up and headed out for the cruise. If I had hit any traffic I would have been shit outta luck on this one.

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But I made it, so I got in line to follow the convoy through Central Jersey towards the Jersey Shore. I got some great Dash Cam footage of the cruise, although I discovered that the velcro that the dash cam is attached to is making the camera loose, which resulted in some bouncy video especially when roads were rough. I also had noticed a metallic ticking noise coming from the right front tire, shortly after we had pulled over on the side of the road to wait for the tail end of the convoy to catch up after getting stuck on a red light. I wasn’t happy hearing that noise because it sounded like I caught a nail. At one point I pulled over to take a look, felt around the tire and didn’t notice anything obvious. A short distance later the noise stopped so I assume it wasn’t a nail but a small rock that had lodged itself into the groove of tread on the tire, and was making a ruckus while I drove. But I’ll have to check tomorrow to make sure there isn’t a puncture.

Our first stop was Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook with an amazing view of the New York City skyline at sunset, and Sandy Hook below.

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From there many of us headed out down to the waterfront, with a planned dinner at a restaurant in the Marina. But it wasn’t meant to be. The wait line was well over an hour and it would have been quite late for most people on a Wednesday night to stick around. At this point a few people left while about six of us picked a plan B and headed to Applebee’s in Middletown, NJ for a bite to eat.

As always I really enjoyed the company of the Del Val Miata club. The members are good people, mature, there’s no burnouts or people getting pulled over at their cruises, everything is organized nicely. But I must have been naive to think that this was a public event. During my very first interaction I was told I’d have to either join the club to continue coming to their events or stop taking potential spots away from club members by attending. I was on the fence before about joining the club. I am not a big fan of the idea of club membership for a number of reasons, many are similar to those I’ve shared on this blog a million times about my SCCA membership. But when it comes to a car club, I think after this experience I’ve made up my mind not to join. So there probably won’t be any more Del Val Miata Meets or Cruises in my future. Why was I naive? Well, I had honestly thought people organize these events for the fun of it, I mean that’s the reason I attend. I certainly don’t agree with the idea of taking anything away from other club members by being there. Its not like there was food provided by the club, or some sort of raffle or prize give away. I didn’t take anything FREE of charge from the club. I was there for the company of other Miata owners. Would I pay just to hang out with people like that? No, I wouldn’t.

The highlight of the event for me was seeing all the cars. There were both the Copper Red and True Red cars, Stormy Blue and Winning Blue, a bunch of darker color NC’s, a few NB’s and a beautiful NA. That was awesome!

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.

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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:

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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.




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.

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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.



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:

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Mazda MX-5: JDM “Roadster” badge

My JDM Mazda “Roadster” badge has arrived from Japan.

A few weeks ago I was contemplating whether to get a JDM Roadster badge for the rear decklid of my car, see this post: To “Roadster” or Not to “Roadster”? As much as I couldn’t justify spending close to $30 bux for a plastic badge, almost double what I paid for a Mazda badge I got earlier to stick on the inside of the car (check out this post: Personal touches to my Miata) I went ahead and ordered it. The price was only a few cents different to buy from an American seller in California and getting the real deal from Japan. I chose the Japanese option, a company called Amayama which billed my PayPal account through their Singapore HQ apparently.

But anyway, fast forward to today, I went and picked up the giant EMS shipping envelope. Had to go to the post office because I wasn’t home when the box arrived last week. It was meticulously packed and nothing was damaged, so it was well worth the $13 in shipping.

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roadster 1a

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To mount the badge I had to wash the few inches of dust off the car from the Watkins Glen Road trip. And then the “MAZDA” debadging begun. There was some residue that was left when I peeled the original badge off. But with some serious rubbing using an Alcohol swab and Windex, it came off nicely.

I couldn’t initially decide where to mount the badge.

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On the right where it appears in Japan instead of the MX-5 badge.

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In the center like some folks on Miata.net have done.

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Or on the left instead of the Mazda badge which looks a bit odd.

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And that’s what I ended up doing. The Mazda badge looks a bit out of place where it is. So much so that later NC2 and NC3 miatas came without it on the trunk lid. Only the MX-5 badge appears. So I was happy to remove it.

The final result looks awesome, in my view:

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The car is further personalized to my tastes, and I like it very much!

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Intermittent Wiper Switch install on another MX-5 Miata

I’m really pleased with the local Miata community. I’ve been on a lookout for an intermittent windshield wiper switch for my car for a little while, had been sending best offers through eBay time and again, and received nothing but rejection or high counter offers. And then BAM! One day both of my $30 best offers were accepted. One I went to pick up locally in Linden, NJ and mounted on my car for the road trip to Watkins Glen last weekend while the other was shipped from Texas. I reached out to a Delaware Valley Miata Club member through facebook to see if he knew of anyone interested and before I know it another member of the club was on his way to pick it up. I went ahead and installed the switch for him to make sure it works.

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I also took the opportunity to compare the NC3 Miata with my NC1. Call me crazy but visually the NC1 looks more slender than the NC3.

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But even though this 2013 model in beautiful Black Mica was a good 6 years younger than mine, it’s nice to see that little was changed. Jerry, the owner also had some comfort mods installed like the Cool Breeze vent mounted top/center of his windshield, and a nice elbow rest on the driver side door.

delaware valley miata club cruise sandy hookThe last time I saw Jerry’s car was on our Sandy Hook Cruise a few weeks ago… and hopefully the next time we meet up will be on another Miata cruise somewhere. Read more about our Cheesequake to Sandy Hook Cruise here.