Tag Archives: Sports Car

Cars & Croissants in Morris Plains, NJ Feb 2016

It’s a great time to be a kid growing up in America! As corny as it sounds when I was a kid, little die-cast model cars were the closest I had come to exotics, sports cars, muscle cars, classic cars, etc. Today, I went to a local Cars & Croissants event at the Dunkin Donuts in Morris Plains, New Jersey and the turnout was incredible. By my count up to two hundred maybe 100 cars were on display for all to see, many rotating in and out during the morning as fresh people came in to see what the fuss was all about.

This was like church for car enthusiasts. A Sunday morning get together in a little suburban strip mall parking lot with cars coming from as far away as Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New York. There were even a few Lambo’s with Montana plates but i’m sure they live in a Jersey garage somewhere and only come out on sunny days.

My goal was to see other NC MX-5’s in the lot… and I found a beauty with abig Flyin’ Miata sticker just before I left the event:

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 38

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 37

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 40

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 39

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 36

Mission accomplished! But there was so much more to see… Miatas:

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 11

There were NA’s with the standard round pop-up lights.

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 6

There were NA’s with custom rectangular pop-up lights.

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 3

There were NA’s with custom dual-round pop-up lights.

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 27

There was an NB Mazdaspeed version with the factory Turbo.

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 24

There was also a lot of snow still on the ground residue of “winter”

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 18

There were Motorcycles all over the place.

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 15

Plenty of classic and historic cars in attendance.

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 5

Right hand drive JDM imports like two of these Skylines.

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 2

American muscle, sports and touring cars.

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 32

Italian sports, classic and touring cars.

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february

Lexus has an HQ nearby and brought plenty of “F” show specimens.

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 34

The finest British cars…

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 26

Lots of fast German cars…

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 8

even American electric sports cars…

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 29

Race cars!

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 1

…and of course Coffee & Donuts… no  croissants though 🙁

But for a kid it was like being in a candy store… I absolutely love these type of mixed car events!

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 7

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 10

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 9

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 4

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 12

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 13

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 14

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 16

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 17

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 21

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 22

Who says the Acura NSX is a rare car? Here’s about half a dozen…

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 20

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 19

So much similarity between these Italian’s from FIAT.

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 25

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 28

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 30

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 31

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 33

cars and croissants morris plains nj 2016 february 35

I’m looking forward to attending more of these C&C events locally and when I travel to volunteer around the country. What a great way to see awesome cars new and old… variety galore!

Mazda MX-5: Oil Change at 5,000 miles with Mobil 1 Synthetic 0W-20 & M1-102 filter

File this one under the: “what have you done to your Miata today” category. I changed my oil. It was exactly 5,000 miles since the last service in April, at 37,297 miles which included several 400-500+ mile road trips Upstate New York to Watkins Glen and New England to Thompson Speedway. In fact my father and I changed the oil on both the old Ford Explorer SUV and the Miata, and I mention the Explorer for a reason, because I want to use a different oil the next time I do my service, one that doesn’t turn so dark so quickly.

mazda mx-5 miata oil change mobil 1 synthetic 1

I got a hell of a deal December of last year when walking into a local AutoZone I found a 5-QT jug of Mobil 1 on sale for $5. I bought two. This is the second jug being used. I was reading all about Mobil 1 on Miata.net, and so many people swear by it, but I don’t see what the big deal is, especially when you consider paying the full price which is typically around $27 to $35 depending on the store. The oil turned dark at only 5k miles, about the same shade of dark as the Explorer’s standard Pennzoil 10W-40 at 4k miles, and it’s not synthetic. The feel is about the same on the Miata as on the Explorer. Maybe I had unreasonable expectations for the feel from the Mobil 1.

mazda mx-5 miata oil change mobil 1 synthetic 5

mazda mx-5 miata oil change mobil 1 synthetic 4

mazda mx-5 miata oil change mobil 1 synthetic 3
Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy “Recommended for most Hondas and Toyotas”

But at any rate I think I’ll try something else in the spring time to at least make a comparison for myself. I will stick with 0W-20 weight and full synthetic, but will change the brand.

The options are:

Pennzoil Platinum or Ultra Platinum

pennzoil platinum 0w-20 or ultra platinum 5w-20

Castrol EDGE or Castrol EDGE Extended Performance

castrol edge 0w-20 or castrol edge extended performance 5w-20

I’m also thinking of replacing the Mobil 1 M1-102 oil filter with a K&N version, which seems like it’d be easier to install and remove when the time comes with the wrench instead of trying to work in a tight space the way it is now. The nut seems like a great idea. The filter goes for around $10 to $15 apiece, available at Walmart but probably the most reasonably priced at Moss Miata – $9.95

K&N HP-1002 oil filter

mazda mx-5 miata K&N oil filter HP-1002 k-n

So if anyone has any personal experience with the products I’ve listed above or some other products that I haven’t considered, like for example the $37 a jug Royal Purple synthetic oil, do share your thoughts… please! I would especially be interested to hear from people with a NC Miata so I can base my decisions on something concrete. A real world experience, like I got from Jason for example, Stevie – his 2009 Miata gets Pennzoil Platinum + K&N filter changed on an 8,000 mile interval. That’s impressive!

hello stevie 1 mx-5 miata

Oh yes, besides the recommendations on facebook and Miata.net I am a sucker for Motorsport advertising, hence the BFGoodrich tires for my Miata just like the BFGoodrich sponsored MX-5 Cup series cars (tires might be different but whatever). So which cars use what oil in what series? Well, this Mazda comes to mind using Castrol:

lone star le mans 6 hr of the circuit of the americas 17

& this car in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge using Total:

2015 petit le mans continental tire sports car challenge mx-5 miata

Fiat 124 Spider Abarth: Fiata Miata (Mazda MX-5)

This is a purely speculative post about the news of the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider / Abarth model based on the Mazda MX-5 Miata / Roadster. One of the support series for the Spa 24h event I’m about to embark on is the Trofeo Abarth Europe series which I’m a huge fan of so it’s fresh on my mind to write a few thoughts down.

Why do I care about this model?

Because with my latest purchase of an NC Miata I’m interested in all things to do with the MX-5 model. I think the latest pictures from my marshaling, road trips and foodie tours could attest to that. In 2017 there will be Fiats rolling off the same assembly line as the Miata, and that’s really cool. I’m especially interested in the Abarth model. Perhaps by that time in 2017 on I’ll actually be able to upgrade my personal Miata to it’s replacement, which might as well be an Abarth… or not. It would be cool to look back on the speculation and compare it to reality.

First I wanted to share some renderings of a Fiata out there online:

Abarth 124 Spider render based on Mazda MX-5 Miata
credit: http://www.124spider.org/forum/13-2016-fiat-124-spider-photos/962-124-abarth-renderings.html
Nuova-Abarth-124-render
credit: http://www.124spider.org/forum/13-2016-fiat-124-spider-photos/962-124-abarth-renderings.html
fiat-124-spider-2015-rendering
credit: http://www.alvolante.it/news/fiat-124-spider-2015-spy-338698/foto
Fiat 124 spider-kOEI-U430501163338409mhD-590x445@Corriere-Web-Sezioni
credit: http://motori.corriere.it/motori/anteprime/cards/alfa-suv-fiat-124-spider-novita-fca/fiat-124-spider.shtml
2015-Fiat-Abarth-Spider-HD
credit: http://woolves.com/fiat

Kind of important to remember that none of the 2016 Miata renderings were terribly close to the real thing, the ND MX-5. But it’s nice to speculate, and to actually compare what the two cars share in common and what bits could be used from one car on another.

Just because the two cars would roll off the same assembly line doesn’t necessarily mean they’d be identical. It’s important to note that the Ford Mustang and the Mazda 6 rolled off the same Auto Alliance assembly line and the two are quite different vehicles. However, during my recent Cars & Coffee conversation with a Lotus Elise owner it was interesting to hear him talk about the interchangeable parts between his car and the Tesla Roadster (the center console in particular… a much desired part by Lotus owners).

For one the Abarth version of the Fiata will be significantly more powerful than the 155hp Miata, so that’s something to look forward to. Although I’m pretty content with the amount of power my current NC Miata has.

So much like the Toyobaru union for the Toyota 86 GT / Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ I think this will be a huge hit with the two door roadster owner community in the US but more importantly around the world. One of my favorite things is to see the same exact Miata in pictures posted by their owners from North America, Europe, Asia, the Pacific, etc. It’s truly amazing!

Let’s wait and see how this develops.

Check out this post from Lime Rock Park where I got to marshal a historics event with a number of classic Abarth race cars well represented: Abarth Fiats at Lime Rock

 

UPDATE: So as per the September 28th Jalopnik article, this is what it’ll actually look like… (very similar to the MX-5 especially the interior except the exterior a bit less rounded and larger proportion)

http://jalopnik.com/2017-fiat-124-spider-this-is-it-1733363750

jalopnik fiata miata fiat 124 mx-5 a
photo credit: Jalopnik
jalopnik fiata miata fiat 124 mx-5 b
photo credit: Jalopnik
jalopnik fiata miata fiat 124 mx-5 c
photo credit: Jalopnik
jalopnik fiata miata fiat 124 mx-5
photo credit: Jalopnik