The best race car in the world is the one you can afford to drive all the time and fits within your abilities. This means, in general, a Spec Miata is the best race car in the world for a huge chunk of people. And what’s better than a nicely sorted Spec Miata? A nicely sorted Spec Miata that also happens to be the Bonneville Land Speed Record G/GT record holder and is being sold for charity. Also, I’ve driven it! Wait, what?
When we do these daily auction looks they are not, usually, cars we’ve driven. But the other day I got a call from Autopian pal Roger Garbow who asked if I wanted to go up to Lime Rock with another pal (and NASCAR driver/analyst) Parker Kligerman to drive a race car. It was the rare weekday that both Parker and I were here and free so I bummed a ride from Parker and made haste for the track.
That race car, it turns out, is the Bonneville Land Speed Record Holder G/GT class (engine size under 2.0 liters) Mazda Miata with an average speed of 165.296 mph. That’s fast in any car, but in an NB Miata it’s downright scary. here’s a whole documentary on that car:
Obviously, you can’t do anything with a land speed record car other than set land speed records, so this Miata has been turned into a Spec Miata race car.
So what do you get when you buy this car? You get everything you need to race Spec Miata in most series and also all the stuff that is needed to make it a land speed record car, including the tiny wheels with aero wheel covers and a modified 1.99-liter inline-four with individual throttle bodies. Currently, the car is in Spec Miata trim with a full roll cage, Safecraft fire suppression system, Bilstein adjustable coilovers, a racing seat, and all the other stuff you need to go racing. The motor currently in there is a 1.8-liter inline-four that qualifies it for most Spec Miata series, though it’s not clear if the gearset in the rear diff is the current SCCA spec one.
I am not an expert on Spec Miatas, but I have crewed for a couple of friends with their Spec Miata team so I have a decent sense of what one of these is supposed to look like. This one is in particularly good shape. I didn’t drive it full-tilt because it’s about to be auctioned for charity, but I took a few reasonably fast laps around the FCP Euro Proving Grounds autocross course at LRP along with The /DRIVE’s Andrew Collins and it survived the two of us. Everything worked and I’d feel confident investing in it.
The Miata is currently on BringATrailer with no reserve with 100 percent of the proceeds, including the buyer’s fee, going to The Piston Foundation scholarship program. If you’re not aware, The Piston Foundation is a charity that helps “young people acquire the education and hands-on training to build a career in the collector car industry.”
Also, this weekend is Miata Con at Lime Rock Park and the car will be on display if you want to check it out in person.
Bonneville photo and video Courtesy of Harvey Siegel.