Home » The World’s Fastest Stock Miata Is Now A Race Car You Can Buy

The World’s Fastest Stock Miata Is Now A Race Car You Can Buy

Spec Miata
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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.

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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.

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My goofy ass driving the car. Photography by Automotive Restorations, Inc.”

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.

Specimiatamotor
Photography by Automotive Restorations, Inc.”

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.

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TOSSABL
TOSSABL
8 months ago

Zoom-ZOOM!

I think that about covers it

Parsko
Parsko
8 months ago

YES, thank you for mentioning MiataCon. Joe Wall is a good friend and the President of the local club (everyone knows Joe). I can’t make it this weekend because I’ll be on my first vacation with my wife in Florida. Have fun to all who attend.

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
8 months ago

I forgot MiataCon was this weekend. I’ll be heading up for the day.

Toecutter
Toecutter
8 months ago

Looks like significant consideration was made to the car’s aerodynamic drag. I wonder what sort of highway fuel economy is can achieve? 40 mpg @ 70 mph wouldn’t surprise me…

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
8 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

I wonder how crosswind affects solid disks (discs?) on a car.

Toecutter
Toecutter
8 months ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

Doubtful there’s any meaningful effect. On my 91 lb electric trike, at 45 mph on a state highway, they are no noticeably more or less stable when riding during 30-50 mph winds than without. A car has much more mass to keep it stable.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
8 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Good point. Never driven with solid disks on a car – maybe the last time I had a solid wheel was on a bigwheel as a toddler.
Though I did notice that lowering my old car ~2″ did net a significant stability improvement in crosswinds to its behaviour before. But in retrospect that might be due to the higher spring rate making it less “rolly”

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
8 months ago

“The best race car in the world is the one you can afford to drive all the time and fits within your abilities.”

True. On Saturday I drove my race car to a high-power rocket launch with launch rails strapped to its roof rack and a porta-potty in tow. This was comfortably within my abilities as the Range Safety Officer for the event:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/53279073650_a6d22436d6_b.jpg

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

That photo is fantastic!

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

Did you, or someone at the event, at any time shout “SHITTER’S FULL!!”?

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
8 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Inasmuch as I’d have been the one who would have had to deal with the consequences of someone failing to get the reference, no, I did not. I am relieved (so to speak) to report that nobody else said it, either.

Toecutter
Toecutter
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

COTD.

Love the Saab 96.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
8 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Thanks! I was expecting a bit of grief over the aerodynamics of the trailer.

Toecutter
Toecutter
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

It’s removable.

Once I get the GT6 finished, I would love to obtain a Saab 96 in need of engine work or missing an engine to convert to EV. Would make a good ride for when I need to carry more than one person, and the safety isn’t nearly as bad as that of the GT6.

Stock-bodied, this would be a 180 Wh/mile car doing 65 mph on the highway. There’s a few tricks that could possibly cut the drag by 20% without even altering the external appearance of the car. I could probably fit a 50 kWh pack into it. Of course it would be turned into a hot rod at the same time, albeit because it’s FWD, probably no more than 300 horsepower in the best of circumstances, otherwise I’d just spin the wheels…

Parsko
Parsko
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

Only a true hero of life tows around his own shitter. That pic is some nice icing on my daily cake. Thanks for sharing!

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
8 months ago
Reply to  Parsko

You’re welcome! I can’t take all the credit for the trailer, though. It was a rental.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

I’m curious about how that tow affected drivability. My assumption is that your SAAB barely noticed it compared to towing the race car back when. And, I’m asking because of a minor argument with a workmate about needing a diesel to tow anything above a small expanded-metal utility trailer.

Wish you had pics of the incredulous stares/outright glares you must get

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
8 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

The trailer weighed very little, of course, but the effect of wind resistance from the porta-potty at speeds above about 45 mph was rather noticeable. This was in sharp contrast to flat-towing another car, which felt more or less equally ponderous at all speeds.

Aside from the obvious aerodynamic differences between a 96 and a porta-potty, another factor to consider is that when I used my 96 to tow my other 96 from Seattle to Willows and back for a race at Thunderhill:

https://live.staticflickr.com/5502/10304376123_c02337a454_c.jpg

the towing car had a V4 whereas the towed car was the same two-stroke 96 I just used to tow the porta-potty. The V4 engine has a bit more horsepower and, what I suspect is of greater significance, more torque. I wouldn’t expect the same success in trying this flat-tow the other way around, but I no longer have the V4 car so I’m not in a position to make the attempt. Still, my belief is that while the two-stroke is more entertaining for racing, rallying, and rocketry, one really should seek out a V4 for serious towing.

Nonetheless I wouldn’t mind trying out a SAABO camper behind the race car at some point.

Last edited 8 months ago by Mike Harrell
TOSSABL
TOSSABL
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

“…more entertaining for racing, rallying, and rocketry…”
you, sir, are a maniac in all the best ways. I am so here for this kind of subversion.

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