As most of you know I acquired a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata a little less than a month ago. Getting this car was one of the most exciting things that’s ever happened to me. I live to drive, it’s what makes me happy and keeps me sane… literally, there was a point when I didn’t run a single road for 3 weeks and I was the most irritable person ever. So as you most of you can imagine getting a car with as much potential and heritage as a Miata (not to mention the fastest one produced) was a huge moment for me. The day I met with Dillon to make the trade, I was both nervous and excited. I couldn’t imagine that anyone would want to get rid of such an amazing machine; it took a total of five minutes before we both agreed to the trade and I was on the road. I was so excited that I had blasted through down town and weaved my way through SXSW traffic and was already on the highway when Dillon called me to mention that I had left him with all of my keys. As I drove back towards down town to pick up my keys, I couldn’t help but smile. The smooth exhaust note and slight ‘pshhhhhh’ from the blow off valve was more intoxicating than anything I had ever experienced.
Being that I have always wanted and planned on owning a Miata, I knew right away what sort of mods i would be making. I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a nut when it comes to cars and I love to dream; since I was 16 I’ve had this notebook filled with cars, parts and my would be builds if I owned one of them. One of my many dreams had become a reality and it was time to get to work. I spent the next three days scouring the web for parts and info that would help me build my perfect car.
Then… it happened. I woke up for work three days ago, got in the car and started making my way to the office. That’s when I heard it, that’s when I heard the sound that literally broke my heart… it was rod knock. Not too loud and not bad by any means, but I knew what it was and what it meant. That sound meant my dream was on the verge of death, so I did what anyone would do in my situation… I lied to my boss and told him that my “girlfriend” had been in a car accident and I needed to pick her up. I got in the car and drove straight to the dealership to have my car guru (Cody) take a look. Turns out that the fellow I had gotten the car from hadn’t changed the oil before letting it go. I had been running dry for god knows how long. We topped it off with some oil just to hold me over until I could do a full oil/filter change and I headed back to work. This was by far the worst and most unproductive day of work I have ever had. Instead of searching for parts and ways to make the car faster, I spent the entire work day reading thread after thread of people with my same symptoms. Over the next two days, I went back and forth trying to argue that it wasn’t rod knock. it’s got to be the lifters, it must be a bad water pump, maybe it’s a bad exhaust leak… as much as I tried to lie to myself, I knew what it was.
Being that this is my only car, I found myself in a bit of a shit sandwich. I had to drive it to get to work; but I didn’t want to in fear that I would further damage the motor or be left stranded on the side of the road with a ventilated block. As much as it killed me, I did the only thing I could think to do. I posted the car on craigslist. Within a four hour period, I had received four cash offers and three offers to trade (one of which was for a drag racing boat… how sweet would that be?). Seeing how desirable the car was and how much people were willing to offer for it made me realize how much I didn’t want to let it go. I was in love, it’s been a short relationship but I have fallen head over heels in love with my car. After sitting in my back yard starring at nothing for an hour I got an idea, “Why should I get rid of it? I always get rid of things when they break. I’ve never tried to fix anything. This is it, big things 2013! You are going to rebuild it!” i did my research and contacted an old friend who happens to rebuild motors and transmissions for a living. Fred assured me that he could get it done in a timely fashion and would be giving me that “friends and family discount” that we all know and love.
So here I am, currently stuck with a car that may blow up at any given moment while driving, stuck with a list of wishes and wants, and stuck with the responsibility to rebuild it and to do it properly. So unfortunately, you all won’t be seeing anything about my Miata for a while. First I need to save up for a beater car to get me around from “A” to “B”. Then the fun begins, then I get to start saving up for what will be the most expensive and extensive project of my life. The question is… will I rebuild it to factory specifications? Or will I splurge on forged internals and build it to be more than it already is?