So about 14 years ago, the wife and I picked up a low mileage Miata to use for autocross competition. I was a factory package developed for racing that was fairly low production, only 465 in 1995 were produced. Here is what it looked like when we got the car.
We spent the first year (2002) just doing regional competitions, moved up to divisional competition the next year, and national level competition in 2004. The car gave both of us a SCCA National Championship in 2007 and my wife Tara went on to win one more in it while I came close with a second the following year. I quit driving the car in 2009 to drive my buddy's 1993 RX7 and Tara continued to drive the car through the 2014 season. Here is a shot of it in race trim.
After the 2014 season, the classing changed to a point where the car was no longer competitive. Owningthree Miatas didn't make sense, so we decided to sell the 1990 that I had turbocharged. I put the car back as close to stock as I could get it and sold it to a racing friend in Ohio. That left me with a pile of good parts to put on the R package to make it our new fun car since it was retired from competition. I immediately swapped the suspension, wheels and tires, roll bar, and new soft top from the 1990 over to the 1995. That is where the project stalled for all of last year. Not wanting the car to be down for the summer, but wanting it to be turbocharged, I decided last weekend to tear into it in preparation. I took a perfectly running, near mint, somewhat rare, three time national championship winning R Package Miata from this:
I know most are wondering why I completely removed the engine and all of the front sheet metal. Having to put a clutch in it and also wanting to weld a oil return bung on the oil pan rather than just drilling and tapping, removing the engine seemed like the easiest way to get there plus it allows me the opportunity to clean and paint the block and clean the engine bay to get rid of 20+ years of funk. I also need to repaint the bottom portions of the front fenders after being sandblasted by R compound tires for 12 years plus the car is easier to work on with them removed. Ihave a freshly painted front bumper and vented hood to go on after the turbo install is complete. That is it for now.