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speedracer 1990 Miata

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In the beginning there were two 1990's soaking up valuable shop space at C&C Northside motors.


Over the years, the pair of miatas watched many beautiful and amazing track cars come and go from the shop.  This pair  hoping they would someday be adopted and restored to track duty.   Sadly they were pushed from one corner of the shop to another, often be left outside in the weather.   Many would walk buy, some making a offhand comment about a future track car build but year after year their parts slowly removed and given away to others who would go and play at the track.  All hope seemed lost and they seemed doomed to the crusher.  Then one day a new conversation started between two old friends.  One a track junkie down on his track days short of cash.  Another an shop owner looking to make a little more space in the shop.


The negotiations started slowly, just a quick comment here or there about what could be done to save the miatas from the crusher.  Then the hard questions, how much would it cost, how long would it take?  How could this be done?   Perhaps a weekend car build party.  Weeks passed into months, there was another project that seemed drag on to fix the Porsche.  Then, discussions became more urgent, prices were negotiated, promises made and kept and then it begins.  The story of the speedracer Miata track car build.   Read on, its a story of blood, sweat, grease and the hope of one day being at the track.

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This is a picture of the parts car.  Once a proud track beast with a LSD, koni yellows, its track days tragically cut short by a viscious attack from another car while it was innocently resting it its driveway.


Cast off with a salvage title it sat waiting for many long years.



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This is the second twin.   For some reason every usable part removed from the car, its only saving grace was that it was not wrecked!  Notice the look of grim determination on Speedracer Jr. as he walks by the skeleton. 



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As with any project there is a plan,  there is a budget.


Well this project started with a  budget of $0, and a plan based on blind determination.   It was a simple plan, remove every part off the wrecked car and put every part on the other twin,  A total transplant, everything must be moved!


Every journey must start with a single step.  In this case, that first step was to pull the wire harness out of the parts car.



This is a pic of the harness from the inside of the parts car,



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This is a pic of the harness pulled from the engine bay on the parts car,   There were many tentacles of wires Deep into the bumper rejoins of the car,  However, with our trusty 10 mm socket and a long hot afternoon, the car yielded its electronic web to us one connection at a time.


This is a pick of the passenger side harness ready to be pulled though the firewall.



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The next step was to remove the steering wheel, brake pedal, Cutch from the parts car and move it over to target car.  It came off the parts car ok but it did not go smoothly into the target car.


This is a picture of the 10th attempt to get it back together,  Notice the artistic steering support system!



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End of day two my labor force is open revolt.  However, since the labor force is currently dependent the revolt is repressed and we move on to the next step which is to finish pulling the items off the engine that connects it to the body.



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So at the start of day three we are in full preparation for the day of the big switch.   At this point,  begging for more help from my friends determined that I have no friends and therefore I was in full reliance of Speedracer Jr to pull a big part of the continuing effort on the day before the big switch and the day of the big switch.   Because the target car was still looking very much not like a car, I made the  decision to move the body parts.


I am sure many other track junkies have removed body panels but it goes front to back.  So we started with the bumper then moved to the fenders and then the doors.  Then we reversed the process,  Doors first, then the,,,,,,,,oh no, the first broken bolt happened on the passenger side door.  Well it was getting late in the afternoon and I was determined to keep going so we moved over the drivers side and left that bolt for later, 


This is a pic of the pre installation on the driver side door.



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Its important to maintain momentum to prevent stagnation so we focused on putting the body panels on the best we could on the Friday before the big switch.


This is the progress on the end of day 3.  Look closely and the expression and body language of Speedracer Jr,  He is touching the car but it is the with the same  restraint that you may take a picture with a distant relative that you have not seen in many years and are not particularly excited to see,  His face is clearly indicating that his belief that this project will end in success is just a little more than zero.  All of that said the target car now has doors fenders and a front bumper.



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Day 4 was the big day that Curt said would accomplish most of what needed to be done to get this project completed.  I am sure that many Miata owners know this but it was a surprise to me to find our that there are 12 bolts that hold the subframe to the body and if you remove these 12 bolts you can drop the whole subframe/engine and transmission as a single unit,  So that was the plan. 


In the morning of the day of the big switch we removed the brakes from both the parts car and the target car.  We placed both cars on lifts and then Curt dropped the front and rear subframe off the target car,  It took him about 10 minutes. 


This is the pic of the target car with subframe removed.



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So today was a day of both excitement and sadness.   The twin miatas were separated today,  The healthy one went home under tow from his big brother the S2000 and when he got home his other brother the 944 was there to greet him.  However, the Miata left behind is too far gone to save and is waiting for a trip to the crusher.   Stripped of his parts he sits in the service bay waiting for the inevitable.  Maybe some one mentioned becoming a dune buggy but we all know the end is near.


I was too busy to take pics but when I have them all together in the driveway I will take a pic.

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