Car Life>>back To Those Roadster Feelings

Some of you might remember that when I moved back to the US from Japan last spring, one of the first things I did was pick up a '97 Mazda Miata as weekend toy. I did a few little things to it, like installing a set of SSR MkIII's, but in the end the car ended up spending most of its life gathering dust at my house.

So when we relocated down to LA in the fall, I ended up selling the Miata to help cover our moving expenses. Of course after spending a few months sharing the daily driver Mazda5 van with the wife, I once again found myself yearning for a more engaging car to explore the roads of SoCal with.

And so I started saving money, and researching possible car choices. My only criteria was that the car should only be a few years old, and not break the wallet. After considering everything from a 4-door Lexus to a Mustang GT, I realized that once again, it was Mazda's quaint little Roadster that called to me…

Except this time it would be the third generation NC chassis. I've found the NC's slightly larger cockpit to be more accepting of my six foot plus frame (especially when sitting in traffic on the 405 freeway), and the bump in power over the NA and NB is also a nice bonus. It was the same as my old Miatas, but different.

But really it was the endless 70 degree days and cool ocean breezes that had me dreaming of another Roadster.

And so after sampling several different cars, this weekend I became the proud owner of a 2006 Mazda MX-5 soft top in Marble White.

The car is a base model with few options, and a 5-speed manual transmission. From the looks of it, she's been well taken care of.

I've always been a fan of simplicity in automobiles, and is this about as simple as it gets when it comes to late model cars. Everything you need, nothing you don't.

Only dorks buy wheels for a car they don't own, and that's what I've done. I've had a set of five-lug RS Watanabes for some time now, waiting to find themselves on a car. Other than that, I'd like to do a few small things, but nothing major. Sorry, no off-the-wall race car build here…

But first I'm gonna have to do something about that Big Foot ride height. Yikes.

To be honest though, the ride height is the last thing on my mind while rowing through the gears and feeling the warmth of the evening sun coming through the cockpit. Oh how good it feels to be back…

I'll try and keep you guys updated from time to time as I try to add a bit of style to this car, and increase the already high fun factor.

For now though, I think it's time for another drive…

-Mike Garrett



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this was a cool blog.


Thank you for not getting the PRHT! What a fantastic car the NC is.... 18x10.5 +45 RPF-1s are in the near future, right? You're living the roadster life again, color me jealous!


Congrats on the buy! I loved your old miata, but the new gen is definately a car for the future.


Congrats Mike. And Chaser, it was a cooler blog back when we didn't have idiots like yourself making stupid comments all the time.


LOL - the ride height does look a little 4x4-ish.. but hey its just the start.. can't wait to see it when your done & dusted!! nice blog too... enjoy.. live the dream!


Welcome back to the Roadster family!


Very nice choice. If I could have re-did my NC, it would have been in Marble White. If you want a Good-Win-Racing Race muffler, let me know, I'll be selling mine soon, as my lease is about due.


awesome pick! i love these things, i've got a 99 and an 01, so much fun! and if you want 4x4 you should check out the stock ride height on 4th gen eclipses, i got an 08 new and thought i accidently got into an f150...


Very good choice. This little thing spreads so much fun! I´m currently jealous of your weather in SoCal, in northern Germany the snow still eats my NA. =)


Bah I do envy you there Mike with perfect weather almos all-year round! Especially as it seems that it never Will stop snowing here! Beautiful machine and unbelievable sunsets! Must be a great place to go for a ride in an open top roadster.


I'm so jealous. Great weather, great car. And I'm here in the UK where it's raining a lot and I've not taken my driving test yet. :(


What size were the MKlll's on the NA? Love the NC in white...needs a hardtop though....


Wsup nice car, man watching this post its like u read my mind. im just on my way to get a mazda miata 1992, but anyone or maybe you. can u tell me if miatas are a good car, havin it for a daily driver car. please sombedy could give me a response?? i love the miata.. a think is a very good car.. and i wish soo much, a roadster and japanese and when i saw drifters, hellaflush miatas.. dam i wish that thing so much... anybody please can help me? im birnging one from san diego california to mexico so what advise can u give me please!


I love the NCs except for a couple of things; that ride height, those wheels, and something has to be done about those tacky euro taillights circa 1999. Anyway, congrats and enjoy the new whip.


Get a hard top! I love my NA miata


i would love to see an NC drift, have yet to see one. Maybe you can sneak in a little LA night drifting vid for the Speedhunters, es?


thank you solotwo. this was a cool blog.


Thanks guys. I'm pretty stoked on the new car. The MkIII's on my NA were 15x7.5, +6 if I recall.

Linh, fat RPF1's are dope for sure, but right now I'm partial to the small wheel look. We'll see...


Nice pickup. I'm jealous. A miata doesn't fit my family needs right now or my 6'4" frame, but I love them roadsters. Nothing else (with 4 wheels, not just 2) says "man and machine" like a roadster. Can't wait to see what you do to it.


Can't wait to see it wearing Wats! ...and lower...


Gueask- Miatas are a GREAT car! I put 500 miles a week on my 1990 1.6 NA and it has never given me a problem, and is a blast to drift. My only advice: get a 1.8 unless you like kicking the clutch (often) I'm getting ready to do a 99 1.8 swap for MO POWA right now. Good luck!


Insert Miata-wave here. I know it's dorky, but I still wave at every Roadster I notice in traffic.

Now for moar low. =)


Stock girl's car as a feature? Please Speedhunters, try harder.......


I love the eary miata's it's the essence of roadstar driving, some times I let my mind toy with a slammed NA on RS's with a 302 must be a blast!



Not a car feature, just introducing a new project. :)


It's a nice car! Only thing is I just don't like the dash...mazda should of kept the old looks!


You really got bitten.

look at your knees wrapped arround the steering wheel.

That is why i9 did not get the S2k. i'm 6'2' and It just don't work.

Can you honestly heal and toe in that?


Mike, is that in PV?



It's not super roomy, but there's enough room to move around. S2000 was a different tilt wheel.


San Pedro area actually.


Your'e next Linh! Welcome back to Roadaster life Mike! I just have to get mine out of the garage.


Not to shabby bro, hurry up and come get the watanbes for it.


i really like reading these personal blogs. every enthusiast loves their car for particular reasons and it was great to read why you love the roadster


Knew that tree shot :) Had to be Perdo or in LBC. Too bad ya didnt get a shot down at the skatepark under the bridge :) Would look SICK in the b/g.



I actually got "the wave" from a guy in a BRG NA this afternoon I was running some errands. Great feeling.


yeah!, Miatas are awesome cars. I have an NB and it is sweet. Its a fun, small, "cute" ass-kicker. Love the post


There's nothing like roadsters, they're the ultimate DRIVING things !

And the white color is just too nice... (RPF-1 + Tein Flex, and it will be perfect...)

Great choice !


nice pickup Mike, enjoy your new Miata!


nice! congrats on the great choice!


Congrats on the Miata, but seriously WTF? do you really use the windblocker in that kinda weather?


Mike: close enough lol


Hmm looking at a marble NC on the Watanabe website right now, dead sexy. Barchetta tails are a must!