Random Snap – 019


Roadster Of The Week – Adam’s “Sharka”

This is Sharka, my 95 NA. Chances are, you’ve heard of him. I’ve been posting about Sharka on my site, Revlimiter.net and on various Miata forums for nearly 10 years now. In fact, Sharka turns 10 in July of 2010. That’s pretty old in terms of personal project cars. Perhaps I should bake him a cake or something?

(Yes, “him”. Sharka is a boy car. I did not choose this trait. There’s just nothing feminine about him. Sharka has always been more of my buddy than my girl.)

As a 95, Sharka is only a little over a year old. See, I originally purchased the car as a 97. We had 8 good years together until a 70mph rear-end freeway hit in November of 2008 that basically destroyed everything behind the driver’s seat. I bought the wrecked 97 back from insurance for a whole $400 and began shopping for a new Sharka. A pristine OBD1 NA in montego blue to transfer Sharka’s soul into. One road trip and a few thousand bucks later, I got a pristine, 33,000 mile 1995 to build up.

And from January 2009 to this very moment, that’s all I’ve been doing. Rebuilding my beloved car. Using 8 years of previous knowledge and mistakes to make him better, faster, and stronger.

Part of that rebuild has been replacing cheap and knock-off parts with the real deal. Tired 15″ Rota Circuit-8s, while cheap, sorta light, and somewhat decent looking, made way for a set of special ordered Enkei RP-F1s in 14×7 +19mm offset. 12 pound Rotas DO indeed seem heavy compared to the 8.6 pound Enkeis. And I love the vintage look of 14s.

Sharka sits on rebuilt TEIN HAs designed for an NB. The ride height is 11.5″ front / 11.75″ rear, hub center to fender lip, yet there is still plenty of suspension travel. That’s thanks to the DP6061 shock mounts in the rear and the TEIN pillowball shock mounts in the front. It might sound unbelievable, but Sharka actually has more travel with this suspension combo than with the OEM suspension.

The headlights were salvaged from the wrecked 97. A little massaging of the brackets on one side was all it took to get them straight and usable again. Moss made some strong headlights to withstand being squished between two large cars at high impact forces.

I’m also a nut for the 60s vintage Mazda logo. I have it all over Sharka. Nose, steering wheel, oil cap, and rear finish panel. It has so much more style than the “eternal flame” of the 90s or the “winged M” of the modern era.

Peering in through the back hardtop window reveals the office. I’ve put more thought into Sharka’s interior than I have my house interior. My whole house, not just one room.

Visible in this shot are my hand-polished Momo Prototipo, an AWD HVAC panel, S2000 start button, my DIY center gauge pod, and DIY gauge faces. Slightly obscured by the focus are my Hard Dog Hardcore M2 roll bar and my pair of Lotus Elise seats. More on the seats later.

As for the hardtop, it’s on there to stay. I recently pulled the soft top out in favor of running the hardtop full-time. I just love the look of the hardtop. The lack of cowl shake is nice too. I had 9 full years of leaving the top down nearly every day. For some reason, that was suddenly enough. I took the hardtop off for the spring this year, said “yuck” to the wind and noise, and put it right back on.

My door panels were another DIY project. 93 LE speaker panels, some diamond-sewn vinyl, KG Works handles, and Aerodramatics cups all go together nicely after a few days of care in putting them together. The brake knob you see is a 10-year old Voodoo model that vanished from the market for quite a while. But I believe they’re making them again. The polished aluminum vent rings come from a company called MRoad. They’ve not been manufactured for the past 9 years.

The shifter is a short-style Joyfast. The thing seems to be made of neutron star material. It’s VERY heavy and gives the most wonderful feel to each shift. I’d totally recommend this knob to anyone. Below it is a Cobra shift ring (yes, USDM here) that I bondo’d into the console myself.

My Lotus Elise seats. Ahhh… I could write (and have written) pages about them. I think they’re the perfect seats for an NA Miata. They fit pretty well in an NB also. I have the Probax models that were available on 2006+ Elise’s. They might be the most comfortable seats I’ve ever sat in.

I bought the seats for protection, to be quite honest. Sure, they look good and have a bling factor, but they PROTECT much better than the stock NA seats. When the 97 was destroyed, my low-back seats did almost nothing to protect me. My head went right past the worthless “head rest” and into my roll bar. Only the roll bar padding saved me from brain damage. I vowed that I’d never put myself in that position again and bought this pair of Elise seats a couple of months later. And the head rest is truly wonderful on these Elise seats.

As a whole, I’m very happy with Sharka’s interior. It is my favorite place in the world to be. Car and driver are truly one. In style.

Can’t have a car feature without an engine shot, now can we? The engine in place is currently just my low-mileage 95 NA engine. A carbon fiber Monsterflow intake, RB 4-1 header, Link ECU, high flow cat, and RB catback make it a bit more entertaining, but really, I want more. That’s why there’s a 99 engine on a stand in my garage waiting for a turbo to be bolted to it. It’s become such a cliché for these articles to have “OMG I’m SO gonna turbo it next!!!” written somewhere, but, well, I am. A FM2 was ordered back in May, 2010. I’m just waiting on Mr. FedEx.

The turbo engine will get the same powdercoated valve cover and vintage oil filler cap.

Me and Sharka have been through a lot together. Life. Death. (Near-death anyway.) Cuts. Bruises. Winning. Losing. 24 sets of tires. 9 sets of wheels. 8 suspensions. 3 engines. 1 supercharger. And more hours together than I’ve spent with most people I’ve ever known. Sharka is me, just with four wheels.

Thanks for reading. And thanks for the spotlight, Roadster Garage!

Random Snap – 009

A facelifted silver NC with Enkei RPF1’s … YUM!

Roadster Of The Week – Joe’s NA6 V – Special

This weeks Roadster is from the Australian Capital Territory, The owner’s name is Joe, and he has owned it since February 08.

This particular model is a 1993 V- Special NA6, which was imported into Australia in the late 90’s. It started life as an automatic, but has had an engine and transmission upgrade to the 1.8 litre variants. This was done by the previous owners.

Soon after purchase, Joe had realised that the car was still using the NA6 ECU, and was running rather rich. So he decided to rectify the problem by installing an Autronic SM4 ECU. Tuning not only fixed the problems that the NA6 ECU caused, but it also have the MX-5 a power boost, 90.4 RWKW to be exact.

Since purchase, Joe has made a few changes to his NA6’s Exterior. A Garage Vary front lip and vented carbon fibre bonnet spruce up the front end, whilst there are little touches like the clear indicators and reflectors tie the clean look together.

A recent addition that has transformed the look of the Roadster are the new 14X7 inch Enkei RPF1’s in +19 offset. As some may know these are very desirable in this size, and as far as Joe knows he may have the only set in Australia. The RPF1’s happen to be wrapped in some 185/60/14 Bridgestone RE001 tyres.

Interior has had some attention, since the stock seats were showing their age, Joe decided to replace them with a pair of Mazdaspeed sports seats. The factory wood grain Nardi has been changed for a cool Nardi Gara sport steering wheel. The changes look great with the factory tan interior.

The factory Bilstien suspension still remains in the car, but Joe has upgraded the brakes, and now NA8 calipers and rotors rest on the hubs, all round.

Next on the cards for the NA6 are a set of coilovers, and some sort of roll bar/cage.

If your interested in updates, or what Joe’s car had started from, then check out the link below.


And remember guys, if you have a killer Roadster you would like to see on RoadsterGarage.net, then shoot us an email at roadstergarage@live.com.au

There you have it folks, Joe’s NA6 … The Roadster Of The Week!