Upcoming Events

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

3 August 2017 Meeting Minutes

When: August 3rd, 2017

Where: Pot Smoker BBQ, North Augusta

Who: Brian and Donna Bogardus, Don and Kay Boltz, John and Teri Bozzerello, David and Ellie Brock, Mike and Shirley Dyer, Larry Garner, Dennis and Karol Mason, Don and Cheri Nesbitt, Daryl Shipman and Sherry Moore, Hal and Trudy Scott, Bob and Pat Tarrant, Stacey Timmerman, Tom Varello, and Dave and Sue Woomer.

Thanks to Tom Varallo and Daryl Shipman for planning tonight’s dinner location. We managed to scoop up most of the tables but left the booths (mostly). Pot Smoker had wonderful food and friendly service. Highly recommend to try it if you weren’t able to make it to the two meetings we’ve had there.

Treasurer’s Report: Started at $1585.74, added $60 in dues payments, deducted $208.87 in a check to Brian Bogardus for Masters Miata stickers . Balance = $1436.87.
• A motion was made, and approved to spend up to $200.00 for meats for the Christmas Party.

• See Larry or Tom for “Noticed your Miata” cards; to give to people who own Miata’s that may be interested in joining.
• See Dennis for name-tags……
• Club merchandise available: Pins are $3 each; “Support Vehicle” car magnets $25 per pair, canvas tote/shopping bag $20 each. The 3” window stickers are available, these are the ones that go on the outside. The cling ones for the inside of the glass are also newly available.
Coffee mugs and other items are available from http://www.cafepress.com/masters_miata
Communigraphics in North Augusta has our logo, for $8 you can have it embroidered on just about anything.

Club Business:

    • Monday August 21st is the Total Eclipse of the sun. Larry Garner looked for places in Columbia, SC since that’s how close we are to the area of totality.  Don Boltz’ Mom has a house and property in Lexington, SC.  She has graciously allowed our folks to observe the eclipse from her house.  There is plenty of room for parking and picnicking.  But she requests no one enter the house – this means bathroom about a block away at Burger King.  So bring your chairs, umbrellas, drinks, lunch, camera’s, special eclipse glasses, etc.  Enjoy!  But leave it as clean as you found it please!   Eclipse glasses can be picked up at Walgreens for free.  Larry advises not waiting until noon to leave, I-20 will be packed, back roads are the better option.
    • Bug Splat scheduled for August 26th! Don’t miss it……Bugs tremble!  Details on the website calendar.
    • Please RSVP to Shirley Dyer if you plan on attending the 7 September Dinner Meeting at Boll Weevil.
    • As mentioned above, the new “inside the glass” cling club stickers are now available, one per car is free, so those of you that didn’t attend tonight’s meeting be sure to get yours soon.
    • At the Scavenger Hunt/Road Rally we added 3 new member teams. Glenn and Julie Stephens from Alpharetta, Patrick and Jeanne Cumby from Ashville, and Travis Layson from Lexington, brought his daughter Josie as his navigator.  Welcome to the club everyone!  Please visit the website for exciting new events.   😉
    • Thanks to David and Ellie Brock for planning and executing the Scavenger Hunt/Road Rally. It was challenging, sometimes frustrating, but all-in-all good fun!  (to our knowledge no divorces occurred from it)
    • There are still some Zoom-Zoom bags being held for members (as of June) who have not received theirs, please see Tom or Shirley Dyer to claim yours.
    • Rudy and Patty have reserved the Clubhouse at Brookstone for the Christmas Party on December 9th. The Rental charge is $50 and as mentioned above: meat (Ham & Turkey), will be purchased by the club.  A pot luck style dinner is planned and sign-up sheets for other dishes will be circulated soon.  More planning to come…..
    • Also, planning has not yet begun for the Club 25th Anniversary Celebration scheduled for February 3rd.

New Business/Upcoming calendar events:


TBD Dinner Meeting and ‘get together’ with the Corvette Club Stacey Timmerman & Tom Varello
19 August Breakfast – Miller’s Bread Basket – Blackville, SC Brian & Donna Bogardus
21 August Total Eclipse of the Sun at approx. 2:25 pm, anyone interested can drive to Don’s Moms house in Lexington, SC 

More info on the website

Larry Garner/Don & Kay Boltz
26 August Bug Splat Drive  See website for more info Brian & Donna Bogardus
7 September Dinner Meeting – Boll Weevil (Please RSVP to Shirley!) Shirley Dyer
16 September Breakfast – TBD Annie Wilms
16-17 September Wanna Go Fast – Clayton, GA (Heavens Landing) More info
5 October Dinner – *Change* Variety can’t do it on Thursday so we’re going to Old McDonalds Fish Camp Bob Tarrant
19-22 October Miata’s at “Back of the Dragon” (Miata Club from Marion VA) CountryRoadsMiatas.com
21 October 10th Annual Wine Fest, Augusta See Rita Garner for details
21 October Lunch picnic – The Outing Club, Aiken Bob Tarrant
2 November Dinner Meeting – TBD Dave & Sue Woomer
3-5 November Leaf Peeping  – Deals Gap Brian & Donna Bogardus
18 November Breakfast – TBD Daryl Shipman & Sherry Moore
9 December Club Christmas party – Brookstone Clubhouse Karol Mason/Patti Wilmoth/Rita Garner
3 February 2018 Masters Miata Club 25th Anniversary – TBD Karol Mason/Rita Garner

Mazda Offers Factory Restoration of Miatas

I’ve always said that my ideal Miata would be a low mileage, unmolested 1990 Mariner Blue one, just like my very first one. Well, now that is possible, without the invention of time travel, I just have to own a tired 1990 Miata, probably have a boatload of money and live in Japan.

From Road & Track: Mazda Will Restore Your First-Generation Miata

Driving All 4 Wrap Up

At the end of the festivities on Saturday, I asked everyone to write up a review of their impressions of each generation, keeping it kind of short. The responses are in the comments of the event post already, but I wanted to create a separate post for them on its own. I think we all had mixed feelings about it only being the four of us. On one hand it would have been nice to get a few more Miatas out to choose from. But on the other, by the time we each drove 3 Miatas and rode in the passenger seat of our own car 3 times we had used up pretty much all of three hours and it was getting seriously warm and traffic on US-25 was getting denser.

Big thank you to Brian for making this happen. I believe we all had a great time! We were asked to leave our impressions in brief statements – no road and track or car and driver reviews…

Gen I (NA) – Larry’s beautiful car – obviously this is what put Mazda on the map. True sports car for the masses, great all around package. Gets the job done. Feels great even after 20 years and 13x,xxx miles. I like the pop up headlights…

Gen II (NB) – Brian’s car – Mazda should have quit here. Just dropped the (current) new motor and 6 speed into this body and hold on. Brian’s car has a few nice suspension upgrades and drilled rotors. Felt tight and fun.

Gen III (NC) – Karl’s – retractable hard top. More grand touring than track car. I think Mazda lost their connection with the original generations and went towards a different crowd. Great example of a Gen III car.

Gen IV (ND) – I’m biased. There is a lot to like. Great balance, great drive train, creature comforts. Incredible fuel economy. Slightly less connected, more body roll than I’d like, steering doesn’t give the feedback of the NA or NB. 25,xxx miles of trouble free and leak free motoring. Wish list – quieter tires, different spring package.

Great fun, now lets schedule a mountain run….

Don Nesbitt

Being the least knowledgeable and experienced with Miatas and sports cars in general of the four owners, I will leave it to Brian, Larry and Don to comment on the attributes and shortcomings of each of the four generations of Miatas. I enjoyed driving each vehicle. Especially appreciated, and benefited from, having the owners of each Miata riding along to provide useful information and history of each car. I come away with a sense of context about my own Miata that I could not have recognized without having participated in this event.

My takeaway is this. First, my NC is an automatic. All three other Miatas had manual transmissions. Not having driven a stick shift in about 30 years left me feeling like a distracted driver from time to time while trying to recognize which gear I was in. Brian, Larry and Don were all gracious enough to tolerate my poor shifting and misapplied gearing. Beyond that, I learned how better connected the driver of each of their cars is required to be, and why the Miata has a reputation for being a drivers car.

Secondly, I came away with the knowledge that, in part by accident, I had purchased the right Miata for me. It is easy to drive. An important factor for someone of my maturity. It blends the right amount of sportiness with simplicity to allow for the optimum level of enjoyment, comfort and practicality. That is what I went looking for when I first started my car search.

A special thanks to Brian for putting this event together.
Karl Splan

NA – My first love. Like Don, I too like the pop-ups.1 Driving Larry’s car is a lot like driving my car, same 5-speed transmission connected to basically the same motor, but minus the suspension mods. I maintain that my perfect Miata would be to travel back to 1991 and steal my own ’90 Mariner Blue with about 20,000 miles on it and bring it back to present day.

NB – Seeing as time travel has not been invented yet this is my perfect Miata. If it were stolen or destroyed by falling space debris I would probably buy another 2001-2005 even if I had to spend nearly 5 figures for low mileage example.

NC – I can see why Karl and the rest of the Club members who have NCs like them. The first two generations are more elemental sports cars in the style of the British roadsters, this is more of a sports touring car. While only marginally larger in dimension it feels like a bigger smoother car. And I bet if you put the folding hard top up, a lot quieter too.

ND – Although it is the least Miata-looking of the generations, I really like the looks of this car. 10 years from now (if they haven’t invented time travel and I can’t go back and steal my ’90) I’ll probably own one of these for a couple reasons. 1. My current car will be worn out and low mileage NBs will be be rarer than hen’s teeth. 2. There probably won’t be a NE or if there is it will probably be self-driving.

The idea for this was Karl’s, so I’m thanking him for that and the other two should get a prize for showing up and letting relative strangers take the wheel of their car. And even though I have been behind the wheel of all 4 generations before, it was fun to learn the reasoning on why each person drives their particular generation of the car.

Brian Bogardus

1. Disclaimer – back between 2001-2004 I ran a website called the Barndoor Fan Club.

Don pretty much summed it all up, but here’s my chime-in:

The NA: The car that started a new Roadster era, just enough to get and keep you excited about driving again. It has enough road feel without being bone jarring for a good ride. I’ve looked at it since it came out, drove a few that I was disappointed in and finally finding/buying almost 9-years ago. We like it enough that we’re having a hard time deciding to let it go after buying the ’08 PRHT. Pure driving fun with a few touches of refinement. We’ve driven it to Key West, Niagara Falls and more with no complaints and happy with the ride, performance and economy. The NA has got to be the most-fun-per-dollar car you can own.

The NB: I had ridden in it when it belonged to Dave, but driving it was like driving my NA, performance and sound wise, just looked different. I could feel a few upgrades, but overall it is an NA with cosmetic changes. I did notice seating much higher (maybe 2”) than the NA.

The NC, with auto and PRHT: Since I own an ’08 of the same with the GT package, I was not going to drive it but Karl asked me to and eval it (his is an ’07) against mine. Well, it was the same, and I showed him a few things he could do with the paddle/manual shift verses the full auto. The big difference is how the seat was much lower and I felt swallowed up more than the ’08; I did some research on that and find that the ’08 gained some height and an adjustment for it; as it was a common complaint with early NC owners. Karl is comfortable with that and has a good find, with a low miles car for an ’07. As Don said, maybe they overworked the NC, as it’s a totally different car and drive from the A and B; maybe Mazda was trying to take some of the German car market. Oh, the seats in our NA are more comfortable than the ones in the NC.

The ND: in a word, nice. I could learn to really like this car. The seats were very comfortable, performance and handling very sharp and tight; it felt like a new car. I didn’t play with any features and hardly looked at the gauges, just drove by the feel. A long drive would not be hard. I think Mazda accomplished getting the Miata back to a roadster. I do not like that stand-up display on the dash, but I hardly noticed it during the drive and the one time I did look at it, I couldn’t see it for the sun. That’s the one (well there’s no PRHT, very little inside storage and the $$$) thing that would keep me from buying an ND.

My rating would be:
1 – the NA
2 – the ND
3 – the NC
4 – the NB

Thanks to all that participate and shared their beloved Miata’s.
Larry Garner
’97 NA
’08 GT, PRHT, auto

Photo Scavenger Hunt / Road Rally Wrap Up

Donna and I read the rally instructions when they were first posted on the website. We then read them again the night before when I printed out a copy for us to put on our clipboard. We were ready.

At the Rally start point we had 9 Miatas, seven that were going to “compete” and our Rally Masters David & Ellie Brock. There were 5 cars from the Club (Donna and I, Don & Kay Boltz, Teri & John Bozzarello, Mike & Shirley Dyer and Dennis & Karol Mason) and 3 cars from elsewhere who found out about the fun from Facebook. There was a couple from Asheville, one from the Atlanta area and a father/daughter pair from Lexington.

David asked for a volunteer that was familiar with Rallying to go first because even though they had rechecked the course just the day before, you never know something could have changed and this way the first out could call back and some adjustment for mileage might be made. Seeing as Donna and I had done most every rally John and Jackie Nichols ever put on for the Club before, had done a couple put on by the Miata Club of America back when that organization existed and had even designed one for our Club back in the 90’s, we opted to go first. We were ready.

When we have run rallies in the past, because the real pressure is all on the navigator we have been swapping responsibilities back and forth, for this one I was going to navigate and she would drive. I snapped my smart phone into the Garmin GPS mount (go figure, it fit perfectly), attached it to the windshield and started the Google Driving App. We rolled to the start line and were handed the cue sheet:
1. Set trip odometer to zero.
2. [odometer and driver] (odometer must be legible)
3. N
4. R
5. “+”
6. L (Off course clue: T)
7. “2880”
8. L
9. Horse barn
10. R (Off course clue: T)
11. [navigator and fisherman]

Donna reset the trip odometer and then we had to be reminded by Ellie that the next thing we needed to do was take a picture (that’s what the bracketed phrases meant.) This should have been our first clue we might be just a little over confident about how ready we were. There was no time component, so we gathered ourselves and because Cue #3 was N, I told Donna to turn right out of Gregs Gas Plus and we were off. Cue #4 was R, so we turned right on Gregory Lake Road.

The next one was a plus followed by an L, so I said our next instruction is to look for a cross street and turn left on to it. After our left turn we started looking for the number 2880, but the house numbers were in the 1900s. It didn’t feel like the right road either, too narrow and the map showed it looped almost right back to Gregory Lake Road. We had traveled a mile and a half and were already off course.

We get back onto Gregory Lake and look for the next cross street. There it is, turn left and the first thing we see is a “look out for tractors” sign. Tractor, that starts with a T, does that mean we are still not on course? I tell Donna to press on. Maybe we’ll see 2880. We don’t, but the next cue is L so I instruct Donna to take the next left. And I start looking for a horse barn. We don’t see a barn by the time we get to a T in the road. Nice navigating Brian.

I look a little further down the cues and see #11 and just know because of where we are and where we started the fisherman in the picture is the sign in front of Old McDonalds Fish Camp, so I tell Donna to turn right. She takes my picture in front of the sign. Alright, now we are cooking. From here I kept us on course by luck and familiarity with the area for the next couple of cues. But one too many critical words on Donna’s driving forced us to swap seats not long after we didn’t find the next required picture.

With Donna navigating we stayed on course for about the next 20 cues and gathered the next 4 photos before we started missing cues and actually hit one of the off course markers. Thankfully #39 was a set of coordinates which we knew we could type into the Garmin and find. This let us get the next picture, so we were starting feel good again. It didn’t last long though as we never found Cue #40, never saw the off course marker and drove and drove until we ended up in downtown Harlem, GA.

At this point we had now been on the road for 2 hours and had traveled around 75 miles and knew we were way off course. Reading through the rest of the cue sheet we saw numbers #52 [car and windmill] & #54 continue to the Sonic Drive In and used our area knowledge to use the GPS to take us to the Sonic on Washington Road in Evans.

We were the 4th car to arrive at the ending spot. We got 7 of the 9 required photos and drove 94.8 miles instead of the 54.2 of a clean run, so I think the number 4 is probably the order we finished in too. The couple from Asheville nailed the thing getting all nine photos and traveled less than a mile more than a perfect run taking home a nice set of engraved glasses.

But how we did was secondary to having a beautiful sunny day to drive around on nice two lane back roads of the CSRA in a Miata.

Big shout out to the Brocks for putting this thing together.

25 Years Ago – Summer 1992

Several times in my extensive readings concerning the origin of the design of the MX-5 Miata, I came across references to one of the goals of the design phase of Project P729 was to create a shape so that a drop of water placed on any surface would simply roll off. This would not be an engineering test for aerodynamics but a measure of how well the surfaces literally flowed together in harmony as well as function. Considering the aerodynamic shape and overall results of the design, I didn’t give this a second thought….at first.

As time went on, the notion that an automobile could be shaped so that every surface would shed water started to arouse my curiosity. Actually it was worse than that. An architectural engineer by profession, one that combines aesthetics and advanced engineering technology, I actually started to worry about this idea. After all, let’s get real, a car that sheds all water? No way!

Other engineers out there should already see this coming, the “OBSESSION SYNDROME”, that is. A statement such as the one in question cannot be left to stand without a thorough and complete scientific investigation of the highest standards. Alright, at least an experiment that could be carried out in the driveway in front of my garage using sophisticated measuring instruments. OK, OK, in front of my garage with a few crude devices starting with a garden hose and a plastic bucket.
With that resolved, the next step was to make a list of the actual items needed to conduct the experiment. Here’s what I came up with for starters:

  1. A Miata. Fortunately, I happen to be the proud owner of a Special Edition BRG Miata No. 1579 which I was willing to wash and rinse for the sake of scientific discovery. ( Not to mention that I was not yet ready to let my 13 year old wash the Miata since I was still recovering from the time he washed the family sedan in frill sun with dishwasher detergent.)
  2. Garden hose. No problem, my kids quit using it for a rope to the tree house last week when they discovered Mom’s clothes line works much better. Finding dry towels could be a problem however.
  3. Water. Check! When we built the house, the well tested out at 65 gallons per minute. That’s enough water to wash every Mazda at Rider Mazda, the dealer in State College, Pennsylvania who sold me the “test vehicle”.
  4. Towels to dry the Miata just in case the water doesn’t roll off. Check the clothes line. No, better make that the dryer.
  5. Scientific Fluid Measuring Device (ie. wash bucket).
  6. Carpenter’s level. To check for flat part of driveway.
  7. Notebook.

For recording the measured data and results. With the necessary equipment assembled, I gave the Miata a close inspection looking for obvious locations where “ponds” of water were sure to develop. After all, you don’t really think I believed all that “shed water” stuff; did you? This task soon became much tougher than I had originally anticipated. How about just behind the crest of the hood bulge? Or, the spot in front of the gentle tail rise on the trunk lid? Maybe it would puddle on top of the front fenders where they begin to flatten out to meet the windshield assembly. These were my best possibilities? This was going to be one tough experiment. Not one to accept defeat easily, I considered leaving the window down a little as I was sure the floor pan would hold….Wait a minute, this is MY Miata!

Finally, I found it, the Achilles heel of Miata water shedding. The spot on the door between the back of the outside mirror base and the “snap” assembly for the tonneau cover. It literally screamed out to be wet down.

So elated was I with my find that I almost forgot this was a “scientific” experiment. Before claiming victory, it would be necessary to actually complete the tests. Okay, let’s get started.

To be fair, I started by giving the Miata a good wax job with Meguiar’s. In order to be totally impartial and not prejudge the results, I convinced my teenage son to wash the car for me by promising him he could ACTUALLY DRIVE THE MIATA when he turns 16 and gets his license. Right…he probably still believes in the Tooth Fairy too. At this point I made a mental note to lock up all the dishwasher detergent in the hall closet and told him to fill the bucket with plenty of cold, dear water.

I found a “perfectly level” spot on the driveway 89.2 inches long, equal to the Miata wheelbase, pulled the Miata out into the sunlight and grabbed my test equipment.

I filled the bucket with water and found a measuring cup from a shelf in the kitchen. Next, I began “stalking” the MX5 from end to end. Working quickly, I poured a few drops on all the obvious locations: the hood, the trunk, the fenders, the top of the rear bumper. They all yielded the same incredible results.

The water rolled off faster than you could say “Bob Hall”! I even tried the spot behind the mirror only to watch it drain forward and then slip away in a trickle.

Discouraged but not defeated, I resigned myself to go to “the next level of scientific inquiry”. That is, just how much water really slides off a Miata anyway? After all, a few droplets always remain even on the somewhat vertical sides of any car door. Not wanting to take any chances this time, I decided to really wet down the mean green machine and measure how much water remained (as opposed to trying to actually figure out how much drains oft) after a randomly selected time of say three minutes.

Cranking up the garden hose, I proceeded to flood the car with water. Yes, I did remember to roll up that window. The Miata was soon drenched. Determined to give the Miata the full three minutes required by the parameters of the experiment, I stared intently at my watch. After what seemed like an eternity, I glanced up at the MX5. Eureka! There were actually tons, well OK, some water droplets beading on the various surfaces.

Now the work could really begin. I started with a highly sophisticated weight measurement device, a “talking” bathroom scale given to us last Christmas by Uncle Fred. Placing several dry cotton towels on the base, I listened quietly as the scale called out…. “one pound, two ounces”. How these towels had managed to escape cleaning up the “Super Blaster” squirt gun battle held earlier in the day by my two youngest boys, I’ll never know.

Working quickly, I dried the Miata from top to bottom. As each to became too moist to efficiently soak up water, I tossed it in a “zip lock” bag to keep it from loosing moisture by evaporation. Finally the job was done. The Miata stood gleaming in the sunlight looking every bit as good as before it had been subjected to this grueling battery of tests. Unlocking the plastic packages, I took the contents over to the scale, dumped them onto the platform and listened. “One pound, six ounces”. “That’s it?” I blurted out in disbelief. Four lousy ounces of water! All that scientific effort and all I got out of it was a brilliantly clean and shining sports car along with a few ounces of water?

Well, that’s science. Tough work, but someone has to test these theories. I decided it was time for a break. Besides, my eldest son Mark was looking at me like he was going to ask to drive the Miata up and down the driveway for practice. Lowering the top, I jumped behind the wheel and told him to get in and buckle up. Within minutes, we were cruising down my favorite section of the Julian Pike. With a sly grin on his face, Mark slipped a Nelson disk in the CD player and punched up track three. “After the Rain” echoed appropriately out of the speakers as I blipped the throttle and downshifted for the next bend.

Copyright 1992, Miata Magazine. Reprinted without permission.

Page 1 of 9312345...102030...Last »