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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, hello everyone! I am new to the Miata scene and wanted to understand some things. here is my scenario:

I am looking to buy a Miata to do road racing and autocross. After looking around on this forum and others, I am noticing a trend of people that are racing only the first generation Miata. Is there a definate reason for this? Is it strictly class related or is there a certain diffference (or preference) in the first gen from the later models?

I am considering buying an '06. Seeing nobody using them for road racing is making me question the car I am looking at. The 2.0L is more powerful and, from what I've read, the later model has a slightly better platform for handling. That being said why is nobody running the 2006 or newer cars?

Please send me some feedback to assist me in my purchase decision.

Thank you all.
 

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Money is the primary reason. But there are people who race NC's. Welcome!
 

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They're just the cheapest out of the three gens. And just as fun as any of the other gens. Welcome to CR!
So basically...exactly what tekel said.
 

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Cost of entry (purchase price of car) + cost of mods is ALWAYS cheaper on a 15+ year old car rather than a 5 year old car.

People say miata racing is one of the cheapest "real" racing scenarios you can get into because the cars are cheap-ish, low maintenance and there are a million parts for them that have all been tried out and figured out which will work good. If i was gonna race i would get into it as cheaply as possible because if you like it you can always upgrade, but if you dont like it, good luck selling a 2006+ that you racecar'd.
 

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It's because NAs and NBs are so much cheaper. Simple as that. You should never race something you're not prepared to write off.
 

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Unless you have deep pockets.


NC - 12-20k
Mods:
Boost - 4k
suspension -1k 2k hardcore.
rollbar/rollcage - 500/1100
Safety 5/6pt harness & Seat - 500 to 1.5k
Wheels - 800 avg for 15" with tires

So your looking at atleast 1k to get into Solo 1 just for safety gear. And mods will eventually get you to 5-8k in.

NA/NB - 2k-6k
Parts listed above - 6k

I've got an NA i got for 1,500.00. Strong motor, some cosmetic issues, clean interior and decent miles (104k) I'm already 3-4k into parts, and about 6-700 in restoration parts.

So it breaks down to your budget really. And don't expect insurance to bail you out when you have an accident.. NOTE when, not if...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here are my thoughts: 2006 MX-5 2.0L 5-speeed $11k. Roll bar ~$700, Wheels and tires ~$1000, Suspension TBD. Racing Seat and Belts, undecied on which type and price but in the near future. All in all, I'm estimating roughly $15K to get in with this car.

Going with the NA or NB, I am loooking at the cost of worn out bushings, engine upgrades just to match the 180 HP, and a chassis and drivetrain with more wear and tear. Looking at those costs makes me wonder if it is worth going into the earlier models. Also, at this point, I am not looking at it as strictly a racer. I am looking at a race worthy car that I will still occasionally drive on the street. It may become strictly a racer later...but not immediately.

Thank you for your feedback and PLEASE continue. I want to make the most informed decision I can. Your experience helps me with that.
 

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The NA's are also very light, in base configuration, they can be around 2100-2200lbs with manual everything, and can even be stripped down further.
 

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Price is definitely the major factor. I think the NC is a great platform, it just hasn't depreciated enough for the racing community.

And lets be honest here, regardless of how strong your loyalty is to mazda how many people are going to pass up a used S2000 for an NC. Speaking in terms of track cars I can't think of a single category the S2000 isn't as good/better than the NC.

I passed up 3 125k+ mileage s2000's for less than $7500 when I bought my NA. I could have swung it but I wouldn't have had any money left over for parts. As long as you keep the valves adjusted and keep fresh oil in them there's no reason they won't last as long or longer than an NA/NB miata have proven to last.

That said I like NC's and respect mazda for sticking to the small, light, and simple concept throughout all 3 generations. Autocross prepped NC's look fantastic too:
 

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I always just buy cars pre OBD-II (around '95 and older?) to keep any extra costs down for maintenance and mod items. Plus personally I think the older cars have better styling :) Welcome!
 

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With the money spent on just buying an NC, you could have a very nice and track ready NA or NB for the same price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You guys are working me toward the NA/NB. One question remains unanswered: what is the cost of taking the 1.6L or 1.8L and trying to get the output of the 2.0L?

Sounds like everything else is preference and price. I know the aftermarket supports all the generations quite well. If I am going to get a NA or NB, I want one that does not need ALL the suspension and steering components replaced like I had to do in my last Camaro.

Age usually indicates wear and nearing the end-of-life-cycles for numerous parts. Understanding that parts are going to wear out or break during racing is one thing. Spending thousands to get a car ready to drive after spending on the initial investment is not always logical. I have to weigh my options but figured who else can better educate me than the guys that own and drive them...

Thanks!
 
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