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1990 Mazda Miata – like no other

1990 Mazda Miata – like no other

Photo provided by Bruce Kunz

This metallic, burnt orange Miata was definitely built for speed, in one direction only! In case you get just a bit too happy with the go pedal, this car has wheelie bars trailing behind to keep you out of trouble.

I drove by this “thing” four times in one day, but could not take time to stop and check it out. In its present state, with just a portion of its original shell visible, I wasn’t sure just what it was. My first guess, however, turned out to be true. It is, or was, a first-generation Mazda Miata. 

The fascinating thing about this vehicle is that it is, well, just so outrageous! A tiny, two seat roadster, riding on a tube chassis, sporting a small block Chevy motor with aluminum heads, Lunati cam and lifters. Topping all this is a supercharger that boasts two Holley Brawler, 750 four-barrel carburetors. If you ever happen to come across this monster on the street (yes, it IS street legal), don’t mess with it! I haven’t done the numbers, but I would guess the engine, transmission and rear-end alone weigh more than the entire car itself did before modifications.

The original Mazda Miata was good for a zero to 60 time of 8.3 seconds and a top speed of 126 mph. What will this modified version do? Reportedly, the car you see on this page will do the quarter mile in roughly the same time it takes a stock Miata to reach 60!

Bob Williams, owner B&E Auto Repair in Fairmont City, Illinois, was the owner of this beast when I first saw it. But his friend, Pat Tettaton, has been sniffing around it lately. So, by the time you read this story, this little Miata may have a new owner!

FIN MAN FACTOID: In 2000, the Guinness Book of World Records declared the Mazda Miata the best-selling two seat sports car in history, with a total production of 531,890 units. The 250,000th Miata rolled out of the factory on November 9, 1992; the 500,000th, on February 8, 1999; the 750,000th, in March 2004; the 800,000th in January 2007, and the 900,000th in February 2011.

I like to claim credit for the Mazda Miata. I came up with the idea years before Mazda ever thought of it. When my wife and I married in 1976, we owned an MG Midget. As many of you probably know, the English cars, in general, weren’t particularly known for their reliability.

One day while behind the wheel of the nimble MG, I told my wife that if the Japanese, known then for making bulletproof automobiles, could just come up with a sporty, small car along the lines of the MG and others, it would be a huge success! And so it was that Mazda did just that.

UPCOMING EVENTS: The “It’s a Gas!” petroliana collectibles show is scheduled for Saturday, February 12, 2022, at the Cowan Civic Center in Lebanon, Missouri.

Rollin’ with the FIN MAN VI is still in the planning stage at this time. Details right here, as soon as available.


This content was produced by Brand Ave. Studios. The news and editorial departments had no role in its creation or display. Brand Ave. Studios connects advertisers with a targeted audience through compelling content programs, from concept to production and distribution. For more information contact sales@brandavestudios.com.
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Bruce Kunz is a freelance automotive writer. He is a regular contributor for Brand Ave. Studios.

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