Jump to content

Photo

Buying First SM??

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1
rc1

rc1

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Location:States
  • Region:Northeast
  • Car Year:0000
  • Car Number:0000

hey all,

 

New to spec miatas and trying to get familiar with the sub-classes and different years. Sorry for the super noob questions but appreciate input from people with experience

 

seems like everyone likes the 1.6s - ive read the 1.8 has benefits but tricky to make it fast with rules and restrictions.

 

NA or NB? do these cars race together or are they grouped separately?

 

whats the favorite? seems like the most like the early 90's (NA?) but some lean toward the more modern/slightly updated look/feel of the late 90's (NB?)

 

Running the numbers on 3 seasons with 6-7 events per and its coming out cheaper to buy a car for <$10k now than renting for 1 season even with consumable costs. at least whats available in my area in the northeast. any thought on this appreciated. getting in deep is fine just dont want to go over my head.

 

Thanks all!

 

 

 

 



#2
Steve Scheifler

Steve Scheifler

    member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,633 posts
  • Location:St. Louis
Welcome! I see you are from the northeast which explains a few things you’ve said so far. Cars & classes are more varied there so best to wait for advice from others in that area.
Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#3
Jim Drago

Jim Drago

    East Street Racing / 2 Time National Champion

  • Administrators
  • 6,460 posts
  • Location:Memphis, Tn
  • Region:Mid South
  • Car Year:2005
  • Car Number:2

hey all,

 

New to spec miatas and trying to get familiar with the sub-classes and different years. Sorry for the super noob questions but appreciate input from people with experience

 

seems like everyone likes the 1.6s - ive read the 1.8 has benefits but tricky to make it fast with rules and restrictions.

 

NA or NB? do these cars race together or are they grouped separately?

 

whats the favorite? seems like the most like the early 90's (NA?) but some lean toward the more modern/slightly updated look/feel of the late 90's (NB?)

 

Running the numbers on 3 seasons with 6-7 events per and its coming out cheaper to buy a car for <$10k now than renting for 1 season even with consumable costs. at least whats available in my area in the northeast. any thought on this appreciated. getting in deep is fine just dont want to go over my head.

 

Thanks all!

 I think your data and research is a little off.  There is plenty to read here or the archives. 

 

Most are running NB cars, not NA at this point

Renting 6-7 a year should be far more than 10k.  Buying a car at 10k, will get you on the track, but you will be spending a lot of time and money on the car. 

 

I think I would look at cars closer to 20k and get info on the cars. Lots of good cars around that amount.

Jim


East Street Auto Parts
Jim@Eaststreet.com
800 700 9080

NASA Champs Winner - NASA Champs Winner Hoosier Super Tour points Champion - Hoosier Super Tour points Champion ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata BFG Supertour Winner - Majors Winner - Circuit of the Americas Winner - We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America

#4
Jim Stevens

Jim Stevens

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Location:Swansea, IL
  • Region:St. Louis
  • Car Year:1990
  • Car Number:14

I think I'll chime in on this one.

 

I bought my NA last year in the general price range you're looking at. Although the seller may have taken pity on me (lost all my previous race cars and tools in a fire), I got an extremely nice car with a great spare package at an excellent price. So far, it has been very reliable and gotten me back on track at I price I can afford.

 

Will it win the Runoffs? No. Will it win a Super Tour. No. Does it do well in Regional races, and non-SCCA events? (Hallett COMMA, Midwest Council, etc.? Heck, yeah! And I'm having a blast doing it. 

 

So, I guess the question is: are you wanting to run up front at major events or get your feet wet without dropping $20-50k? If the former, an NA is fine.


  • Alberto and Jim Drago like this

#5
gerglmuff2

gerglmuff2

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 259 posts
  • Location:St Paul MN
  • Region:LOL
  • Car Year:1993
  • Car Number:81

i think you are on the right track. i think its far more important to be on the track, doing the racing, than it is saving money for a slightly more competitive package. but then, im a believer in the 1.6 at all tracks that dont require 5th gear. so im weird. 

i would go and buy the best 10k spec miata you can find. you might be able to find a pro head or an older pro motor 1.6 or 1.8 NA. such a car with the right driver is certainly capable of being pretty competitive regionally. and as your experience grows, you can buck up and buy a real motor and do very well regionally, and be competitive at majors/HSTs. 

if you have a ton of experience racing already and plan to be at the front of a HST, id just buy an NB99 or NB VVT and be done with it. but it sounds like you are new to the racing thing, and in that case, id just get on the track the cheapest way possible and start learning. experience and talent are far far far more important at every level of spec miata than the car is. 


Gordon Kuhnley: Driving miata's in all conditions, courses, and motorsports that I can. 


#6
manthony121

manthony121

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 144 posts
  • Location:upstate new york
  • Region:Glen Region
  • Car Year:1991
  • Car Number:59

I am a middle-of-the-pack regional racer.  I have a 1.6  It is just tons of fun to drive.

 

As others have said, it comes down to what exactly you are looking for.  If you are looking to be a front-runner at the Runoffs, you'll want a 1.8.  If you are looking to have fun, you can get a good 1.6 for half the cost of a 1.8 NB.  They are fun to drive, but it's hard keeping up with the 1.8's on the straights.  The MARRS series, based in the Washington DC region, has a big group of people who drive NA's (both 1.6 and 1.8) in the SSM class.


  • Alberto likes this
Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#7
infamousjim

infamousjim

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 31 posts
  • Location:Central Jersey
  • Region:Northeast
  • Car Year:1996
  • Car Number:313

Welcome, also from the Northeast. 

 

As was said previously, your budget would mostly get you a NA car (1.6 and 1.8)... which do fine at regional races up here. 

 

I wrote a reasonably comprehensive "buyers guide" a few months ago, could be helpful for you: https://nomoneymotor...-popular-class/


  • Alberto and manthony121 like this

Jim 

No Money Motorsports Blog - Racing On A Budget

NASA Northeast

SM #313


#8
trimless

trimless

    Low Budget Member

  • SMembers
  • PipPipPip
  • 261 posts
  • Region:Texas
  • Car Year:1999
  • Car Number:11

I am a middle-of-the-pack regional racer. I have a 1.6 It is just tons of fun to drive.

As others have said, it comes down to what exactly you are looking for. If you are looking to be a front-runner at the Runoffs, you'll want a 1.8. If you are looking to have fun, you can get a good 1.6 for half the cost of a 1.8 NB. They are fun to drive, but it's hard keeping up with the 1.8's on the straights. The MARRS series, based in the Washington DC region, has a big group of people who drive NA's (both 1.6 and 1.8) in the SSM class.

Assuming similar level of car prep the 1.6 has no problems keeping up with either the NA or NB 1.8 from my experience. And it can be a weapon on some tracks with flat terrain.
G. Corley
Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#9
Bench Racer

Bench Racer

    Different strokes for different folks : )

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,449 posts
  • Location:Wauwatosa, WI
  • Region:Milwaukee
  • Car Year:1990
  • Car Number:14

Assuming similar level of car prep the 1.6 has no problems keeping up with either the NA or NB 1.8 from my experience. And it can be a weapon on some tracks with flat terrain.

To many people forget that with a properly preped 1.6, it's the spacer between the seat and steering wheel which makes the difference. My 1.6 which I sole this past summer had WAY more talent than the spacer.


Broken record - You are starting to sound like a broken record. Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#10
manthony121

manthony121

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 144 posts
  • Location:upstate new york
  • Region:Glen Region
  • Car Year:1991
  • Car Number:59

Assuming similar level of car prep the 1.6 has no problems keeping up with either the NA or NB 1.8 from my experience. And it can be a weapon on some tracks with flat terrain.

I have a friend who is a Runoffs-winning level driver.  He tells me that he can get the same lap times at Watkins Glen in the 1.6 as he can in a 1.8, but he can't win races driving a 1.6 there because the 1.8 out-climbs the 1.6 going up the hills.  Watkins Glen has several long, slow hills to climb.


Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#11
Marc Cefalo

Marc Cefalo

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 156 posts
  • Location:Northeast Pa
  • Region:NEPA
  • Car Year:1997
  • Car Number:#00

first and foremost if you're buying used MAKE SURE THE DAMN CAGE IS DONE WELL.

 

ok no more screaming..

 

right about this time of year is when we receive calls of people who've bought a used Spec Miata and "want us to go over it to get ready for the season"

 

time and time again unsuspecting buyers off load cars that:

 

1. the buyer paid way too much

2. they don't fit in the car well because of the cage design/lack of a floor drop done well

3. have a cage with welds that look like a 5 year old did them

4. needs several years of maintenance done

5. hidden frame damage that leaves a chassis that will NEVER align/scale correctly

 

Yes many are commenting about competiveness and so forth but the focus should be on the cars foundation.  we've seen NB's that were complete garbage,  NA's that were taken care of nicely and everything in between.

 

Being from the northeast section of the country, maybe we can help assist in finding the right car for your needs.  

 

just like buying a car, get a second opinion and if possible have the seller agree to an independent inspection.

 

Marc


  • Jim Drago, callumhay and manthony121 like this

Marc Cefalo

www.planet-miata.com

 

570-262-1013 direct

#1 source for new and used Miata parts and accessories.

We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#12
38bfast

38bfast

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,090 posts
  • Location:Sterling Heights, MI
  • Region:OVR
  • Car Year:1999
  • Car Number:38

Buying used is always a roll of the dice. There are some great used cars out here that need very little but there are many that horrible in every aspect. The older cars have been racing for many years and are very "used". Like Marc says look at the core car, cage and tub. I see many get in saying that they are not looking to be competitive and just have some fun, but once in they change their tune and now want to be more competitive. Then the process starts of dumping money into a car that is in need of a lot. I have seen this happen so many times. 


  • Jim Drago and Steve Scheifler like this
Ralph Provitz
V2 Motorsports

#13
Schroedinger

Schroedinger

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Location:Atlanta, GA
  • Region:SE
  • Car Year:1993
  • Car Number:58

New SM racer here.  I agree with those who said that if you want to run middle of the pack at regional races and have a ton of fun, a 1.6L can be competitive and also cheaper.  Some organizations have separate classes for the 1.6L cars (SCCA has SMSE here in the Southeast), but you generally run in the same run group as the other SM's.  I also totally agree with what Mark said- there can be a lot of hidden landmines with used cars if you don't know what you're doing.  Either buy from a respected shop or evaluate used cars with a friend who is very far up the learning curve.  Speaking from experience, it's not fun to get to the track for a race weekend only to fail tech.



#14
Bench Racer

Bench Racer

    Different strokes for different folks : )

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,449 posts
  • Location:Wauwatosa, WI
  • Region:Milwaukee
  • Car Year:1990
  • Car Number:14

Buying a tried and trusted 1.6. My first Spec Miata drive was a rental. Watch out, the roll cage side protection went straight from the B pillar to the A pillar. NOT GOOD, no room for drivers left arm while driving, about couldn't use left arm. 


Broken record - You are starting to sound like a broken record. Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users