Lennon Radcliffe - Mazda Miata 1994
This is my second Miata. I had a white Miata prior that was boosted with a Fast Forward Supercharger kit. I wanted something that had pep and filled the need for performance.
All the Cars in the Online Version of our Magazine will eventually appear in our Fully Printed Magazine, the cars with the most views, appear sooner so keep sharing your articles with the share buttons at the top of the articles, or copy the web link into Bios, Posts on Social Media and the Internet.
Check out our MERCH STORE
More images are in the slider above, These Photographs are supplied by the Named Photographer, check their Link for Bookings.
Mazda Miata 1994
Louisville, KY. I am a Manufacturing Logistical Coordinator at my place of work that supplies sub-assemblies for semi-truck plants such as Kenworth and Peterbilt. A graduate with honours from UofL. Born in the greatest year of all time, 1996, the release year of Space Jam and Super Mario 64. I am an avid gamer, snowboarder, wakeboarder, and a grassroots track rat with this little car. I try to be a jack of all trades, to a degree. I do have a very wide range of interests and I do my best to learn it at the highest level I am able to perform. Sometimes, it doesn't work out well. Listening is one of them because I am born profoundly deaf, and my most used word is, "What?" My disability is not a hindrance and I've recently stopped being insecure about it. I speak well, and I can hear about 80% of a normal range in one ear thanks to a Cochlear Implant I had at six years old. Loud noises do not bother me, and that may be why I love open header V8s.
What or Who got you into cars, the car scene?
Honestly, Street Racing Syndicate on GameCube sealed the deal for me. It is essentially a lesser-known version of Need for Speed, and it took off from there. I spent countless hours modding cars and seeing how cool it was to "rice" out a car back in the early 2000s as a kid. I moved onto Gran Turismo and Forza series, eventually integrating into having a real-life car. My cousin, Michael Salas, and I grew up talking about iconic cars, engines, and mods down to each singular part on top of the video games and the Fast and Furious franchise. As I was able to secure my driver's license and move up in car ownership over the years, another pivotal influence was by Samuel Pranger, a friend I made through the first Miata I owned, which unfortunately blew up due to my own ignorance of forced induction. He taught me the inner mechanisms of engines and how to assemble them, as well as tune a standalone.
Why this Car?
This is my second Miata. I had a white Miata prior that was boosted with a Fast Forward Supercharger kit. I wanted something that had pep and filled the need for performance. I was fresh out of high school and into college with that car. Within a month, I blew the engine up from an oversight I made on advancing the timing, not knowing the consequences of an ECU tune. This was the start of my obsession with Miatas. I learned of many aftermarket brands, even the obscure ones from Japan. Years went by tinkering on that thing, and I grew to love the platform. I then swallowed my pride in the money pit I owned and sold the Miata with a fully built, boosted engine running E85 to start fresh. That's where the black one I own comes in. I bought a bone stock chassis and I laid out a plan to make a track car out of it with my current knowledge and end goal. I wanted this car to teach me how to really drive and I dove into the rabbit hole.
Why did you build the car?
I built this car to gain experience and seat time on the track. It is a relatively cheap platform to start with, and I've learned over time that you can make a slow car fast. There is something satisfying about being able to out-corner cars that have the appearance to be out of your league if one was to take a quick comparison of the two. Initially, I kept the car as close as I could to Spec Miata trim to be able to make a fair comparison of driver skill and how I was progressing. In March of 2021, I broke the barrier at Putnam Park Road Course in Indiana and was able to edge out consistent lap times similar to front runners of Spec Miata. I promised myself I would not go any further with the mods until I had reached that milestone first. Once I did, it was off the deep end from there and the mod list became fully unlocked.
What does it feel like owning and driving your car?
It's a humbling experience to own this car. I'm at track days surrounded by cars with much higher value, but I love mine the same, if not more, as others love theirs. I have a limited budget for the car and I maximize the dollar per performance ratio as much as I can. It is not a very street-friendly car with its suspension spring rates and front splitter so I shy away from it. I've had a string of bad luck destroying low-hanging body panels on multiple cars in the past. Lol. People do turn their heads, others pull out phones for pictures, and I've been approached by others asking me what's in it. While it is a nice stroke to the ego having compliments, I simply built it for myself and the personal desire to develop the skill set as a driver.
What do you think makes your car unique and stand out from the crowd?
The car has a custom front air dam that I built from scratch. It takes certain styling cues from other Miatas that have an air dam set up, but to how I want it to look. It's an aesthetic example of a function meeting form. The sides of the air dam are intentionally spread out to help the air around the beefy wheels and still accentuates the body lines of the OEM design. Another is the wear and tear of the car itself. There are white pittings in the rear fender flares from rocks chipping away the paint over the years. It gives it a nice personality and shows that this car actually gets driven. The interior is unique as the car is a 1.8L model, but has a 1.6L dash in it as they didn't come with airbags. It gives it a cleaner look, actually sheds weight, and I flocked it but left the strip running across alone to set it off nicely. The JDM KG Works gauge cluster bezel is the most stunning piece to stare at and is the one modification that gets complimented the most. It probably stands out more among other Miatas on the street as it is a purpose-built track car, most that are commonly seen are either stock or stanced, generally speaking.
- Bone stock. Literally, I probably have 105whp on a good day. Lol.
- Supermiata QMAX coolant reroute.
- Supermiata crossflow dual pass radiator.
- DIY air dam.
- BlackBird Fabworx Sparco tow hook.
- Nine Lives Racing front splitter, sturdy boi mounts, and rear wing with CFD endplates.
- Carbon Miata fender flares, short version.
- ARP carbon fiber mirrors with RTheory adapter plates.
- Singular Motorsports hood louvres.
- OEM Hardtop.
- Rear bumper cut.
- Flyin' Miata LED side markers.
- DIY 1.6L dash swap with flock.
- KG Works Gauge Cluster Bezel.
- RevLimiter Revolver Gauge Faces (Custom Order).
- Sparco R383 steering wheel.
- Sparco Hub with NRG Quick Release Gen 2.5.
- Sparco Circuit full containment seat.
- Sparco Grid passenger seat.
- Jerf Speed seat brackets.
- Sparco 6-Point HANS harness for driver.
- Sparco 6-Point 3in harness for passengers.
- BlackBird Fabworx NA GT3 Rollbar.
- Jongbloed Series 500, 15x10 +25 offset in anthracite colorway.
- 245/40/15 BFG Rival 1.5S tires on the Jongbloeds.
- 949 Racing 6ULs, 15x9 +36 offset in tungsten colourway.
- 225/45/15 Hoosier R7 tires on the 949 Racing 6ULs.
- Extended ARP studs and brand-new OEM wheel hubs.
- Flyin' Miata 10mm wheel spacers.
- Xida coilovers from Supermiata. 1000lb/500lb spring rates.
- Bauer Extended Lower Ball Joints.
- Stock Calipers with Hawk HP+ pads.
- Stainless steel brake lines from Supermiata.
If you enjoyed this Car why not read this ONE HERE
Have you done the work yourself, details?
Relatively 90% of the work done to the car was performed by myself with assistance from my girlfriend and/or friends on certain jobs requiring extra hands. I learned how to work on most of the car with confidence from prior experience on the previous Miata, as well as learning from people like Samuel Pranger, as I mentioned earlier. Certain jobs either required a certain set of tools I do not have or a lack of knowledge to do it myself correctly with confidence, those were reserved for two shops I trust. Those two are the teams at DreamStreet Garage and Winning Formula, both in Louisville. I pay them for the work, and they reciprocate with a plethora of knowledge/advice at the track events, as a friend, to help my personal development and growth. I've grown to be friends with them over the years since I started as a customer, and I think that is unique to have. Also, YouTube and forums have been amazing resources in pinches.
Without a doubt, a K-Swap is happening with a K24A2 from the 06-08 Acura TSX for a serious bump in horsepower. Ideally, the ultimate swap kit from KPower paired with an AiM digital dash is the direction I am currently set on. I may opt for a Haltech ECU instead of the included KPro in the kit. The swap has proven itself to be a lethal threat in the Gridlife Touring Cup and is probably one of the most affordable swaps out there. I considered doing a built turbo with the current BP engine, however, it is expensive to replace the engine whereas if I spent the money upfront to do this K-Swap, I'd only be out about $1,200 for a replacement engine over time. An LS swap was considered but the cost is substantially higher and weighs more on the front end if an aluminium block isn't used. A Stoptech ST42 big brake kit, OS Giken rear differential and a full cage are also on the list of mods to add. As I grow faster, the more I'll depend on these mods for my own safety because the stock brake callipers can only do so much as-is. I will probably take this car to my grave or it will die trying to last the years to come.
Miatas have a wide range of aftermarket support. You could literally dream what you want to do, and it’s a 95% guarantee there is a product out there that will achieve the purpose intended. Highly modular and has a good baseline chassis. The toughest thing I learned was knowing what you want to do with the car before you truly modify it. With the previous Miata, I had no true direction I was going in. Not being aware of a true end goal causes multiple purchases of mods and a cycle of expenses that one may not be prepared for. With this one, I knew what I wanted to do and I broke it down into milestones only editing the mod list for potential updates over the years as innovation continues.
Common knowledge for Miatas is that the rear rockers may rust, do keep an eye out for that. Other key things to look at would be the frame rails for straightness, wheel hubs for potential track use, and the front subframe area. The front sway bar brackets are prone to tear away from the chassis. The wheel hubs were not designed for a high-grip tire on a track and are the number one consumable on the car. I strongly recommend buying one with a hardtop, the stock price on them has tripled since I scored a matching paint one for mine separately with luck.
Looking for a new club? Have a look at the ones featured on our site HERE
BingeTokyo hosted my very first track event and got my feet wet into the long journey ahead, they were just getting developed in their first year and I went out to support local businesses in return. Winning Formula widened my limited knowledge of trackside maintenance/car tuning for getting the car to behave as desired, directed me into where the proven aftermarket parts are, and I was welcomed to be a part of their track days as a friend. DreamStreet Garage took me in like I was a part of their family, I was always welcome to their paddocks and get loose with them. Bill Wilner of MiataRoadster has been a pivotal part in expanding my foray into importing JDM Miata parts I've been collecting in secret, as well as doing business on very special requests. Tsubasa Industries pushed the boundaries of DIY on my car. Nine Lives Racing made affordable aero for the grassroots level that I could buy and not cry too much about. 10/10ths Motorsport paired me up with a free instructor, Wes Penn, in my novice class in my second year of tracking, who also drove a Miata and a friendship came from that.
What did the car scene bring you?
The car scene on the streets appealed to me in my late teenage years since I felt like I had the freedom to do what I wanted and be where I pleased. It turned bittersweet the older I became. Attacking twisting roads at night, risking a deer accident, to car meets being ruined by immaturity causing police involvement became tiresome. Once I had the money I could safely liquidate, I turned to track days as a legal way to have a wild time with lower risks. The perception of the car scene at track days completely shifted as everyone had nothing to prove to others, and the camaraderie is always on point. The bottom line was that everyone cared about self-improvement and other people's safety. I have seen complete strangers drop everything they're doing to help a fellow driver out on their cars, and there was mutual respect across the board regardless of what you drove. I knew from the minute at my first track event, this is where the car scene was that I belonged. It has brought me a network of friends, knowledge, and an acceptable lifestyle.
What is your Dream Car?
The most attainable one possible would be the Camaro ZL1 1LE track package. It is an affordable and visceral experience in a car that delivers a serious punch. Plus, it is quite a looker. Something higher would be the Porsche 714 GT4, I absolutely love the body lines on it, and is the defining example of function meeting form. I've driven the Nissan GT-R R35 and was severely let down by how “assisted” it was. It is a very quick car, but I felt entirely numb and it was heartbreaking as it used to be my true dream car. I want a driver's car, so the wildest desire would either be the McLaren Senna or the 2017 Dodge Viper ACR just for the pure enlightenment of man and machine, that would bite you back if you handle it incorrectly.
Check out our Google News give us a Follow
What do you think? leave your comments in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
All of our Magazine can be found on Amazon, they Print and Deliver it, Stance Auto can not be held responsible for the final print, all complaints and returns must be directed to Amazon.
UKTM no: UK00003572459