Basil the Mini

949 Lug Nutz

After some debate, I decided to go with a very light-weight set of 949 Racing lug nuts in standard polished attire. Racked my head back and forth on going with black, but noticed that the anodization on the black does get marred and abused. Quality is very nice and holy cow – very light weight!

I decided to upgrade while at Miatas at the Gap this year and having the spline drive key start to slip in my metrics and I could see a storm-a-commin’ with a spline failure. Something I did not want to see happen. Therefore, I passed on security and went with ease of install/removal and good looks. A bit concerned with the open ends as surface rust may start to creep in, but we will wait and see. So far, they look great.

Miata’s at the Gap 2011

Miata’s at the Gap 2011 – Fontana area, NC.

So it was the time again to see old friends (and new ones!) and get the cobweb out of the suspension and give her a good go in the 300+ turns on highway 129.  This time, it would be Ginger and I and we had a basic agenda to follow getting there.  Unfortunately it did take us some time – longer than expected.  We hit Dahlonega, GA around 1230pm to grab some incredible lunch at Smokin’ Gold BBQ and dived into some amazing burnt ends. YummY!

From there we head out with full bellies and head 2.5 hours north (way too long of a drive) to Sylva, NA to hit Heinzelmännchen Brewery.  Heinzelmännchen is a very small micro brewery run by Dieter and his wife and they make some tasty liquid vivations from the hops side (i.e. beer).  I found these guys by accident a couple years ago by having a pull at the Fontana resort bar where they had some selections on tap.  We were the only ones in there and had some of their Roktoberfest (a deep amber ale, sweet, and malty with a slightly hoppy finish) and gently got hammered as we stumbled back to our cabins at the time.  So this was Ginger’s first visit here and I wanted to get a growler and grabbed their Dunkel for the weekend.  With growler in hand, we head off for another 45 min trip west.

We arrived at Fontana around 4ish and found minimal Miata activity for a Friday, but enjoyed the low traffic.  We checked in and promptly saw everyone.  As before, our other family member is Kyle Bowker and this time we were very excited that he was bringing with him his girlfriend Olivia.  We enjoyed hanging with them very much and really the event itself just became lost and we just wanted to hang with friends.  We also saw Josy and Missy Haskins and their new baby girl (cutie!), Crabby Bill and wife, Noah, May and Bacon (cutest dog on the planet!), Bryan, and the usual crew.  I did one run on the dragon with Bill and had a blast with him – he really is my yang (don’t go there Bill!).  Saw a few accidents, but for the most part  – everyone behaved.  Highlight of the trip was doing the annual jump into Fontana lake and into below 40 degree lake water where the chill immediately shuts your system down within seconds so you need to make it back to the boat dock asap.  This was Ginger’s first time and she was quite shocked.

All in all – another GREAT time and looking forward to cooler weather and a run in the fall.

Miata’s Around the World: #002

MAtW continues with another BRG beauty, but this time from Shinga prefecture in Japan.  Now the interesting thing about this car is the ‘cafe racer’ approach and me actually seeing this one in person while in Kurizawa a few years ago.  This one literally just stopped me dead in my tracks within a sea of Miatae from Japan.  Quite astonishing if you ask me and I am not sure why it happened.  I mean, if you look at it – there really is nothing special to this car, right?  Well, that is where I would say you really need to read between the lines.  Let’s get to it!

Miata #002/ Eunos Roadster NA6CE / Owner: Nisimura / Location: Shinga, Japan / Web Site


Interior: Nisimura’s NA6CE really does not have much on the inside.  Some soft leather accents and OE Nardi steering wheel and polished Style Bar with harness mounting points. Pretty standard affair and in general good condition from what I saw while at the Kaurizawa meet.

Exterior: The exterior is where this car really shines.  After exploring his Minkara page for a few weeks, it was apparent that he has went through a few creative updates to his NA6 including wheels.  I recall seeing his car page before setting off to Japan and just loved the stance it has in some of the pics in the gallery below (forest shots).  So to start, one immediately notices some nice meatballs on each door – creme in color and really sets off the car well.  It appears that recently he added lower front and rear strips and from what I can make out, he was a little shy in running them over the hood and deck lid.  It appears that he has changed out his nose as well recently and opting for the Barchetta version over say the ZOOM Elan nose kit (something I would have done differently to his car).  It appears that he has a Maurikami Deck Lid on the rear now.  I love how he keeps the OE fog lamps intact as well as his use of the R-pkg spoiler.  A nice set of Runabout mirrors / fuel lid and chrome molding for the windows makes up the nostalgic look and feel as well as a nice custom door plate from the Nostalgic Roadster Group out of Japan. Big props to him some some killer vintage stickers (Britax) and a gentle nod to the classic Mini Cooper!  Finally, some mild wheel arches (riveted!) and RS Watanabe black RS-Eight wheels (6.5J +14.5 front, and 7.0J +7 rear, using spacers) complete the JDM look and excellent stance.

Performance: From what I can make out, it is all stock.  He has a really nice RS FACTORY STAGE exhaust (over under tip) that he seems to like very much.  He even added a checker board design to the can that you can see through the rear bumper cut outs.

Overall Style: This is a very simplistic Eunos with some hints of DIY personalization (cut out bumper, arches, etc) and very well executed.  I would have done the ZOOM nose on this car because of the period look, but the really nice look here are the creme colored meatballs and BRG/Tan combo.  Just looks great.

Overall Muse Rating: 7/10

Miata’s Around the World: #001

Every so often we all run across something that becomes our muse or something that elevates our creative vision into something truly special.  Maybe it is a catalyst that provides that spark that leads down another path or one that rekindles one from long ago.  I am not sure what my catalyst is for this particular blog, but much of this stems from my passion for the Eunos Roadster (aka Mazda Miata, MX-5, etc) and how people translate their creativity into a vision.  I have been there and continue to experience those moments and I thought it would be nice to share some of those visions from others around the work how they translated their vision into reality – all through the Mazda Miata.  One important note – the ones I will be displaying in my blog do have a theme that I am drawn to…something nostalgic, something vintage and maybe something new.  But one thing remains true – these are examples from around the world that have inspired me into my journey with The Blue Potato.

Miata #001 / V-Special (NA6CE) / Owner: Yozzy / Location: Shizuoka, Japan / Web SIte


Interior: Yozzy’s NA6 is very well done inside and is very warm and inviting.  I love his approach to the minimalistic approach and his courage not to go so far as to disrupt the lines.  Several key areas that I believe he really nailed it would be the gauge clusters, door panels and shift knob.  The main gauge cluster comes straight out of a super rare M2 1002 edition and provides an independent 4-gauge pod layout with elegant black face and beautiful crystal glass.  In the center bin we find a Drophead 3-gauge up/radio below bin unit with Smith’s gauges.  Finally, something dear to my heart – a beautiful wood shift knob (cannot place the make unless it is OE from Japan) and OE Nardi.  The door panels are OE with Nakamae door straps and M2 1001 This combination is extremely well done and really beckons one to jump in a drive.  And to top it all off, a custom made V-special badge.  Well done Yozzy!

Exterior: The exterior continues to keep the minimalistic vision in line while really making a bold statement by saying “hey, OE body style is still timeless and aggressive at the same time.”  Yozzy does this well and keeps all the proportions in check and not falling prey to altercations to the front nose or rear tail lamp treatment (i.e. Garage Vary).  What I like most of the exterior is the hardtop usage here.  I am a BIG fan of the factory hard top and I feel this really transforms the car into something really special in under 10 mins.  On top of that, he continues to accent the exterior with OE Elan side mirrors, vintage gas cap and OE Jag washer nozzles.  The icing on the cake is a set of Panasports and a lovely Racing Mate badge.  Perfect.

Performance: From what I can make out, it is all stock.  Under the hood he also has a M2 1001 polished valve cover and oil cap.  Very classic and keeps the original feel of the Eunos is check.

Overall Style: I love Yozzy’s overall style and the clarity in his vision.  He simply does not deviate from the Elan approach and the beauty here is in the minimal approach and literally draws you in with each picture.  I would love to drive this car someday and even own something similar.  As I type this now, all I want to do is find a 1991 BRG and totally restore it and go in this direction.  You would need to drop some serious change looking for used M2 1001 parts out there – most likely on Yahoo Japan Auction and even then, I have seen prices anywhere from $300-$1000 USD for specific parts.

Overall Muse Rating: 8/10