As car manufacturers churn out more crossovers and SUVs, Oloi and NewYorKars would like to take you back to a simpler time. A time when driving was more about the thrills behind the wheel than it was about how many kids and bags of groceries you can cram into a vehicle. In 1989, Mazda introduced a car that packed endless driving joy into a small and affordable package. The Mazda MX-5 Miata roadster kept things simple: open top, rear-wheel drive, even weight distribution, low curb weight, a smooth transmission, and a rev-happy naturally aspirated engine. Check out Oloi’s own 2007 Honda S2000 for a car with a similar spirit.

The first MX-5 Miata was released for the 1990 model year and flew off dealership floors. It had a starting price of just $14,000. Power came from a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine producing 116 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque. With its standard 5-speed manual transmission, the Miata could hit 60 miles per hour from a standstill in under nine seconds and top out at 116 mph.

Mazda has produced more than a million Miatas, making this the bestselling open-top sports car of all time.

This month’s featured car is no ordinary Miata, however. Much like last month’s 2002 Audi S4, this vehicle likes to play on the track. Unlike that German sleeper, however, the track is the only place you’ll see it in action. Wyman Lu purchased his 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata solely with the intention to race.

The engine has been rebuilt with a turbo kit, intercooler, pistons, bearings, and valves, and more. A new clutch, brakes, and racing suspension are complemented by a Torsen limited-slip differential. The tires and wheels are new. The factory Crystal White paint has been covered by a Nardo Gray wrap.

“I chose this car because it is already light,” Wyman told Oloi and NewYorKars. “It is all about handling. It may be slow on a straight but it is fast in the corner.”

A 1.8-liter engine waits in the garage to be dropped in. This will include even more modifications and a 6-speed transmission. Wyman expects it to produce up to 400 horsepower, but he won’t push it so hard.

Check out more details on this mad Miata at Oloi:

Wyman Lu’s 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata

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