SP Rides: Slammed and Satisfied
BY MICHAEL KITCHENS
Name: Eric Lavoie
Occupation: College student
Hobbies: Cars, friends, basketball
Year/Make/Model: 1997 Mazda Miata
Engine: Monster Flow Carbon Fiber Intake, Borla Catback / CX Racing Headers, Aftermarket catback Exhaust, Freedom Design Strut tower, Mishimoto Radiator, NRG cooling panel.
Exterior: Carbon Fiber vented Hood (AD9 style), OEM hardtop, Carbon Fiber hardtop spoiler, Origin Labs GT Wing, Abs FD style side skirts, Club Na diffuser.
Interior: Carbon Miata interior, Kenwood double din, 10-inch JL W3 subwoofer, Bride seats, Garage Star rails, NRG quick release, NRG short hub, NRG 350mm steering wheel.
Suspension: KYB shocks, Ground Control sleeves, Eibach springs, Fat Cat Motorsports top hats.
Wheels, Tires: Klutch SL1’s 15×8.5 with 195/45 Kumho tires.
Eric Lavoie has two passions in life: car tuning and basketball. So when he tells you that he expects to do big things with his 1997 Mazda Miata — his first true modified ride — he’s essentially making you a slam-dunk guarantee.
There are very few cars on the market that can offer a front engine and rear wheel drive layout like a Miata can, and do it all at a cheap price and with huge aftermarket support. But this beauty is a former show queen that was parted out and purchased practically bone-stock by Lavoie for only a few thousand dollars. That leaves plenty of extra cash for building this ride into a true showstopper, and Lavoie, at just 21 years of age, is well on his way there.
Immediately after purchasing the Mazda, Lavoie began modding. A college student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, he’s had to pick and choose his mods carefully. His first purchase included a set of Klutch SL1’s sized in 15×8.5 and shod in 195/45 Kumho tires. They were combined with KYB shocks that were fitted with Ground Control sleeves and Eibach springs, and topped off with Fat Cat Motorsports top hats. Since this car rides static, Lavoie leaves a little wheel gap to handle Oahu’s tough roads.
Of course, looks are always a priority, and this black-as-night Miata has quite a few bits and pieces to change up the look. Most noticeable is the carbon fiber-vented hood and hardtop. A sexy hardtop spoiler guides the airflow through the Origin Labs GT Wing while ABS FD-style side skirts and a Club NA diffuser follow to the rear.
The interior hasn’t been ignored and features a Carbon Miata interior replete with quilted panels and a transmission tunnel cover. A removable NRG 350mm steering wheel is mated to an NRG quick release and short hub, which allows for ease of transition in and out of the cockpit. This will be important for Lavoie’s future install of a roll cage. Bride seats in bright red have also been installed with Garage Star rails while music is pumped through a Kenwood double-din and a custom 10-inch JL W3 subwoofer.
The engine has all of the requisite bolt-ons and is on its way to a complete re-build and turbo. For now, it features a Monster Flow carbon fiber intake and GREEN high performance air filter with shield, CX Racing Headers, and a straight pipe mated to an aftermarket catback exhaust. A Mishimoto radiator and NRG cooling panel help to run a little colder while a Freedom Design strut bar helps to keep it together.
Lavoie still has a long way to go, but he intends to enjoy this build every step of the way.
“I don’t want to be a casual person with a casual car,” he said. “Things come and go, but modifying always gives you something to keep you focused in life.”