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SP Rides: The Marvelous Miata

October 11, 2013
 
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By MICHAEL KITCHENS

Name: Kevin Unciano
Age: 20
Occupation: Student
Hobbies: Cars, long boarding, cruising
Year/Make/Model: 1992 Mazda Miata
Color: Candy Red
Exterior: Custom Candy Red paint, smoked corners lens, smoked bumper lens (front and rear), Kg Works trunk wing, luggage rack, OEM hardtop, Carbon Miata roof wing, Carbon Miata canards, Carbon Miata rear panel, Carbon Miata RE-Amemiya rear diffuser, Carbon Miata vented headlight lid, Volkswagen Torx screws, Garage Vary front lip, Flyin’ Miata front tow hook, OEM second generation Mazda emblem, APR carbon fiber mirrors, WORK wheels plate, Autokonexion V1 flares, Wolo horn, GSP lug nuts (red), I.L. Motorsports door sills and platinum auto refinishes.
Interior: Crown Royal limited edition shift boot, Techno Toy Drift button, Sleepy Eye switch, custom arm rest pad, custom floor, custom door cards, Red Bride seats, custom bride brackets, stock sliders, Mooneyes Candy Red steering wheel, G-Force racing harness (3 inches) and Roadster covers (polished).
Audio: Kenwood in-dash, Bazooka sub, Infinity door speakers w/tweeters and OEM seats w/speakers.
Suspension: Flyin’ Miata top hats, degassed Koni yellow struts, Ground Control coilovers, 7-point Cusco roll cage, Racing Beat rear sway bar, Racing Beat endlinks, Racing Beat mounts, Racing Beat bushings and 949 Racing lower brace.
Drivetrain: stock clutch, stock flywheel, 1.6 transmission, OEM 1.8 driveshaft, OEM 1.8 differential, OEM 1.8 axles, OEM 1.8 halfshafts, OEM 1.8 subframe and OEM 1.8 upper and lower control arms.
Brakes: OEM 1.8 rotors (front and rear), OEM 1.8 brackets (front and rear), OEM 1.8 brake pads (front and rear) and OEM brake lines.
Rims, Tires: Work Meisters CR01, 15×10.5, Negative 22 offset, Dunlop Direzza Dz101 and 195/50/15.
Exhaust: Cast iron exhaust manifold, 2.5-inch Begi turbo down pipe w/separated gases, 2.5-inch Mandrel Bend piping, 2.5-inch Thursh glasspack and 2.5-inch Dynomax Super Turbo muffler.
Engine: 1.6 motor, Begi Turbo kit (Shanghai-S), T25/T28 Hybrid Turbo, adjustable internal wastegate, HKS BOV, NGK spark plugs, Toyota coil on plugs, K&N air filter, IAT sensor, CXracing intercooler, Rx7 Red Top 460cc injectors, Godspeed radiator, 2.5-inch intercooler piping, Fidanza cam gears (exhaust and intake), Autometer boost gauge, Innovate wideband and Greddy turbo timer
Engine Management: Megasquirt PNP v1, street tuned using 11psi sparks from al_hunos, Megalogviewer updated, Tunerstudio updated and Samsung laptop.

Miatas are a special breed — one of the most purebred sports cars ever put into production, in fact. It has long held the reigns as the car to use in Autocross competition, making whispers of its supposed “femininity” all the more laughable. For Kevin Unciano, the stigma is exactly why he chose the car. He dared to be different and the end result is one serious ride.

The tuning bug hit Kevin immediately after his father gave him a Honda Prelude. Back then, Kevin admits he didn’t even know how to change his oil, but the Honda put him through a heavy tuning introduction. With this 1992 Mazda Miata, he’s definitely raised the bar.

Purchased from another Miata-lover, Kevin was initially drawn to the car because of its built-in roll cage. At the time, his intent was to make a few simple exterior modifications, including painting the car Candy White, and then enjoy the ride. But at the prodding of a fellow coworker, Kevin decided to change course and go full-bore into equipping the ride with greater power and handling ability. Almost immediately, he sought out the help of another Miata enthusiast, Peter Fong, specifically for tuning advice.

The Miata’s 1.6L motor has been worked over and features a T25/T28 Hybrid Turbo mated to a CXracing intercooler and Godspeed radiator. The ride also features an HKS BOV, NGK spark plugs, Rx7 Red Top 460cc injectors, Fidanza cam gears, and a 2.5-inch downpipe to vent the exhaust. Engine management is handled by a Megasquirt PNP v1 with an Innovate wideband and Autometer boost gauge to help monitor the situation.

One look at the ride will definitely give you the impression that the term “stock” is something Kevin doesn’t associate himself with. The exterior features a gorgeous Candy Red paint job and a host of external modifications. Almost immediately noticeable are the carbon fiber accents, including Carbon Miata canards, rear roof wing, rear panel and an enormous RE-Amemiya rear diffuser straight from Japan. Other touches include a Carbon Miata vented headlight kit, Garage Vary front lip, sick APR CF mirrors, and Autokonexxion V1 flares to give the car an aggressive stance.

With the car already low to the ground, the suspension work was an important component and Kevin set it off right with degassed Koni yellow struts, Ground Control coil overs and a selection of Racing Beat components. The 7-point Cusco roll cage sets off the interior’s gorgeous Red Bride seats and Mooneyes Candy Red steering wheel. The floor has been reworked to match, along with other touches such as the armrest pad and shift boot.

The car features a full OEM 1.8 swap for the front and rear brakes with Work Meisters CR01 wheels set at 15×10.5, with Dunlop Direzza Dz101s at 195/50/15 wrapped around all for corners.

Although there’s still work to be done, Kevin would like to thank his girlfriend for putting up with the build and her father, Clifford Casem, at Platinum Auto Refinishing for the luxurious paint job. It certainly is one amazing ride.