Loaded Potato = Yummy Potato
January 28, 2009: Not much of an update for the Tater and I must realize that I simply cannot change the car just for change (if you know what I mean). At some point you feel completely comfortable with the changes you made or you go over that line and destroy your original vision. In May of 2008 I went to Japan to participate in Karuizawa and really enjoyed myself. While there, the Nostalgic Roadster Club presented me with a one off Trap Spoiler for the Pitcrew front end. I also added and modified the factory tonneau to fit the Hard Dog Sport Bar and unfortunately the shop that modified the unit screwed it up. Lesson learned I guess for rushing the modifcation and not thinking it through. So for 2009, here is how the tater looks today. Later this year I plan on having the hard top painted as well as swap out the HKS-Fcon to a MegaSquirt.
November 28, 2007: There have been several changes since 2004 with the Blue Potato. Most notably is the addition of some juicy RS Watanabe RS-Eight II 15x6.5 +21 2 piece wheels (whew!) - actually made by SSR in Japan and sold through Ueda (no longer in business), I found these used at Takumi Project (CA) for a deal and had them completely refinished and painted in a light gold. Everything else has pretty much stayed the same - sold my hard top and missed it greatly and found another. I also have a M2-1028 FRP deck lid that I will be painting with the hardtop in 2008. Since 2004, added a Pair of KG Works Alfa mirrors, bumper nacelles, and Hard Dog roll bar (see interior section).
May 17, 2004: The Tater has changed a bit exterior wise - but still maintains the original lines. Tossed off the car was the rear skirt and mud flaps and Thermal Exhaust. My original Panasports needed some TLC so good friend Dan Hill at Ride Rage Powder Coating painted the wheels in Victory Gold and the lips were polished by a local wheel shop. Soon after a ZOOM exhaust was added and ZOOM fog lamp was put into place where the original right hand exhaust exited the rear. Also, I ditched the Talbot knock off mirrors in favor for some K.G. Works Alfa mirrors because they offered better rear-vision. The only thing left on the pending table is a set of ZOOM tail lamps - but that will be later down the road.
Back to the story:
"Previously on The Blue Potato" - I guess it is safe to say that change is good. Change is positive. Change is life and always happening. Change is a term not lightly used when looking at The Blue Potato. In fact, when I first bought the car, it was pretty much a 1995 Laguna Blue with black cloth interior. Aside from being one of the most vibrant and limited colors for the M1, the car always draws my attention. Even before my latest change, the car looked pretty sharp from the front.
So, where does she stand now? Well, you can see most of what I had previously done here (I am working on this link). This page mostly concentrates on the new look I am currently undertaking. In the spring of 1999, I ended a long time pondering and decided to do something I had yearned to do since I picked up my first issue of Road&Ster magazine. I had always seen ads for Pit Crew Racing in Road&Ster and always wanted to know more about the company and the unique products they made for the Miata. The pinnacle was their front and rear end conversion kits for the NA and NB Miata. I was either going to find a junked NA and start fresh with this kit or work with what I had.
The front nose is the NA Pit Crew Racing conversion kit purchased at Rspeed in 2001. While not cheap, this kit is truly unique with exceptional fiberglass and hardware quality and exclusive looks. I decided at this point to continue on with The Blue Potato project (link under construction) and utilize this kit on this car. The cool thing about this kit is that by design, it does not permanently attach and can always be swapped back to the original nose is needed. The install was pretty much straight forward and really had only three major steps: 1) Remove the OEM nose, 2) trim the inner bumper support, and 3) install the Pit Crew nose section.
I knew from the beginning that I wanted the 7 Lucas reproduction lamps in the car it should be mandatory that when you buy this kit as The Prince of Darkness needs to be lighting the way at night. A pair of Catz MSC driving lamps assist in nightly runs with ion bulbs and fit nicely in the now bigger opening in front (no longer on the car). The entire front half of the car was repainted, blended and matched with fresh PPG paint from a local Jaguar body guy in the correct Laguna Blue color. The finishing touch was a 1960s reproduction Mazda emblem - which now becomes the overall symbol for the car inside and out.
Moving down the front of the body, I added a pair of ZOOM side markers which in fact are made in the UK and fairly easy to install. A nice set of KG Work chrome washer-jet nozzles give the finishing look of the front end. In 1999 I added a pair of Senior Talbot knock-off mirrors (now replaced with KG Works Alfa Romeo mirrors) customized with a pair of aviation domed peep-mirrors. These mirrors continue to get comments and questions via email and while not hard to install, you can get more info here on what I did to install mine. I added a PBC chromed gas lid to finish off the 1960s themeing on the rear.
The rear of the car has basically remained un-touched with only minor OEM parts added. A Mazda notch spoiler came with the car and I have been a huge fan of this spoiler for years I think it looks perfect on this car. The OEM rear skirt has also remained on the car as well as a pair of rear mud flaps to widen the look a bit (no longer on car). To finish off the car, I added some new badging including an OEM Mazda Eunos emblem and a custom 1960s M badge (thanks Leni!). A larger Thermal exhaust tip which has been upgraded to the Thermal system on the car (replaced with Zoom and now Pitcrew exhaust).
Recently, I have finished off the Pit Crew look by adding their very retro and cool looking bumper nacelles to the frontal nose area. They were fairly easy to install by using the existing tie-down hook location and bolts. Only one minor hold needed to be drilled on each side of the car for the anchor points. The Catz MSC lamps were then moved inwards and the hi-flow grill re-positioned in the mouth.