Kevin Sumalinog's 1990 Mazda Miata
Kevin Sumalinog’s Miata started out like many project car builds, as a simple commuter car with some tasteful upgrades to personalize the car. First on the list were suspension and wheels, like many enthusiasts these days. Although the Megan Racing street series coilovers remain on the car, Kevin has gone through many different wheels since his first set of dished mesh wheels. Kevin spiced up the exterior of the car with an R-package front and rear lip, and an OEM hardtop. The car remained Kevin’s regular driver, slowly acquiring modifications as time and money allowed. Kevin’s day job working IT for a travel company in the fabulous city of Vegas required a short commute, so modifications were kept to a minimum for the time being.
Of course, all good things get modified, and when Kevin found a deal on some rare Tuckin99 Mazdaspeed N2 flares, he jumped on it. With flares that could fit wider wheels, the search for the right offset began. After several purchases that simply weren’t wide enough, the current setup of Vintage Progressive GenII wheels in 15x8” sizing and -25 offset were paired to a set of Speedware Adaptec adaptors in 4x100 Miata to 5x139.7mm sizing (and 20mm / 25mm spacing in the front/rear respectively) were deemed to be worthy. Despite running 175x55x15” tires, the wheels needed 6.7 degrees of negative camber in front and 4.5 degrees of camber in the rear to squeeze the tires under the flares. To update the styling of the car on the outside to match the awesome wheel setup, Kevin added an Autokonexion fiberglass trunk with integrated spoiler and Garage Vary tail lights before painting the car a custom matte Olive Green tone. Later, a Project G-Wing hardtop spoiler was added to the car, rounding out the exterior styling.
Inside the cabin, the car was upgraded with some small personal touches to give Kevin an optimal driving experience. The sticky old OEM steering wheel was replaced with an authentic Nardi Wood Grain steering wheel, and a white Delrin shift knob paired to a Steeda short shifter replaced the stock unit. Mazdaspeed pedals and a dead pedal give Kevin’s feet the best grip while driving, while a Pioneer CD player with iPod Auxilery input provide tunes for driving. Finally, a Hard Dog M1 double-diagonal rollbar was fitted after being powdercoated in a custom “Safety Orange” finish.
Kevin’s Miata is his daily driver, so the motor has only been mildly upgraded. The original 1.6L engine still remains under the hood, and the creature comforts of A/C, cruise control, and power steering. RoadsterTuner motor mounts replaced worn-out units, and Kevin added some custom spacers to raise the mounts an additional ¾” to help avoid road hazards. When the stock clutch wore out, a Spec Stage 3 clutch was paired with a Spec lightweight flywheel. Airflow was increased with a K&N air filter, Racing Beat intake elbow, Magnaflow high-flow cat, and RS*R Exhaust. After well over 100k miles, the 1.6L motor still feels strong thru the entire RPM range, showing the quality of Mazda’s engine design more than 20 years later.
Suspension has become a focus for Kevin in a search for balance of looks and quality. Although the car is lowered extremely low (so low that Las Vegas has a few less lane markers due to this particular car taking a few out when changing lanes), several other components of the suspension were upgraded to offset the effects of the lowered center of gravity. Both the front and rear swaybars were replaced with upgraded Racing Beat units, and 949Racing swaybar end links replaced the OEM units as well. Up front, a heavier duty strut brace from a 2001 chassis was added, and MOSS subframe braces provided additional chassis stiffness.
All around, Kevin’s car has been upgraded to his taste, and admittedly isn’t for everyone. To prove some of the ‘haters’ wrong, Kevin has recently started learning to drift in his Miata to show that his suspension setup can be just as functional as it is stylish. Kevin is excited to continue to advance his skills in drifting while piloting this Miata, so be on the lookout for this car at a race track near you soon!
- OEM Hardtop
- R-Package Front Lip
- R-Package Rear Lip
- Tuckin' 99/Mazdaspeed N2-Style Flares
- Autokonexion v2.0 Fiberglass Trunk
- Garage Vary Rear Tail-Lights
- Project G-Wing Hardtop Spoiler
- H4 HL Conversion 6k HID's
- Hard Dog M1 Hard Core Double-Diagonal Rollbar to fit Hardtop's (Powder-coated "Safety Orange")
- Authentic Nardi "Wood-grain" Steering Wheel
- 3" White Delrin Shift-knob
- Mazdaspeed Pedals + Dead Pedal
- OEM Mazda Miata Floor Mats
- Pioneer CD-player with iPod Aux
- Original Stock 1.6L
- 1.8 Torsen LSD + rear end
- RoadsterTuner Motor Mounts (raised motor ~1/2"-3/4" above subframe)
- A/C, Power-steering, & cruise control
- Spec Stage3 Clutch
- Spec Lightweight Flywheel
- Steeda Short-Shifter
- RSR ExMag GTII Exhaust
- Magnaflow High-Flow Cat
- Racing Beat Intake Elbow
- K&N Intake Air Filter
Suspension + Wheels:
- Vintage Progressive Gen-II, 15x8.5j -25et (175/55/15) - Speedware Adaptec Adapters, 4x100 > 5x139.7 (20mm/25mm) -4.5°/-6.7° camber
- Megan Street-Series Coilovers (10k/8k)
- Racing Beat Front/Rear Swaybars
- 949racing Swaybar Endlinks
- '01 Heavy Duty Shock Tower Brace
- MOSS Sub-frame Braces