The Miatas of the Month from

January 2010

Kip Newton and his Miatas

Congratulations to Kip on the selection of his two Miatas as the January Miatas of the Month!

I’ve been a Miata fan since the car landed on our shores but it took until 1997 to get one.  It started with a '91 BRG which only had 16k miles. 170k miles later it is still running strong as my daily driver.  

Two years ago I found a '92 Sunburst with 35k miles and could not resist.  The Sunburst is completely stock and the BRG pretty close with a K&N air filter and adjustable Konis.  I even had an NC for a while but decided to sell it with kids’ college tuition approaching.  During that time the inevitable comparisons made me appreciate the simplicity of the original cars to the point that I figured I could live with one (or two) for a long time.

Working in the tire industry at Michelin, I have had many opportunities to drive interesting cars as a test driver (6 years in US, 3 years in Japan) and a technical marketing manager.  However, I still love to drive a Miata. There is something so pure, simple and mechanical about them.

 While living in Japan, I visited Miyoshi Proving Grounds on several occasions and worked on the NC version tire development. For a Miata guy, that was definitely a career highlight and I made sure to share my passion for the car with Mazda's engineers. I have on occasion thought of moving into 911s, Lotuses, etc.., but it’s hard to justify when I have so much reliable fun in a Miata.

Living near the Blue Ridge Mountains - Tail of the Dragon, Pisgah Forest, Great Smokies, etc - I have many good memories of Miata travel.  Work always involved intense driving so, more often than not, I putter around in my cars and enjoy the scenery. Not to mention that my lovely Japanese wife has a pretty low lateral g tolerance!  When we visit her home in Nagaoka, Japan I always stop by a local shop that specializes in Miata tuning and racing.  They’re great guys and a good example of how this wonderful little roadster crosses geographical and cultural boundaries.

Previous Miata of the Month Winners

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