I’m a writer by trade, and was an editor and staff writer for Moto-Euro magazine for four years. By day I’m a technical writer for Akamai, and I previously worked at Salesforce and was part of the small team that invented their incredible learning platform, Trailhead.
I’m not a mathematician, and I don’t know much about fluid dynamics. I’m an amateur car racer with zero credentials or education in aerodynamics. But I read a lot, and sometimes get out of my armchair and experiment. I’ve benefitted a lot from research and testing other people have done, and this site is my way of giving back.
Why Miatas? It came in a roundabout way. As a teenager, I was drawn to exotic cars, but then I realized I’d never own a Ferrari. But… I might own the Ferrari of motorcycles! So I got into bikes for a while. I went to motorcycle mechanics school and was briefly a BWM level 2 technician. I later worked as an editor and staff writer for Moto-Euro magazine.
I never did get the Ferrari of motorcycles, but I have the Lamborghini, as it were, a 1974 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport. My daily ride is more utilitarian, a 1975 Honda XL350. Here it is with my wife, Jenna.
I remember the first time I drove a Miata. The thing that was most memorable was how directly the car communicated. It felt like the car was connected to me, and that I could actually feel the road. It wasn’t fast, but I could get everything out of it.
I’ve always been more of a motorcycle guy, and my track bike has more power than most Miatas. So it’s obviously not power that makes me like Miatas. But there’s something about driving one that makes them the only car I care about.
I later bought a 1997 Miata from a co-worker, with my brother and friend Derek. It was weird sharing a car between three people, but we went to a lot of track days with it.
On one of these track days I saw the biggest pile of shit car being loaded up on a trailer for a race. I don’t remember what it was, a wagon of some sort, but it didn’t look street worthy, much less race worthy. The owner told me about the 24 Hours of Lemons. Racing $500 cars wheel-to-wheel was the dumbest, most reckless, and biggest waste of resources that I could imagine, and so a year later I was racing a first-gen MR2 with a boat we built around it. I somehow convinced my brother and some close friends to waste their time and money on this as well. Fools.
The Lemons folks dubbed it the M-Ark-2, and it won an Organizer’s Choice award. The car handled great, even with the aerodynamics of a boat.
Later we’d transform it into a half Ferrari F40, half Lamborghini Countach, and it wound up on Car and Driver’s “Best Hooptie-ass Ferrari” list. It spun rod bearings every other race and we eventually had to give it away or it would have ruined us.
So we focused our attentions on the Miata, and transformed our very nice HPDE Miata into a race car. It got abused on track, and got a lot more Lemony every year. We’ve raced Miatas ever since, and that’s how I got started thinking about aerodynamics. But eventually, I hope to come full circle and get back to racing a car with a boat around it.
I’m an identical twin, and my brother Ian is a scientist and approaches cars and driving from that perspective. He wrote the book You Suck at Racing, and has a weekly blog of the same name. I’ve contributed a couple articles to his blog (as did my wife, amusingly). I enjoyed the process, and decided to create my own site so I can write more about Miatas, aerodynamics, and DIY stuff.