The car was purchased on Ebay and was located in Dothan, AL which is a 16 hour round trip from my home in Charleston, SC. Since we were going to see my parents three weeks later I sent the guy $500 and had him hold the car for me. We drove our truck to Dothan to pick it up and then I drove the car from Dothan to Pensacola (about 2.5 hours) and trailered it home from there. The day after getting it home I cleaned it up a bit and took some pictures. For the record, the car got 25.0 MPG on the 85 MPH trip on the interstate. However, it only gets about 10 MPG in town since it is so damn hard to keep your foot off the gas .
The trip back wasn't too bad. We rented a U-haul tow dolly one way ($165 if you are curious - not a bad way to tow). Because I didn't want to destroy my new tranny I had to disconnect the drive shaft at the rear end. I used a bungee cord to keep it from falling out on the road.
Wow, the car is really rough. It is going to take some major work to get it looking good.
The first thing you see is the air intake piping sticking out of the hood. You can also see there is some damage around the driver's headlight and the PS cooling coil sticks out a bit.
A close up of the headlight. It is functional but I might pull everything out and straighten it up if it starts bugging me too badly. It is hard to tell in the picture but someone really butchered the exterior of the car by putting a thin layer of a bondo type material over the entire car (at least that is what I think they did). It is all coming up and falling off in chunks.
The car was put on Ebay one other time before I bought it (minimum bid of $9,000 and BIY for $12,000) but it didn't sell. I can remember seeing it and wondering why in the world the owner cut that hole in the hood instead of running the intake the correct way. After buying the car the reason is quite clear. The hood is so bad that it is probably only worth $20 on a good day. I would have cut it up too.
Due to the swap, the hood is held down with hood pins and the hood prop is missing. I use an old bamboo stick that I keep in the cowl by the windsheild wipers to hold the hood open. You can see how the intake is pulling cold air from in front of the radiator.
A shot from the other side. When I put the engine in the new car I will definitely do something with those ugly heater hoses.
The LS1 ECU is held down with ty-wraps. I'll probably build a shelf for it to sit on/under at some point. FWIW, the stock ECU is still used and is sitting in its normal position in the pax footwell.
The PS reservoir has a little fluid on it. I'm assuming it was just spilled during top off but I'll have to keep my eye on it. I've noticed the car has a HUGE turning radius. I believe the PS mechanics (not including the pump) are OEM Miata but I will have to investigate this further.
From the back the car doesn't look any better. Still, with a V8 motor the rear end is all most people are ever going to see . The exhaust is quite loud as it is made from two cherry bombs that dump out behind the seats. I might extend them out the rear to see if it quiets things down a bit inside the car.
The leather steering wheel had seen better days so the PO installed a wheel cover. It has seen better days as well and leaves black sticky goop on your hands when you drive. The gauge hood is missing (I just threw one of those away a while ago - ugh!) but I probably won't replace it. You can see there is a Scangauge mounted on the radio surround. This is necessary because the OEM water temp and speedometer gauges aren't hooked up. I've heard that the water temp just needs plugged in (not sure if that is true) and the speedometer will require a $300 conversion box. I'll probably leave that in the present state for a while.
While cleaning the carpet I removed the seats. The $4 in change under the seat reminds me of the more than 300 coins I found under the seat/carpet/sheetmetal on Red Beast.
More good stuff under the pax seat (tools and RC Helicopter blades!). The carpet was really dirty and there were no floor mats in the car. Of course, I threw away a set of floor mats a couple of weeks before buying the car. This has been a major sore spot for me because I did some spring cleaning and threw away a ton of M1 Miata parts. I honestly never thought I would own another M1 again and it was all just getting in the way. A list of parts I got rid of and now need include a gauge hood, floormats, hood, front/rear bumpers, and headlight mechs/lids. I'm sure the list will grow as I continue to look at the car. These things will cost me $100s to replace and I am not happy.
Hmmm, what is the mystery toggle switch with the red light?