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Leaf Peeper 2017

The weather for the last run of the season was pretty good. Our turnout at Barnes & Nobles was a gen complete 6 Miatas. 2 NA, 1 NB, 1 NC, and two NDs. Cynder led us to Palmer with no problems and luckily had a clear Fishhook Road to ourselves. Everyone was out, the motorcycles, and other people cruising in their rides.


I hope everyone has a safe and warm winter. Keep an eye out for social dinners or movie nights. Until next, time. Peace!

Matchbox Grey ND

It took a while but Matchbox finally got their second color for the ND. It is grey with vinyl stickers. I think I will try to remove the vinyl on one model to see how it looks. I was just happy to buy a few online for my collection. What do you think about it?

Miata Model Mayhem

It was a cloudy day and we already had a generation picture with 1 of each of the Miata models. The two photographers showed up with their equipment. Only one model showed up out of 4 but it was the most professional out of the 4. Glad she made it. We changed the photoshoot location to Ship Creek. The rest is history. We will have pictures up as soon as the pictures are ready and the release form has been signed.

Instead of going south we went downtown to the Ship Creek boat launch. There was construction going on but no street traffic. We got all the equipment out and shot at 3 little locations, one by the water, one with the city background, and another by foliage. After the third Miata we were losing a bit of light and we were getting tired watching the crew do their magic.

AKMC Murphy's Laws

1. After you buy a Miata, you will see a better and cheaper one for sale.

2. You dispose a parts Miata that has been sitting for a month and a fellow member still needs an item after it is gone.

3. You finally get a day off from work for a Miata event and the event is canceled due to rain.
You wash your Miata it rains.
The ONE time you leave the top down it rains.

4. When AKMC scheduled an event a year prior there is an autocross the same day.

5. You turn your Miata in for service and you miss an epic record breaking AKMC event.

6. When you shop for months on the internet. Fly down to the Lower48, buy a Miata, and drive it all the way back to Alaska. Only to find that you have to move back to the Lower48 where you bought the car in the first place.

7. You buy a Miata because you thought it was a fast car and then meet all your car buddies with really fast cars.

8. You have a record matching attendance of Miatas but are still missing that 1 NC to break the record and get a generation picture.

9. You sell your Miata and always see the new member driving it in a caravan with that stupid grin on his face.

10. Mr. Hirai signs your trunk and you either crash your Miata, sell your Miata, or a semi runs into the trunk of your signed Miata.

11. You bring your red Miata to a meet and so does EVERYONE else.

12. Someone does a coin check challenge and you never have your coin.

AKMC at Jay Osfthun Car Show

Every year on the first Sunday of August the largest free car show is thrown by the Midnight Sun Street Rod Association (MSSRA). They call it the Jay Osfthun Show and Shine and it is on Delaney park strip downtown. They let you hardpark on the grass. On sunny days the show takes up more than one block and puts overflow in the next block. Today was no different as the weather was well over 70 F. Mike was there in YUKARI representing.

Tom was there with QSHIPP in the "Corvette" section.

I met a nice couple with an NA that sounded like it has the crankshaft bolt Woodruff key issue.

Even an Ak Mazda RX-8 was there.

Epic No Notice Meet

It was Saturday and it was a gorgeous day. Tomorrow was to be even hotter. New member Blaiden asked what we were gonna be doing? I suggested he call for a no notice meet. He didn't know how so I posted it for him on Facebook and texted everyone on the old list. Anchorage was full of activities that day. Honda Day for most car enthusiasts, autocross in Fairbanks, not to include flying, boating, fishing, camping, hiking, or what have you. It was one of those Alaskan weekends.

We started out with some coffee at Kaladi Brother's. Then we went to Potter's Marsh. Up towards Huffman and down DeArmoun. Then we visted the 4th white Miata GYPSY and Rosemary.

After that it was off to Eklutna Lake Road, Patio Lunch at the Alehouse Brewery, Mental Institution, Point Woronzof, and Anchorage roundabouts.

Thought YOU were a Miatafreak?

EBay sellers will sell anything. That is an understatement. Look at what some are doing to diecast cars. Especially, to our beloved Miatas. If you don't see it, look at the wheels. Yeah, I was tempted to buy a few but would rather actually do this myself. They had to buy and wreck a more expensive diecast with cooler wheels. One guy uses epoxy glue to put the body back together. The other guy uses screws which is probably a better fix. This is how hard it is to be an original Miatafreak. When will it end? It will end when you stop modifying your Miatas! Muahahahaha!

Top 90's Japanese Sports Cars

One of our members posts stuff from Miatagang. They are Miata freaks on the internet which adds to the craziness of Miata. I made this from a post he shared on our Facebook Group Page. I thought it would be better if we added each favorite color of the spectrum.

God's Miata is Red.

Gonna make it into a shirt. I hope it turns out. If you want your own AKMC shirt you can have one made at Lee's Embroidery in the Dimond Mall. They are located behind Claire's on the first floor. We have an AKMC folder with our official font and website logo. I have been thinking about getting us official club T-shirts or Polo's but it isn't cheap. Even if I buy in bulk I will end up with lots of extra shirts which I would end up giving away in the end. The God's Miata is Red shirt and Miata is Always the Answer shirt was $75 together. This was because of a $25 fee for the graphic not being in their software font, meaning she had to redo the graphic on her vinyl machine.

AKMC Potluck Picnic

It rained hard the day before. I was hoping that it would clear up for us since Jackie said it would be light sprinkles. 8 Miatas showed up this year and one Volvo Polestar. As you can see the sun did come out for us and the spread wasn't bad at all. Marilyn and Meera brought salads, potato and cucumber. Mike brought Safeway fried chicken. The Feltz brought brownies and desserts. The Miranda family brought Pansit and Lumpia. Cynder brought assorted Subway subs. Best of all was the AKMC Honey Light Lager brewed by the Cormiers. It took 3 months to brew. I hope you got a taste of it and saved souvenir bottle. All in all, no one went hungry, and we had enough for everyone.

The funny pose. From left to right is Meera, Grandma Miranda(sitting), Allison and Jacob, Lisa and Dan, Marilyn, Mike, Kevin, The Miranda Clan (Marie, and daughter, Vember Sr., Vember Jr. and VJ), Cynder, and John and Josh not pictured. Special thanks to Dan B. for taking the pic. This year's picnic was memorable in a sad way. We were saying farewell to the Cormiers and also to Kevin. The Cormiers have only been in Alaska for 19 months before having to go back to Denver. As for Kevin, he is taking a career opportunity to Duluth to join AMSOIL. He also announced that he wasn't taking MARCELINE which got everyone talking about that. UPDATE: He is taking MARCELINE.

The AKMC vinyl banner I keep forgetting at events. Thanks to Dan F. for grabbing it. Another weird thing was the Ice Cream Stop was packed this year! Not really sure where they all came from but there was no parking available and people had a chance to look at our rides. I think we met some Miata lovers from Missouri? Almost felt bad that we had half the spots, but nah, we were there first. lol

Mmmm ice cream. It was a long wait for some yummy ice cream.

The rides from left to right. Vember Sr. Blue and Vember Jr. Red, MSM, YUKARI, NC Club, KAZOOM, MARCELINE, Polestar, and John's TEAL. To sum it all up we will miss our friends and wish them the best in all of their endeavors. Please keep in touch and remember the good times we shared with the Miata. Peace!

Tom from DelVal Miata Club

It was the day of the Annual Potluck Picnic. Our visitors from New Jersey Tom and Midge Kilduff have been enjoying their cruise and sight seeing of Alaska for a week already. Today, they were leaving for Seward to catch their ride to Canada. We had breakfast at the Snow City Cafe downtown. We talked about Miatas, club life, and retirement. It was too early for the rest of the crew who were prepping for the picnic in their sleep. lol. I am glad you enjoyed our lovely state, too bad the itinerary was just too tight. They gave me a t shirt and I got them a coin and few other trinkets. Have a safe trip back. Peace!

AKMC at Rev Alaska

It was an early start from Barnes & Nobles but everyone showed up with extra Miatas and even a Lancer. Representing the AKMC for the NA was Vember Sr. with his blue NA, Chris and CONNIE, Dawson with his NC Club, and Cynder with TINE all looking sharp. Vember Jr. was there with RUSH, Blaiden was there with his white 91, and his buddy with a flat black Lancer. We met up with Chadwick on the way in his NC STR.

We found our spots, set up, and had breakfast at the Noisy Goose and started our day. The weather saved the day and made it nice chillin' on the grass. Vember Sr. used his Mazda picnic blanket. Vember Jr. asked our neighbor if he could park in their motorcycle spot. Jerry stopped by with PANDA before work. Chris and CONNIE won the limbo contest with Dawson's NC Club taking second place. Around 3 pm they started getting restless and wanted to do a Hatcher Pass run. After that we called it a day to start our July 4th weekend.

No Notice Run to Girdwood

It was a beautiful Saturday evening and Jerry wanted to cruise to Girdwood. I was meeting new AKMC member Blaiden who was also thinking about driving to Girdwood. So, I posted on Facebook and texted the No Notice crew. The result was 4 Miatas and a Subie.

The drive down was great as traffic was light, the sun was up. We saw the Alaska Railroad Train, Alaska Troopers pulling speeders over, and all the tourists sightseeing. Vember Jr. led us very well but there was no parking at Tesoro so we opted to park at the Girdwood Post Office. We took pictures and BSed Miata for a few. Afterwards I took Blaiden and his roommate to dinner at Chair 5. The drive back was still nice. I hope you guys had a good Saturday July 24th also.

Long Rifle Lodge Run

Father's Day. For some reason we get a good turn out on this Sunday every year. The weather seems to be cooperating so we got lots of cars. Say hello to John W. with his new 2017 ND RF. One of the two Soul Red RFs in the city. The other is Mike's who we tagged but hasn't joined yet. John and Kevin stopped by to send us off. Meera and Terry joined with the Benzo. Marilyn was present. The Vember NAs were there. Mike and John were there. Chris Bailey was there too.

After lunch we took some pictures from John who is practicing. You can get his pics online for free here
password 1989.

This pic is a little dark but still pretty good. We hope you had a great Father's Day. See you at the next event.

GYPSY Stolen

If you see a White 1999 Mazda Miata with plates ELB 651 cruising around or if you spy it hidden in the valley please call the police or the troopers. GYPSY was stolen 5/14/17 and probably has a torn soft top from the theft. The AKMC will have a reward of a $100 for any information which leads to recovery. She is a 5 speed, NB1 front end (smiley face), the top may have a huge tear and/or the ignition will be messed up from the theft. Good hunting! UPDATE: GYPSY found 2 days after with the thief filling up with gas to joyride more.

Miatas and Kaladis

Way too early and cloudy at the Delarosa Kaladi on 100th and Old Seward. Only 1 Miata with Mike and Troy little before 0800. Until Bob and Mocha came in DAYTONS. Then it was Jerry and PANDA. Finally, Kevin and MARCELINE making it clear to the Kalaldi baristas that this was no coincidence.

We drank our hot chocolate, mochas, lattes, and frappes and were struck talking about our little cars. We even went outside to talk about them all the way until after 10 am. We will have another as I still have plenty of Kaladi Brother's Coffee gift cards to give out. So, until then. Peace!

A Full House!

AKMC Member Marie is this years winner! She won $20 cash and $25 Kaladi gift card. It was a full show with two members changing their minds from sending us off to joining us for a run of Poker. Special guest star Roscoe from Fairbanks also wanted to check out a run before going to a wedding in Wasilla. Why not? It is on the way.

Lots of people at Barnes and Nobles a little rain wasn't gonna stop 'em. From left to right is Roscoe, Allison, Jacob, Mocha, Bob, Vember, Marie, and Ryan. Who wants to add money next year? Or do you just want free prizes? LOL.

This is Roscoe's Miata, TENOR1. He was a little late to his wedding in Wasilla. I hope you didn't miss too much. So 2 Blues, 2 Whites, 1 Green and....

2 Yellows. We had a full gen of Miatas and even a motorcycle. AKMC member Mike A has found his new love in the two wheeled fashion. He is even selling his Miata. This is his second motorcycle, a Suzuki GXR650. Take care Mike.

Hope Run

Cloudy and raining at Barnes & Noble for the Hope Run didn't look good. As I waited in the car the windows started fogging up due to the humidity. Then a bright Velocity Yellow NB parked to my right. It was Ryan, the new owner of 2002 SE finally an AKMC member. He said that when he bought this Miata for his wife that it was in bad shape. Eventually, with the addition of a Hard Dog roll bar, Wilwood brake kit, and some FM stuff he started enjoying it himself. Ryan's daily driver is an STi and although better in Alaska as an overall vehicle was just not as fun. After him Jacob stopped by to send us off with this white NC Club. He has a prior engagement with wife at a beer tasting. For a while we were talking Miata in the rain. I passed out more swag that came in last week. Chris B. stopped by with CONNIE and her new shoes and was rearing to test them out in the wet. So, apparently we were definitely going. The Miranda family brought 2 cars, Vember Jr's RUSH and Vember Sr. Mother's Day present to his wife, a Chrysler Sebring Convertible. To top it all off, Chris K showed up with his orange Mustang and a new girlfriend with child. As we left a red FB started following us all the way to Hope. I let him join the caravan en route. The FB sounded great but wondered how much gas mileage he was getting.

It was a slower drive than normal as there was traffic on this dreary day. Then, lots of Alaska State Troopers. I had one following me all the way to the train station. It started making sense by the time we hit the 45 mile an hour speed limit for all the Hooligan fishermen. It was that time again in Alaska. Chris did a great job leading us to the Discovery Cafe with no problems. Well, at least until we got there. It was either a Mother's Day Special or they just redid their interior with less seating space and a new menu. This was the weird part of the afternoon as the group was split. One group inside and the other outside. I had to keep sitting in different areas to talk to all the members. After speaking with Mizani, the owner of the FB, he said that he was way low on gas as he didn't fill up on the way out of town.

When lunch was finished everyone was released to enjoy time with everyone's Mother's Day plans. Chris B and CONNIE took off first. Mizani with the FB left with Chris K. in the Mustang to look for gas. I drove home with the Miranda family as we dropped the tops on our cars until the cutoff back to Anchorage. It was a slow safe trip back as the sun slowly came out and the rain stopped.

Ak Mazda

There is another new car club in town, Wasilla to be exact. It is Ak Mazda, an all Mazda car club. This one might stand the test of time as three Mazda enthusiasts Kassi, John, and Brandon decided to start a Facebook Ak Mazda group. Well, they were official in real life on Saturday, April 22nd when the Meet, Greet, and Eat event happened. It turned out to be a great day of weather, people, cars, and passion of a very special marque. The picture below was the last Mazda Club that tried in 2006 based in Eagle River.

The cars started showing up before the 2:30 pm at the Park and Ride off of Seward Meridian. Kassi promised cookies and parked her brand new blacked out 2017 CX-3. Brandon was there in his red Mazda6. John, leader of Mazdaspeed Anonymous, arrived with his crew of Mazdaspeed 3's. Mazdas kept coming in the next hour, a GTX, an ND, NA, a MSM, even a Subie showed up. All that was missing was a rotary of any type. All the people met and swag was passed out. It got a bit quiet after an hour and we decided to go eat lunch since all we ate was a cookie. We asked Kassi what else she had in mind because we were getting hungry. Kassi took charge and moved the whole meet to the Windbreak Restaurant.

This was a good move as we were all seated together even if the cliques were still by each other. While we were waiting I suggested everyone to tell us what they liked about Mazda in general. The idea was to get everyone talking to get acquainted. We got all the good answers from fun to drive, aftermarket parts, looks, responsiveness, affordability, reliability, to cool owners. After that we asked what was the worst thing about the model we drove. The MSM3s complained about wrong wheel drive and torque steer. The Miata guys mentioned the girl car stigma and being challenged by Mustangs all the time. After we ate, which was a great lunch, we took it outside and opened hoods. I started sharing about the GTX, and then me moved to each and every model for the owners to share about their cars. I learned a lot that day. The key was to keep it Mazda. It was also funny hearing the Miata guys sounding like the prima donnas. We must learn to be humble and love 'em all. I wished the founders good luck. I offered my help to ensure Ak Mazda survives the early years. I offered the AKMC schedule for them to get ideas for this season. Also, to answer any questions regarding club activities, advice, etc. Long live Ak Mazda!

Miatapalooza 2017

The first thing you realize when you arrive in Tampa, Florida is the humid heat. Coming from Alaska the additional 40 degrees was obvious and have been told that it isn't even hot yet. After speaking with Randy George the weather was a main topic for scheduling his main event. Miatapalooza would be a huge 1 day event in early April. This year it will be at Tampa Bay Stadium to hold the anticipated 700+ Miatas not only from Florida but the Southeast states too. April 8th, 10 am, $5 a head at Tampa Bay Stadium. The first 500 will get a goody bag worth more than the parking fee to help pay for the location. He has a DJ, lots of vendors dedicated to the Miata aftermarket. Also, lots of famous Miatas, owners, and club representatives. Including yours truly, Mazda Mike from the Alaska Miata Club(AKMC).

I met Randy, aka Phatmiata back in the 90's through the internet via Mr. Makoto Nakamura of the Kanazawa Roadster Club(KRC). Randy was big into JDM and everything Japanese Miata related. I was serving at Misawa AB, Japan and we kept in touch over the years. Finally, 15 years later we met in real life. Randy now has a family with wife and 2 kids. I am still single, getting fat and bald but we are both still enjoying the Miata life. Life is good and will peak at Miatapalooza 2017. Only good things will come out of Miatapalooza whether they are bigger and/or better. Now that the Miata is 25 years old and vintage it may get a retro surge to expand everyone's Roadster experience yet again. I will continue this report with pictures when I get back but if you are in the SE United States you have some time to plan and stop by to say hello at the Miatapalooza booth as I would love to meet you.


UPDATE: Miatapalooza was a huge success! Of course, there were lessons learned for next time. No, that is not official as of this writing. LOL! At the peak 650+ Miatas were present with about 1200+ peeps. The vendor side of Miatapalooza was strong with major vendors such as V8 Roadsters, RevLimiter, and RSpeed just to name a few. They even donated prizes for the raffle. The path to enter to park made you go through vendor row. Food and drink were available for sale, DJ music service, restrooms, and plenty of parking.

Personally, I was busy selling T-shirts at the Mazdaroadster booth. Volunteers set up, directed to park the cars, help with booths, tore down, and cleaned up. Randy had volunteers in neon yellow Miatapalooza shirts and were easily visible. The weather was "perfect" as it wasn't "hot" yet but shade was still a want even with the cool breeze gently flowing. My experience saw the inner workings and realities of setting up an event this big. I saw what it could do to a person as it gets closer to the event. I want to give props and thanks to Randy, the vendors, the volunteers, and the fans that made Miatapalooza happen. Just look to Youtube for video, photos, and blogs to get a feeling for a wonderful weekend of Miata love. Special thanks to the stadium, insurance, local TV station, and local hotel.

Hot Wheels Blue Eibach ND

Hot Wheels has come out with its third version of the ND. This time it is Smurf Blue with the Eibach logo from the 2017 HW Speed Graphics collection. I was starting to think that Anchorage bypassed the yellow Volk as I have not seen any in town. Now, the blue one is out. I will have to scour Tampa, Florida when I visit in April for both paint schemes. Makes you wonder if they will stamp out an RF version with the top up? Matchbox, where is your 2nd color ND?

ND RF at Continental Mazda

The first ND RF is at Continental Mazda on Old Seward. Someone special ordered it and will be gone soon unless they decline it. It is a White Club model. Cynder says another one is coming in. All these are special order by customers. Will it be a black RF? Did you guys want to see the RF as a group? Tell me on the Facebook Group Page and we could schedule a time to see it together.

Order Your FIATA at Lithia

Lithia on Old Seward Highway is now selling Fiats and is taking orders for the Fiat 124. If you prefer the FIATA over the Miata you can place an order now. There is a 4 to 5 month lead time but you will make it just in time for this driving season. I wonder who will be our first FIATA owner in the club.

Speak with Matt and maybe we will be able to see one in real life if they have one ordered but didn't sell. I thought Kevin K would get the first one since he likes the body style. Also, he is first to get new cars. Keep your eyes open and don't forget to include our Miata peeps in different clothing and invite them to join us. All are welcome.

Trump Tweets Executive Order MX-5

Even if Mazda is affected by Trumps new laws concerning trade we can agree on some stuff, right?

Miatagasm!

Check out this Road & Track article where a journalist test drives 19 different Miatas at Laguna Seca. It is a great blend of all the different ways to do your build. I don't think it was printed as it is in the Car Culture section. I have yet to buy the issue but you can read it online here.

Miata 10Best List Again

As if this was a surprise. Yet again, the Miata is in Car and Drivers 10 Best Cars of 2017. Just chock it up as another accolade for our darling roadster. Check out the article here.

Happy New Year!

Boy! 2016 flew by. I hope you had a wonderful year full of excitement. The 2016 season was one of the best ever. Matched a club record, new fourth generation Miata ND, over a million Miatas sold, the first V8 Miata in Alaska, drone pictures and movie by Dan B, we were in the 4th of July parade, got published in auto motor und sport magazine, new Hot Wheels and Matchbox diecasts, and lots of Miata peeps modifying their babies.

Take this time to rest, relax, and reflect during the off season. Celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Think up and order parts you want to show off next season. What will the next trend be in 2017? Oversized fender flares seem to dominate all the body kits, rear bumper mounted wings, and a cambered stance for 2016.