How much money is too much to spend when you’re buying wheels? Less than the cost of the car? How about this, how much is too much when playing around with a car? The average tuner probably stops around $5-10k. You dropped it on nice wheels, you made it handle and even did some power mods. What if I told you someone was well over 60 grand into a Miata? Insane? Think about all the other cars you could have had for that much money! Maybe sometimes you don’t want those cars, you just want a Miata.
But before I tell you about the car, let me tell you a little about Mr. Woolery. He’s one of the most warm and welcoming guys you would ever meet at a gathering. He regularly opens up his home LA home, affectionately known as Garage Woolery, to friends and strangers alike to work on their cars. Featuring a lift, enough tools to do anything you can plan, plenty of parking space and plenty of food and drink to go around, the tech days he hosts are a blast. There’s always someone willing to lend a hand as well.
Mr. Woolery’s Miata is a bit famous in the community. I think for a long time that’s because there was only one other Miata in the U.S. who had the unique front end that this one does. Even if you don’t know of the car or owner, you could probably tell it’s well known just by looking at it; it doesn’t even look like a miata anymore! Mr. Woolery has been in the Miata scene for 26 years, as of next month. That’s right, he bought this car new in 1989, mainly, he tells me, because it was the only good handling sports car within his budget at the time. So, of course he didn’t drop 60k on a Miata all at once, but things can add up fast when you’re doing an exhaust here, coilovers there or spending almost $10,000 on a customized fastback with glass windows, trying to get things just right. He might tell you he’s an idiot, but I would say he’s just following his passion. After all, he started out in a very humble 3 cylinder Geo Metro, which he also modded, he deserves the right to whatever car he wants after that. And he does enjoy his cars, despite owning an Ariel Atom and various other sprightly automobiles, it was actually the fastest car he had driven in until recently! I won’t tell you how fast he was pushing that Geo, for the sake of us all.
This Miata is even more lightweight than your usual one, under 1900 lbs, thanks to a healthy diet including a composite single piece front clip, fiberglass doors, a fiberglass hood, lightweight seats, a composite trunk, a very stripped interior and a host of other measures prescribed by Dave. Much like his weight saving list the engine mods are almost too extensive to list. The car features a built 1.7 liter engine and a custom turbo kit. The wet noodle chassis problem is solved via a Hard Dog roll bar with door bars and basically every other brace you could imagine. This and the sticky tires help get all 250+ horsepower to the ground and around the track. He does track it by the way, you can catch him tearing up Laguna Seca in Monterey, California at the annual MRLS gathering. I’m excited to see what he brings as his “secret weapon” this time around.
I’d like to thank Kenjo and Garrett from Rad Roadsters, the online Miata community, General Zod, Harvey Milk, and Deadpool for his undying support and last but not least KINOD.
Written by Garrett Ogle
Photos by Kenjo Raif