Introducing the Stormtrooper

A selection of Mazdas.

A selection of Mazdas.

The Stormtrooper rolled onto the driveway at about 6:30 PM last night (January 20th, 2017), 11.5 hours after I left that morning. Snow was falling. Sharka was plugged into the charger. Bucky was scared. Blue car was curious.

There was a new Miata in the herd.

But let me back up.

The Stormtrooper

The Stormtrooper

I’ve been hunting an NC on craigslist off and on for about 3 months. I needed something to make parts for. The color, options, and details were kinda not-important. I just needed an NC that drove and I could afford. If it drove well, that was a bonus.

The affordable cars all dried up around October for whatever reason. Nothing south of $14k really existed within 10 hours of Albuquerque. I kept watching and waiting. Then this little white one showed up.

(Like an idiot, I didn’t save the CL listing for this blog post. Alas. Imagine there’s a nice screenshot above…)

I called the owner and chatted for a bit. I ran a carfax. The car looked good. I made an offer assuming the car looked and drove decently upon inspection.

17" wheels. So huge!

17″ wheels. So huge!

The only thing was… the car was located in Las Cruces. That’s about 3.5 hours from me. But Barry, the owner, didn’t mind holding the car till I could see it the next weekend.

I called up my dad to see if he wanted to take the day off and drive down south. He was up for it. Even if the car sucked and I left empty handed, getting a to spend a day with my dad would be fantastic.

So we drove.

Xenon headlights. That means LSD!

Xenon headlights. That means LSD!

A little research revealed that the car was a Grand Touring package. I admit, I’m not much for NC Miata trivia… I had to do a lot of research.

In 2006, the GT was the “top of the line” with leather seats, Bose 7 speaker stereo, and other goodies. A 6 speed manual was an option. And there were two premium package options if you got that 6 speed manual. One of the packages had Xenon lights and a limited slip differential. The other package had those two pieces and a set of Bilstein shocks.

I think I got all that right. Forgive me if I managed to screw something up.

Anyways, the Stormtrooper came with the lights. That means there’s an LSD inside the pumpkin.

So… the car is fully optioned.

Zoom Zoom!

Zoom Zoom!

Basketball Interior

Basketball Interior

I took a quick test drive. The car was good. Not perfect, but quite good. As the online guys would say “quite dribable.”

I had my NC.

I went back, picked up Barry, the owner, and we drove over to his bank to sign a bill of sale and get it notarized. We signed the title and he deposited the cash.

Done. No drama.

It was seriously the best Craigslist car sale ever. There was zero drama. Barry was fantastic. Very easy going and forthcoming with information at all steps. I kept in communication and didn’t have any surprises for him or changes in the deal.

Fully drama free. The result was a happy seller and a happy buyer.

Ready for a new owner.

Ready for a new owner.

Thanks again for the excellent car, Barry!!! I’ll be giving it a great home.

But that’s not it, I still had to drive home.

Queue the photo montage.

First stop - lunch

First stop – lunch



Sunset over the left shoulder.

Sunset over the left shoulder.



Rush hour traffic

Rush hour traffic.

And that gets us home!

Plans for The Stormtrooper:

1) NC gauges!!! It’s been a long time coming. I just didn’t feel right making and selling them without owning a car.
2) Doing a small build. I don’t have crazy plans for Sharka-scale modifications or anything, but I wanna do a few things. The car is just crazy tall. It needs a suspension. And those 17s… and those clear tail lights.
3) Other goodies. NC1 badges for sure. Probably a few other things.

Big things! Stay tuned.

« | »
  • GT-Alex says:

    Congrats ! The interior and soft top colors are lovely, I like that quite a lot.

    I guess with a name like that, Stormtrooper will feature some kind of Star War gauges

  • Matt says:

    I’ve been following your site for a few years now and I’m always blown away with the quality of your posts. Your site reinvigorated my love for cars and had me convinced I needed a Miata. While the Miata hasn’t panned out and probably won’t in the future due to an equal if not greater desire for a Jeep, I still come back to your site on a weekly basis hoping for a new installment. I can only hope to be able to create a similar format, albeit sans the parts store/creation, to document the build of my Jeep once I finally get it. Thank you for such an amazing site!

  • Jimmyjet says:

    Long time coming for this. I’m sure there’s a TON of NC owners wishing they could get in on those sweet, sweet gauges.

  • Jerharp says:

    As an NC owner who as always jealously admired your work, I’m very excited to read this post. Congrats and I’m looking forward to see what you come up with for these!

  • Falco says:

    I’ve owned two NC’s over the years. One was a soft top and the other a PRHT. The PRHT was an awesome year round car in the snow belt…except for one thing. NC suspension with it’s aluminum front arms and that multi-link rear is, for lack of a better description, delicate. It didn’t take much to knock it out of alignment. But like everyone else, I will follow along with much interest.

  • Bry says:

    Right on, man!

  • Max says:

    I love the brown leather, even more than the NA’s tan.
    Reminds me a bit of the “cinnamon” BMW used to offer for the E46 3-series.

    I’m certainly curious where this is going to go.
    Maybe more in a Gran Tourer-Direction than the racecar-ish Sharka.


    • revlimiter says:

      Thanks! I’m digging the color too. Sort of an orange basketball thing. It’s really growing on me.

      As for the direction, I’ll do what I did with Sharka and Bucky and let the car decide. When parts are found to be lacking, ugly, or broken, they’ll get replaced with something that fits a little better.

  • Leave a Reply